Conservation

Inspiration

We cannot overlook the importance of wild country as source of inspiration, to which we give expression in writing, in poetry, drawing and painting, in mountaineering, or in just being there.

Olaus Murie


Olaus Murie was the son of immigrants from Norway. He become a proponent of wilderness areas and a defender of the idea that predators are an essential component of functional ecosystems. He was a talented artist and analytical scientist, both with a strong passion. His efforts, together with those of his wife Mardy, lead ultimately to the creation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Their lives were shaped by a respect for nature, recognizing the importance of wilderness, and finding opportunities for responsible action.

Isn’t it ironical that our current president wants more immigrants from Norway while at the same time allowing the drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge?

The above picture was taken in the Kluane National Park. It shows the base of Mt. Kennedy rising above the Lowell Glacier and disappearing in the clouds.

 

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Quote

Instead of Words

“If I could say it in words
there would be no reason to take photographs.”

inspired by Edward Hopper


Edward Hopper did paint American scenes of daily life. His most famous painting is Nighthawks, an oil on canvas painting that portrays people in a downtown diner late at night. The original can be viewed at the Art Institute of Chicago.

One of his paintings sold for $36 million in 2013, 46 years after his death.

[Art is business, which may not benefit the artist.]

 

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mindfulness

The Essence of Things

Many moons ago I was fascinated by the adventures of Everett Ruess, a young man, who traveled isolated deserts and canyons of the West about hundred years ago and then disappeared. Much has been written about him, including some biographies by W. L. Rusho and David Roberts and more recently a more fictional account of the young man by Robert Louis DeMayo: “Pledge to the Wind, the Legend of Everett Ruess”. That one is high on my “to read” list.


I have seen almost more beauty
than I can bear.”

Everett Ruess


Everett was an artist and he managed to support his journeys in part by painting. He also wrote a daily letter to his parents and kept a diary. I have not seen any of his watercolor work, but I have seen reproductions of his woodcuts. They are amazing. Woodcuts are a god’s end for minimalists. They capture the essence of a scene with a minimum of detail. Everett was a master at that.

I became interested in the technique. Since we are living in the 21st century, I decided to make my first woodcut on a computer. That’s not art, you say? You are right. It’s just a fun way to concentrate on the essence of an object. There is a wonderful tutorial by Cheryl Graham on the web and the robin in it has been treated and mistreated hundreds of times. Here is my version.

Robin_Woodcut

Since the nights here are getting shorter by around 6 minutes every day, there will be less chance for working on my woodcut skills, but the prints remind me to focus on the essence of things.

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One Man's Paradise

World Photography Day

“The Earth is Art.

The Photographer is the Witness.”

Yann Arthus-Bertrand


It was 177 years ago that Louis Daguerre, originally a painter, found a way to fix images obtained with a camera obscura: Photography was born.

Did this change the world? You bet.

Do images today change the world? I am not sure.

I don’t want go into it today…

Let’s celebrate a great invention and hope that it will serve humanity well.

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Tutshi Lake, Yukon

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One Man's Paradise

Tutshi Lake, Yukon

There is silver blue, sky blue and thunder blue. Every color holds within it a soul, which makes me happy or repels me, and which acts as a stimulus. To a person who has no art in him, colors are colors, tones are tones…and that is all.

All their consequences for the human spirit, which range between heaven to hell, just go unnoticed.

Emil Nolde


Emil Nolde was an Expressionists and is considered to be one of the great painters of the 20th century, mostly working in oil and watercolors. He is known for his vigorous brushwork and expressive choice of colors. His watercolor works include stormy, vivid landscapes.

Emil Nolde Marsh with Clouds

Marsh landscape with clouds – Emil Nolde

I guess it goes without saying that I am a fan of his paintings. His biography is interesting to read. He grew up on a farm at he German/Danish border, realized that he is not made for that work. He was 31, when he decided to pursue a career as an artist. Rejected by Art Schools, he took private painting lessons until he could support himself. In 1913-14 he participated with his wife in a colonial expedition to New Guinea traveling through Russia, China, and Japan.

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One Man's Paradise

Inspiration

In the last 2 weeks I have been surrounded by photographers and guests that want to learn about photography. Cruising the Inside Passage, taking pictures during the day, and talking about art, nature and history in the evening was an inspiration.

I thought inspiration, the drive to create something, comes from within. Maybe some people have it, some don’t? To be an artist you need inspiration, from within, at least that’s what I thought until today.

Now, I am wondering. There were many external stimuli in my life lately that led me to look at things in a different way. I will share some of the images that came from this in the coming weeks.

Apparently, Pablo Picasso said “Good artists copy, great artists steal”. This would support the idea that external stimuli are part of the creative process. This is good to know. Study the works of others and walk the world with open eyes, that’s what I will do in the coming weeks.

For today, it’s a shot of a piece of wood trapped between rocks in a waterfall. Can you feel the cool air? Hear the gushing water? The subject and the concept were copied from Joe Ordonez.

Sorry Joe, you are a great inspiration.

treetrunk

Southeast Alaska has presented itself in a beautiful light. There were misty, rainy days. Spring is in full swing in the valleys, whereas the mountains are still hanging on to their snow and ice fields. Tender green leaves, a few wild flowers make their first appearances. Cottonwoods leave a sweet smell in the air and the birds are going crazy in the morning.

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