Yesterday was a day off at Lake Hood seaplane base, where I could have done with my friend Steve and a hat and a veil like the one Catherine Hepburn wore in the African Queen. Everything was flying, including the Alaska state bird - which is a supersize-me mosquito. I didn't get a photo of any mosquitos but here's two float planes. The first one, Steve tells me, is the classic Alaska bush plane, a deHavilland Beaver and the other is a fairly rare rotary engined Cessna. I was talking to Nancy tonight, who lived in Sitka and worked as a health nurse in S E Alaska. Her job was to visit remote places, often in planes like that, she recognised the plane immediately. Rotary engines sound amazing - brash, throaty and strident - like a Ducati once it gets in the zone.
There was me thinking Olivia deHavilland was a 1940's movie star. Here's tonights progress report :
Was working on the sky today - a really active, full day trying to paint out the ideas I had about a fluid landscape. Trying to use the motile properties of paint to describe the fluid energy of this place. It was cold - the wind dumps out of the mountains, through Bear Pass and onto the hillside where I'm working. The task turned into how to paint a cold wind. I had to wear my new mountain bike fingerless gloves and my kayaking thermals.
There's more tweaks to be done tomorrow, but the basic build is there. Tomorrow and Wednesday will mostly be working on the tonal balances of the sky because I'm working outside and this will be shown indoors. This landscape has literally blown me away, I feel as if I've had to find new marks for this work. Two weeks is just a sliver of time to be here.