This is the near the trailhead of a popular hike, in the Hatcher Pass area of the Talkeetna mountains. Wildflowers, especially fireweed, are plentiful. Those are the headwaters of the Susitna River, with Idaho peak in the distance. This is such a beautiful place, I could have painted in any direction. I am always attracted to the water first, but there are many more possibilities to explore next time.
A quick sketch on the way to Homer in July. Where Deep Creek empties into the waters of Cook Inlet there is a long beach, great for clamming and fishing, and very popular with campers. Spawning salmon arrive from the ocean to travel up into the freshwater of the creek. There was an immature bald eagle working the area on the day I was painting, and more eagles in the distance. A very pleasant place to spend time!
This is my demo painting from the recent trip to Fireweed Gallery in Homer. As with all my demo paintings, it turned out less simple than I thought it would! You can see by the photos below that it changed quite a bit from its state in the gallery to the finished piece.
I simplified the pattern in the background, though I hated to do it. I will be using that background to its full potential in some other painting! It was too busy, and tried to steal the show. Same story on the complicated drapery folds. Too much for a little 6 x 8 panel. So it was all sacrificed to give the sugar bowl top billing. Now, of course, I am second guessing!
Here is Irene Randolph, who owns Fireweed Gallery, taking a break to watch. She is very good to her gallery artists! Thanks, Irene!
This is a sketch I did back in June, on my first trip to Homer. I set up by the river just before the day got warm enough for the mosquitoes to turn out, and I had not put on enough bug dope. Later I counted over 40 punctures on my left wrist alone! I was a bit distracted to say the least, and set the painting aside to polish up later. Just now got round to it.
This is just one of many peaks that don't get named on the map in the Alaska atlas.