Here is a rare red insulator my friend Paul bought in an antique shop in Bisbee, Arizona. While I was painting this piece (one of my demonstrations at Charlie's Club 25 Cafe Gallery) a gentleman offered an explanation for why insulators were made in different colors. Seems the telegraph people were trying to find the best way to keep bees and other insects from nesting inside them (a hazard to workers) so they tried different colors to raise the internal temperature. Indeed, many of the clear insulators in my collection have the remains of insect nests inside!
I found the spike next to the rail line in Whittier, AK, and the old bolt in a pile of hardware left over from someone's campfire. They had burned some railroad ties and these things were all over the place. That was near Seward, AK.
The raven was a gift from my friend Jessica, years ago. I like him a lot, and he turns up in a lot of my work. He is the ultimate observer, as Edgar Allen Poe knew so well. Ravens are smart, wary, and comical. I always figure they know stuff.
This is the painting from last Friday's demonstration at Charlie's Cafe and Gallery. I found the beautiful Rosenthal teacup in a Goodwill, the napkin and spoon are family items. I thought this would be a colorful and festive image for the season. Happy Holidays everyone!
This piece is a little fantasy, you can make up your own story to go with the image. Several Alaska references here, the orca of course, and the sea glass, which was collected on Kodiak Island. The rocks and the shell come from the beach at Homer, Alaska. The little woman figure has been in the family for years, I have no idea where she is from, but I like her attitude!
Here is another Alaskan found object, from the days when communication along the rail lines was by telegraph. Those copper wires were strung for miles alongside the tracks, and the glass insulator allowed the electrical current to flow smoothly. These beautiful objects, now in disuse and fallen from their posts, lay in the brush alongside remote sections of the Alaska Railroad.
Many thanks to my friend Paul for lending this specimen. They are hard to find with the wires still attached!
This painting was last Friday's demonstration piece for my appearance at Charlies' Club 25 Cafe and Gallery, in Anchorage at the corner of 4th and D Streets. I will be there every Friday through January 2nd, so I really hope you will come by to visit! I am set up and painting by 9AM, and I generally stay until the painting is done, usually around 6PM.
I've been tagged! My friend and fellow artist Karen Phipps did me the honor of introducing me into the game. Here are the rules:
1. put a link in your posting about the artist that tagged you. 2. write 5 -7 unusual things about yourself 3. tag 5 - 7 other bloggers and let them know.
Okay, here goes. The link to Karen's blog is there in the first sentence of this post, so please visit and have a look at some of the daring work she has been doing with color relationships. Not only that, she has been painting outdoors in Chicago well into the cold months, my (fleece) hat is off to her!
Unusual things about me, hmmm. 1) I have a second degree black belt in Aikido. Here are links to dojos where I used to train: Aikido North, and a photo from 1984, that's me at the far right, back row The Aikido Dojo in St Pete, FL 2) I used to be a river guide on the American and Stanislaus rivers. (The Stanislaus run was drowned, alas, by the New Melones Dam. But that gave rise to the Wild Rivers movement in the US, so some good came of it.) 3) When I was 8 my family moved to Finland for 3 years, and I used to be able to speak Finnish. Now I can count, and say "hello", "see you later", "and Good Day Teacher!" 4) When I was 20 I worked for Mark Rothko as a babysitter. 5) I lived in World Famous Wasilla Alaska for 11 years. 6) I have spent many hours mincing mice and chopping salmon for the wild birds in rehab at Bird Treatment and Learning Center in Anchorage. 7) I can pick up an eagle without getting stabbed with a talon.
Please go visit these blogs, who are about to hear from me that they have been tagged!
Kelly Singleton, who does fantastic animal art and also allows you to follow her progress via photos at various stages of completion. She is an up and coming talent in a demanding field. Mavis Muller, an artist in Homer, Alaska. Her blog is actually a page of her website. Scroll to the bottom and click on Reflect to see photos of a recently staged basket piece involving a giant celebration, basket-making, and remembrance event on the Homer beach, culminating in a glorious bonfire. Jill Choate, an Alaskan basketmaker whose blog will give you a great feel for the life of an artist living and working in the bush. Beautiful photos! Fabulous baskets! Amy Komar, whose swirling abstractions and delicate colors capture completely the feel of winter light, summer splendor, water, skies, and rustling leaves that are everywhere in front of us in the north, if we look. Molly Ahearn, a photographer who generously hands out technical advice and other bits of useful information to other artists, and who is the most sophisticated blogger I know of.
