I’m not the type of tourist who wants to see every museum that a place has to offer, but I do love to go and spend a couple of hours walking around an art or natural history museum. Often when going to a new museum there is so much to see that I get overwhelmed. One of my favorite ways to slow down and appreciate what’s in front of me (instead of worrying about trying to see everything) is to bring a sketchbook or journal and take some time for focused observation.Read More
While I was traveling in Vietnam and Cambodia I filled an accordion sketchbook, and I had quite a bit of fun doing it. Accordion sketchbooks are relatively cheap to buy, or are easy to make; they are portable, and provide a wealth of options for how to fill them. First I am going to show you how to make your own, then I’ll write a bit about how I filled mine while traveling.Read More
Think about using both pages of your sketchbook (the spread) to spread out and tell more of a story, adding context to your original illustration. In this post are three examples from my travel sketchbook. I love drawing and thinking about plants, so that is my focus here, but you can obviously choose whatever you like as your subject.Read More
Creating your own field guide or collection can be a great way to organize visual information. You also can be creative with it and don’t need to take it to a Sibley-level of perfection unless you want to. Here is an example of a collection of different tropical flowers I found while walking around Hoi An, Vietnam.Read More
I have a 13-hour flight from Vancouver to Guangzhou and then a 5-hour layover in China before getting to Vietnam. I thought it would be fun to write a post on some things you can do on the airplane. I especially wanted to provide some ideas that don’t involve the Internet or watching movies (though that is a great way to pass the time too). I want to prep a few activities that aren’t too mentally grueling and maybe are even a bit relaxing.Read More
I’m leaving in a few days to travel to Vietnam and Cambodia (want to come with and share the experience? learn more here). Note that since I live in remote Alaska, it is going to take me a few days to get there. Before I leave, I wanted to write a post about what I’m bringing with me.
First of all, there is nothing wrong with keeping your sketch kit simple and affordable. A notebook with unlined paper and pen or pencil will suffice! Really lined paper would be fine too. However as a professional artist I have lots of art supplies, and I wanted to share a few of my favorites for taking on the go.Read More
I’ve been working on this blog post for a while. I keep putting it off because wilderness is a complicated idea near and dear to my heart. Before I begin I feel the need to disclaim that I’m not going to be able to fit all of my thought in one blog post, but that doesn’t mean I should share some of them.
One of the projects I am working on right now is to illustrate a poster for the Nellie-Juan-College Fiord Wilderness Study Area. Last summer I did an artist residency there with the US Forest Service...Read More
This is a continuation of my last post. At the start of the year I want to share a bit about what goes on behind the scenes as a working artist. In part 1, I talked about my daily rituals, which include journaling, planning, and reflecting. Today I want to share my bigger picture review process. Again, I want to share some of the resources that I’ve found useful in hopes that they’ll be helpful to others.Read More
I think that as an artist, I’m often sharing finished work, and even work in progress or studio shots, but I don’t always give a good picture of all that goes on behind the scenes. I put this post together to discuss some of the planning and reflecting I do to keep myself on track. I want to share a few art and independent business resources that I’ve found useful in hopes that they’ll be helpful to others.Read More
One thing I have written a few times in my list of goals is “work larger” or on a bigger scale.
This fall, I returned to something I tried back in 2012, working with acrylic paint on wood panels. I also tried to scale things up a bit. I created two larger paintings this fall: Nizina River Habitat, (which was then purchased by the Alaska Contemporary Art Bank) and K’esugi Ridge (which I just finished and is available).Read More
My last post doubted the presence of winter. A week later it has gotten colder. We still just have a light dusting of snow, so you can't ski or really travel much by snowmachine (or at least I wouldn't), but it feels and looks like winter outside. So in contrast I wanted to share some photos from the shortest day of the year and the beauty that it holds. Happy solstice to all and happy winter solstice to those living in the northern hemisphere.Read More
Lara Gastinger is a botanical artist and illustrator in Virginia who keeps the most inspiring sketchbook. I found her work on instagram (@laragastinger), where each week she usually posts from her “perpetual journal”, a weekly journal and sketchbook (now two books) that she’s been keeping for over a decade, since 2000. Her artwork is gorgeous in its own right, but the collection she’s put together and shares in her perpetual journal is really inspiring.Read More
I know that some people are looking for gift ideas for the holidays and I wanted to highlight two of my recent projects and suggest some other ideas.Read More
This summer I worked on a fun and different (for me) project. The McCarthy Area Council (MAC) is a local nonprofit that serves as a kind of town government for McCarthy. Last year they expanded the mail shack building, and decided they wanted a mural painted on one of the walls with the local kids. I volunteered to organize this project.Read More
About two years ago, I started to work on an illustration project, which became the children’s pop-up book, The Adventures of Apun the Arctic Fox. The book is coming out next week, so I’m excited to share more about my adventures with Apun.Read More
I talk about the process of drawing things out multiple times and the meditation involved in doing so.Read More
I don't usually share my newsletter on this blog, but I wanted to this once, just to let you know that it exists. Every month or so I'll send an update to your inbox, letting you know what's going on here. My newsletter is the first to hear about new work and upcoming events. September's newsletter is below, and from that link you may subscribe or read past issues:
Thanks for your support!Read More