Summer in Alaska is short and intense.

We take?trips to the woods, welcome our summer visitors, and attempt to keep the chickweed from taking over the garden. Being a?stealth sketcher, I bring along supplies so that I can grab a few minutes to draw, or dash off a little watercolor. All the while, I think about the next oil painting.
birch branches_site_816

Summer in Alaska is also when we get ready for winter.

In early July I sketched the view from the cabin loft window. Two birch have grown so close together their branches are tangled. The older tree has mostly bare branches.

Soon the old tree?will have to go. Then we'll be splitting firewood.
elias view_site_816
In mid July we headed to the Kenai River to dip net for our winter supply of salmon. I sat on the beach and sketched Mt. St Elias, one of our local volcanos, just visible in the hazy summer sky.

Then it was August, and I had to come to terms with the garden.

Neglected and overgrown, my garden?always carries on bravely with poppies, nasturtiums, petunias, and yarrow. As I walked in the neighborhood, I also noticed the little wildflowers and grasses. Summer visitors were arriving, so I quickly assembled a bouquet for the table. Of course, I couldn't leave it there. It soon came into the studio, where I got to work.
August Floral_1215_site
August Bouquet, oil on linen panel,?12 x 14,?SOLD
Those of you who know of my fascination with the artist Raphealle Peale may see some influences here. I like the way he sometimes uses vines as a device to impart a sense of movement to his composition. It's a good day when I can draw inspiration from both the world around me and the artists I most admire.


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