Thanks to Brittany Johnson , a talented young photographer, here are photos from one of my recent painting demonstrations at Charlie's Club 25 Cafe and Gallery in Anchorage. You can see my portable studio, my model, and some of my recent pieces on display on the table behind me. This coming Friday is First Friday, with live music and, I hope, plenty of visitors. Please drop by (corner of 4th and D Streets) if you are in Anchorage. There is plenty of art to see at Club 25, and good coffee and treats too. You are welcome to come look over my shoulder, ask questions, and talk about painting and painters!
This was last Friday's demo piece. Because it was Halloween, there's a nice dried bone in this one. I found the moose vertebra on a sandbar in the middle of the Matanuska River. It isn't very spooky, just a beautiful object to support the star of the piece. I felt like I was painting the moon.
This is the painting I have been working on for the last month, which has taken time from daily paintings, but when the apples are ripe, you gotta go for it. Thanks go out to my friend Katie, who allowed me to pick from her two trees. Homegrown apples are visually more interesting than the ones one can buy in the store, and they come with leaves! These eventually morphed into a delicious apple crisp. The fruit dish is about 150 years old, and has been in my family for generations.
Here is this past Friday's demonstration piece. Both are Alaskan found objects: the float was found on a remote beach by my friend Lynn, and I found the bedspring among a pile of trash outside an abandoned cabin in the Talkeetna mountains. I love spirals.
Here is my demonstration piece from Friday, Oct. 11, which I painted at Charlie's Club 25 cafe in Anchorage. This one just didn't want to be finished, I spent about a week fine tuning. Many thanks to my friend Katie for the apple from her tree, and my friend Mary for the antique custard pot.
Katie's apples are featured in a larger painting I have just finished, which will be on view here in about a week. Because I have been working on that painting, daily paintings have slowed down a bit.
This painting was done during my appearance last Friday at Charlie's Club 25 Coffee Gallery on 4th and D in Anchorage. I will be painting there tomorrow and most Fridays through the end of the year. If you are in Anchorage, please drop by! It's a great coffee shop in an historic building, the furnishings are lovely antiques. I may be there more than one day a week as the holidays approach, you can call 229 0943 to ask if I am there, or email me at the address below for my schedule. I set up by 9 AM and stay until the painting is done. My models for this piece came from the crab apple tree near my day job and a friend's apple tree. Nature's bounty!
Unlike most of the posts on the blog, this was not a one-day project. This is my piece from a recent workshop at Gage Academy in Seattle, with Costa Vavagiakis. (You may have seen this article featuring his work in American Artist magazine: The Self in Contemporary Self Portraits). I finally got this painting varnished and photographed. Eventually it will migrate over to my website, Carol Lambert Arts, where I show my larger pieces.
Here is the second Savage River painting, with a photo taken by my painting buddy, Mary Bee Kaufman. I'm smiling because we were toasty warm, out of the wind with an afternoon sun! A glorious day for plein air!
On September 21 I had a great day painting in Denali National Park. This is a view of Savage River. Thanks to Steve DuBois, a friendly Alaskan photographer, who took this photo! It was windy up there on the road, and I was so cold I could hardly hold the brush still. It was worth it, though. What a fantastic place!
The berries in our back yard finally ripened! I waited all summer for a chance to do this painting. This piece draws on my current inspiration, late 18th c and early 19th c still life. At some point I will do a larger piece, but first I wanted to try a this on a small scale. This was more like a three day painting than a daily painting, I wanted to develop it beyond a sketch.
Finally a really beautiful day! As I was packing the finished painting, a bride, groom, and photographer arrived in a limo. While the groom held a huge bouquet, the bride picked up her flowing white skirt and stepped over the guard rail in her little white sandals. Then all three hiked over the Alaska Railroad track, down the rocky bluff, and out onto the beach below. Their appearance enchanted everyone and topped off a fine afternoon.
