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.