Thursday, March 29, 2012

Alaska Artist Residency - Call for Artists!

Kathy Hodge, artist in residence, Chugach National Forest, Alaska
Kayaking in Prince William Sound, August 2011
If you think the Alaska Artist Residency that I've been going on and on about in this blog sounds like a great experience, believe me, it was! And better still, YOU can apply to be chosen for one of the 7! new opportunities this summer. I still have half a mind to apply for another myself, if I can swing it. So may the best artist win, and here's the info. Your welcome!

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The summer of 2012 will mark the third year of Alaska's Voices of the Wilderness artist residency.  It is modeled after traditional residencies in the national parks…with a twist.  Instead of staying at a remote wilderness cabin, participating artists are paired with a wilderness ranger and actively engaged in stewardship projects, such as research, monitoring, and education. The idea is to give artists a sense of the stewardship behind America’s public lands, fostering an artistic exploration of these natural and cultural treasures. The hoped-for result is artwork that communicates something of the meaning of these lands.

As an artist-in-residence, you will experience the wilderness like few others. Traveling alongside a ranger, you might kayak the calm fiords and camp on glacier-carved shores. There will be plenty of time to sit back in your camp chair and absorb the crackling ice bergs and roaring waterfalls. From the water, you might see a bear foraging among intertidal mussels, or seals hauled-out on the ice. On remote beaches, your steps will mingle with the tracks of wolves, bears, birds, maybe even a mink. The wilderness soundscape will embrace you with the screeches of eagles or the songs of whales. Along the way, you’ll get a peek at what it’s like to care for the land by sharing time with a ranger.

As a volunteer, each artist will assist with some basic ranger duties, which may include boarding a tour boat to provide education, participating in research projects, such as seal counts or climate change studies, walking a beach to remove litter, or other generally light duties. However, an emphasis for the artist will be experiencing the wilderness and exploring how to communicate its inspirational qualities through their artwork.

There are 7 wilderness areas hosting artists in the summer of 2012  — each with different opportunities and varying in length.  Travel to Alaska is the artist’s responsibility.  Participants should plan to arrive in Alaska at least one full day prior to a residency to ensure enough time for safety training. Return travel should be planned for a couple days after a residency, as weather sometimes delays the return from the field.

Completed applications must be postmarked by April 20th. For more information, go to

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Alaska sketches

Just a quick post of some of the studies I did up in Alaska that I don't think I've posted before. Hopefully I'll have a new oil painting to post soon!

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Oh entomology, where is thy sting?

So this is my first attempt at entomological illustration, and I think I'm hooked. I'm just debating on whether I should invest in a basic compound dissecting microscope. It's awfully tempting, since it would open up a whole new world of visual exploration. But on the other hand I can't keep up with what I can already see! I guess I'll try a few more specimens and see how it goes....

click for sharper version

This little study is one I did years ago, and even after my microscopic study of the hornet, I think it stands up pretty well. Well, not exactly stands, I didn't know the technique of relaxing and pinning the specimen back then, but he curls up nicely anyway...

I'm starting to organize the art team for this year's Bioblitz on Jamestown, where there will be tons of creepy crawly things to draw. Maybe I can bum some surplus bugs to bring home and draw. If not, my windowsill is a good place to find insects who have met their maker.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The world of little

This is a shot of my entomological illustration class at RISD, as seen through a fun little application called Tiltshifter which makes photos look like little model train landscapes. It works best with a small central subject and wide foreground and background. I couldn't resist trying it on some of my Alaskan photos....

An idea is fermenting in my brain concerning this world of macro, a big lens, dioramas, landscape and paint. I hope it's the kind that ages well, since I see a very busy spring coming up, lots of paintings already circling the runway and so little time!

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