They call the white turnips "snow apples" at our local farmer's market, and they are mild enough to eat like apples! After a very cool summer, we are just now seeing the sweet, fresh carrots from our farmers.
This is just a few miles south of Anchorage. Capt. Cook tried to navigate these waters, but this section is treacherous and shallow, with bore tides and quicksand. Beluga whales are sometime visitors. On a sunny, windy day, it's a great place to make a little painting.
Many thanks to Stephan Zagrapan from Slovakia, who took the photo of me and my "traveling studio" while I worked on this painting! It was one of the only really sunny warm days we had this summer.
To make this painting, I stood in the same spot as I did to paint Flattop Mountain, but I looked in the opposite direction, for a panoramic view of Anchorage. Even as I set up, I could see the weather closing in. Within minutes, the rain hit so hard that even an umbrella couldn't save me! Even though the painting and the palette were swimming in water, I managed to make this sketch. Good thing oil and water don't mix!
If you have been in Anchorage for more than a few days, you will probably recognize Flattop Mountain. Usually visible from anywhere in town, it is one of a string of peaks running along the east side of the city, and it is a favorite hiking spot for people of all ages. I have been passed by 5 year olds on the way up. That's not to say it's an easy climb. You can see the most challenging part of the path near the top, a zig zag jumble of boulders likely to bruise a shin. The view from the heights is well worth the trouble. This year we have had cooler temperatures, with snow patches lasting into July.
I am indebted to June, Buddy, and Brian Horr of Dedham, ME for these photographs of me painting this piece. On the left I am just getting started, you can see the reddish undercoat on the panel. On the right, I am nearer to the finish, laying in the cool tones of the foliage. Thanks for the great photos!! Lots of people take my picture, but I don't always get to see them. I really appreciate it when folks send them to me, and I think people like to see them on the blog too.
I usually bring a selection of small, colorful objects for my painting demos. This is the first of two paintings from the Fireweed Gallery demo 2 weekends ago. I lived in Finland as a child, and have great fondness for these little horses! Every home seemed to have at least one.
Many thanks to K. Ward who took this photo of me, in the drizzle, in Turnagain Pass! On July 18 I headed back to Homer to do a painting demo at Fireweed Gallery, and stopped along the way for this quick plein air. The mist was descending quickly, as you can see in the painting. Thank goodness for good rain gear!
The last of my June Homer paintings. The supervisor of the Coast Guard bouy tender, at anchor nearby, was kind enough to allow me onto the storage yard to paint. Later, two crewmembers came to check on my progress, and took the photo. I had been out there in the wind for some time, and was chilled, but happy. To purchase, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org $285 plus shipping, unframed
Once again, I visited my friend Cam's outdoor collection. He tells me this is called a Bug Eye Sprite, or sometimes a Frog Eye Sprite. In any case, it's a racer and it still runs great. Just now, however, the wildflowers are gaining on it. To purchase, contact me at email@example.com
6" x 8" oil on linen panel Framed, $175 plus shipping
All over Anchorage, the lilacs were blooming like crazy in early July. Once cut, they don't last long, so a painting preserves the moment. With this piece I am also paying my respects to Henri Fantin Latour, the French 19th c painter of superb florals. I follow his lead, but at a distance! Available at Fireweed Gallery
A bit inland from the coast, I drove up into the ridges. A passing walker remarked that bears like to travel over these ridges too. Fortunately, the bears are more interested in fishing at this time of year!
In the middle of June I went down to Homer to pay Fireweed Gallery a visit. This little sketch was done on the beach when only a few folks were out taking the morning air. At midsummer in Alaska, 6 AM is a perfect time to paint, before the dawn light turns to daylight. Available at Fireweed Gallery
The birches are just coming into full leaf. Campbell Creek winds through Anchorage, with many bike and hiking trails for viewing. Makes city life pretty nice. To purchase, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
10" x 8" oil on linen panel Framed, $175 plus shipping