New Paintings around Juneau - August 2000

I went out a few more times to Fish Creek and its estuary, but the king salmon had turned colors and now snaggers were hauling them in from the stocking pond where this was allowed. I felt lucky that I had arrived in Juneau just in time to catch a few fresh and bright kings before their flesh decayed as they entered freshwater with no chance to spawn. I embraced the memory of the big one that got away and the other two that didn't (as detailed in my Painter's Journal entry) by painting again from the scene, now that it was quieter there, and inserting myself in the painting. I enjoy photography but this is one of those things that are best done in a painting.

Fish On at Fish Creek...6" x 9"...$200 framed...available at Juneau Flyfishing Goods (907) 586-3754

Now the king salmon run has come and gone, replaced by record numbers of decaying chum salmon that have taken over every culvert and ditch near Juneau because they can't pack themselves anywhere near the hatchery to where they seek to return. I continue to venture out to the nearby False Outer Point to try to intercept a fresh silver coho. I have had the whole area to myself many times, a sure sign that the desireable silvers are't around yet. On this day there were three pairs of porpoises spouting and jumping around the point, sometimes as close as twenty feet as I fished. I thought they might corral some salmon towards me so I fished with flies and lures diligently for the early morning but I didn't catch anything. The mist lifted between brief rain showers and revealed the peaks above the Mendenhall glacier showing their crowns above the mist. I continued casting to let the colors dry. It was one of those days where I was glad I had the fishing gear to help me avoid rushing the painting, which surely would have smeared had I not fished to pause in the process.

Porpoises at Outer Point..9"x13"...$275 framed....Available at Portfolio Arts Gallery, Juneau (907) 586-8111

(this painting has been sold)

 The second Wednesday in August dawned without a cloud in the sky. I took care of some errands downtown then looked for a high peak to sketch from for the rare opportunity of a long distance view. The Mt. Roberts trail seems to go straight up the flank of the mountain that sits right behind the gallery. The clear pure air was invigorating and occasionally I glimpsed partial views for incentive to keep going to the opening above treeline, and was soon up at the top. The terminus of the tramway that the local Tlingit and Haida corporation runs for the tourists has a restaurant and swanky bar and I happened to have just enough pocket money for an Alaskan ESB which has quickly become my favorite beer anywhere. I enjoyed running into an ex-coworker from Calfornia then snuck away into the bushes and sat on a flat outcrop among the ferns and painted the amazing view past the length of North Douglas Island that is my home, the airport, ridged beyond Auke Bay and Chilkat range. I wondered if the furthest mountain to the left was Mt. Fairweather. The weather sure was.

View from Mt. Roberts...6"x9"....$200...available at Portfolio Arts Gallery, Juneau (907) 586-8111.

Next Trip- A long weekend at Turner Lake in the Tongass, to paint with Dianne.