Thursday, January 10, 2008

Getting out...

Walk on the frozen Tanana River with Fromage the other day.... About -10F, dusk.

Winter Fromage.

The winter river is a highway for snowmachines (called 'snomobiles' in other places...).


We found a place where early freezing had buckled layers of thin ice to the surface. Digging under the snow, I was able to break off plate-like pieces. I arranged them on this block of ice for an impromptu sculpture... The whole thing is a little smaller than a sofa. Just goes to show you can make art anywhere...

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Keeping Sane in Deep Winter

Art opening last Friday. This is the Alaska Concept and Abstraction show at Well Street Art Company. I put in 4 paintings. The new, big blue one is out in the world! Although the gallery owner thought he was doing me a good turn by putting my art on this particular wall, the first thing I noticed at the opening was that this wall was near the food and drink table. the general crowd were feeding at the trough, their backs were to my paintings most of the time. Damn!
Still...I did see folks taking a good look. The nice thing about these particular works in this particular show is that most of the other works (with a few exceptions) were rather dark and extremely abstract. My work looked fun and happy in comparison.

So---it's deep winter here in the Far North and although we're now gaining a few seconds and minutes of daylight every day, it's still not appreciable or even noticeable. (When you leave work at 5pm and there's still some light in the world, you know you're going to survive winter...but that's about a month away.....)

So what is keeping me sane right now?

Contact with PLANTS. Above is my phalaenopsis orchid, 'Brother Sara Gold.' She's had these 3 blooms for about a month now. The photo doesn't describe the glow within each blossom. Also, they have a sheen of irridescence. Truly uplifting.

This is a shot of the orchid shelf. I have a set of industrial metal shelves in my studio. I've wrapped visqueen around the shelf and installed 2 4' flourencent fixtures with full-spectrum bulbs. The lights create some heat in the enclosed space and with frequent misting, I can offer the orchids some humidity. At this time of year, my house can have as little as 10% humidity!

A friend from Seattle came over recently and in showing him my orchid set-up, he got really excited. Turns out he likes orchids but had given up any thought of actually growing them with success indoors in winter in Alaska. I was very happy to prove him wrong and give him good ideas for a orchidarium of his very own...

It's a very arid landscape in winter here.... Because of the dry conditions, I water the orchid herd every 3 or 4 days, depending on who they are and what they need. See the utter black void beyond the statue? That's the view outside my studio window 20 hours a day right now. Truly soul-numbing.

And lastly, this hot number. I'm pretty sure it's an Oncidium....(I'm by no means an orchid expert!) My sister-in-law gave me this plant from her friend, straight from Hawaii. It's bloomed like a madman twice a year with 20 blossoms at a time! Unfortunately, it brought scale insects with it from it's tropical home, so several of my other orchids are infected. Scale is REALLY hard to battle......but I fight the good fight.

Sanity in winter....

Hanging out with the Orchids.

Reading some good books.

Keeping my focus on studio art production.

Daydreaming about Hawaii....