Monthly Archives: August 2015

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

Photography cannot begin to capture the scale of the Alaskan landscape.

I recently realized that my whole reason for painting is that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Most landscape painting is a pale copy of God’s creation, but it’s a way of sharing the natural world with others. It is, in some ways, more factual than photography. Photographs are accurate in the minute, but […]

The end of the world

In many places, the mountains were silhouettes, as they can be in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

It’s amazing what a difference 16° in latitude makes. I left Maine directly from my Sea & Sky Workshop at Schoodic Institute. I brought the same gear I had in Maine: sandals, a rain jacket, one fleece shirt and a waxed-cotton vest. I’m tolerant of the cold, but when the wind whips across the Bay […]

No bushwhacking for me, thanks.

This is my idea of a perfectly weird mountain. If I painted it, nobody would believe it.

In general, my summer months are very focused. This is typical for most of the plein air painters I know. We have a hundred days of summer, more or less, to produce and sell our plein air work, and we don’t waste it. Not that many of us complain about it. We feel blessed to […]

Tough babes

A barge in front of the Alaska Range, Cook Inlet, Anchorage. This is named after Captain James Cook who was the first European to explore the Alaskan coast.

Driving down from Tok along the Glenn Highway, I saw my first real-life glacier. “Dang,” I said to myself. “That just looks like a bigger version of the snowpile that accumulates behind Channel 8 every year.” The melt from the snowpile goes into the storm sewers while the Matanuska Glacier feeds the Matanuska River, but […]

About dogs

Sled dog for sale in Tok.

I have had dogs since I was born. However, my elderly Jack Russell is going to be my last dog. This is less about dogs than about modern life. Fifteen years ago, I could take Max on solitary camping/painting junkets. He ran free, earning his keep as an early-warning system. Today it seems that Max cannot go […]

In the Klondike

The beautiful boreal forest.

Since we turned onto the Alaskan Highway, we’ve been running with a pair of Honda Fits. My little Prius is currently having its cracked springs replaced courtesy of Maine’s roads, so I’ve worried about those Fits. I’ve watched them slither over some jarring pavement, or lack of it. By Liard River, we were calling brief […]

Traveling through Moose Row

We debugged the car every two hours and that was insufficient.

As every schoolchild knows, the grain elevator was invented by Joseph Dart, Jr. in 1843 in Buffalo, NY. Dart’s elevator was a wood-cribbed design that was replaced with the hulking concrete behemoths that still line Buffalo today. They are both a blessing and a curse. While “elevator alley” along the Buffalo River is an historic […]

Jamestown, ND to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Small town south of Saskatchewan.

I’m afraid I’m in danger of running through my supply of superlatives before this trip is over. My daughter described the territory between Jamestown, ND and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan as “hella sky,” and I’m going with that. I love the Great Plains. I find them fascinating in the same way I find the ocean fascinating. They’re mysterious […]