While artist-in-residence at Alderworks Alaska Writers and Artists' retreat, the role of alchemist is played cheekily through limiting my palate to earth tone paints in efforts of creating "gold" while painting en plein air in Dyea, a former town and entry area during the Klondike Gold Rush. Each painting was performed on average in a single day completing a total of forty paintings for the six weeks in residence.
While Artist-in-residence at the Canvas Community Art Studio in Juneau, Alaska, the silence of the wilderness was explored for ten months. The theme of landscape painting is broken up into its various elements of sky, land, water, earth, wood, and stone in a series of large panels which were hiked up the rugged trails. Only organic paints were used out of respect of the pristine areas in which I painted.
This body of paintings was created using historical and open air painting strategies. I used watercolor studies performed along Gold Creek from its estuary head in downtown Juneau to the first major waterfall. Researching the establishment of Juneau during its hard rock mining days, I continually pondered the lands' response to the incredible social changes and exploitation.
Here, my great grandmother, Martha Etheridge, simply dressed and barefoot, is seated beside her sister and friend in Wanchese, North Carolina. The occasion is the recording of the folk song, Lord Thomas. This piece is a homage to the numerous musicians on my father's side of the family and also to the principle of balance and harmony in the arts.