Friday, August 08, 2008

Homer, Alaska solo art exhibit....and adventures!

I spent 11 days traveling to, in and around Homer, AK. Ostensibly, the trip was for my art exhibit, "Growth Cycle" which opened at the Bunnell Street Art Center on August 1st. I went down to Homer a week early to have some time to play and adventure.....

I met up with friend Leslie and we did an afternoon of rainy but wonderful sea kayaking. We got to hang out with some very curious seals...

We kayaked in and around Halibut Cove, which were the perfect, placid waters we needed for the day.

After Leslie left back to Anchorage, the weather changed dramatically. I got to have an entire week in Homer with gorgeous sunlight! I did my first solo sea kayaking overnight trip. 50% wonderfull and amazing and 50% scaring the shit out of myself when I partially capsized the kayak. This is the view from my tent....

I also found some amazing and beautiful new plants! The climate is a lot different than in the interior of Alaska. This plant I yet have to name.... I did find beach greens, oyster leaf, ghost plant, campanula, wild geranium and mimulus. I also got to identify and taste several varieties of edible seaweed. I am just amazed at the quantity of wild food there was to be found and collected in that region. Dulse, ribbon kelp, clams, oysters, mussels, crab, halibut, salmon, beach greens, etc. etc. Late one night, while driving to an erstwhile camping spot, I also saw a really good sized moose. Yes, impressive to see, but also another food source. The coast is really a rich environment!

I also did a bit of hiking----in and around the cove I kayak camped at. Bears had been spotted on these trails, so as I hiked I sang, talked to myself (loudly) and banged a small stick against an empty Nalgene. Good for the bear to hear you coming. A startled bear is an attacking bear....

I couldn't stop marveling at how lush the undergrowth was. Moss, ferns, clover, blackberries, and cow parsnip everywhere. Just amazing and beautifully green.

The art opening was a success---friendly people, a professional gallery, and an easy process to hang the show. Here is a view of the opening night spread----very good presentation!

I am sharing the gallery with sculptor Wendy Croskrey who is the head of the sculpture department at University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Our work blended well together. I had some concern about this, since my work has changed from abstracted botanical forms to definite representational drawing in the last year. We had many good comments about the overall look of the exhibit. No sales so far....but I can always hope for some as the show continues until the end of the month. I'll have these paintings posted on my website soon.

Another view of the show. My paintings are acrylic, acrylic inks and gold leaf on birch plywood. Wendy's work is aluminum, cast elements, and resin.

While I was playing in Homer, interior AK was beset by unrelenting rain. On the 600 mile drive back North, I stopped and took this picture of the town of Nenana, still mired in the floodwaters of the Tanana and Nenana rivers. (In a recent news article, I read that the new school in Nenana has been spared from the flood so far because it's slightly raised foundation puts is just 8 inches above the water line....)

Parts of my town have flooded, too----houses close to the river just a mile from my own house are still in the floodwaters of the Tanana River. Fromage and I walked down there two nights ago----roads transformed into waterways and canoes are the mode of transport to some peoples front doors. We are fortunate to have built our house far enough up the hillside...

And now?

After the Ecstasy, the Laundry.

I'm home from my travels, I have to haul a lot of wood for winter, harvest the entire garden and find a job.....pronto.