Hi, there! Thanks for dropping by. I don't know about the weather where you live but here at my place on the mountain it is cold and snowy. The weather has been conducive to painting though. I have been enjoying exploring the new lacquer ware technique I picked up in Southeast Asia last Spring. Check out the New Work page and you will see a photo of a painting of a raven. This is the second attempt to learn the properties of this new technique. I am very excited about it and intend to enter this piece in the Rocky Mountain Regional Juried Exhibition in Red Lodge, Mt., scheduled for April. The title of the piece is "Ta tsan" which means Raven in the Athabascan Native language. A sculptor friend of mine asked about the choice for the subject matter and the reasoning goes like this: I have been wanting to paint a raven ever since I lived in Alaska many years ago. I was a young wandering man at the time and thanks to the kindness of Alaska Native friends and in particular: the Laura Sanford family, I learned a lot about life in the north as well as good lessons about life in general. From them I learned to hunt, fish, trap, run sled dogs and other aspects of living in the north.The matriarch of this wonderful family, Laura Sanford, treated me like one of her own and to this day I think of her as my other mother. She would often tell me stories of her people and in many of these stories the Raven (Ta tsan) was a prominent character. In many native communities the raven is more than just a bird, he lives in both the spiritual and physical worlds and is often a messenger between the two. He is a bit of a trickster and a very accomplished survivor. He lives throughout most of the North American continent and makes his living with an above average witt and intelligence. For years, whenever I see him I call out "Brother, how are you?" and although maybe it is a sign of spending too much time alone in the woods, I am sure that often he answers back with a variety of comments. He played an important role in a dream I had once (scroll back to "The Dream" blog to read about this) and has followed along with me on many an adventure for the many years since. Mrs. Sanford was a member of the Raven Clan in the Athabascan traditional culture and it is in honor of her and her family that I painted this particular piece. I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I did painting it.
In other art news, another painting in New Work is the latest of the imaginary "Larry Creek" series. It is the "Middle Fork of the North Fork of Larry Creek" I had a picture of it on the site last month but decided to add some sun rays and this is the finished product. It is a 24x30 oil. "Winter Coat" is another piece in New Work. It is a miniature oil at 6x6 inches.
The watercolor and oil classes I have been holding with the adult ed program in town are going well but it looks like I may have to cancel tonight and tomorrow due to high wind and blizzard warnings. My apologies to those of you in the class. It is disappointing to me as it sure is good to get out among people once in a while... Oh, well... there is plenty of wood for the fireplace and food in the pantry. If anyone is feeling like a little winter R and R you are welcome to strap on the skis and come up for a visit. I'll just be hanging out here between the fire the easel!
Thank you for now. From, Tom