Thursday, April 5, 2012

Countdown to the Petrified Forest!

Petrified Forest Natonal Park
Used under Creative Commons license from the Petrified Forest Ranger's photostream on Flikr

You may have read about me in today's Juneau Empire. But if it doesn't deliver in your neck of the woods, here's an article about the Voice of the Wilderness program, with some nonsense by me mixed in. Yes, that is me in the tres chic headnet.

Speaking of artist residencies, the countdown has begun for my latest in the Petrified Forest National Park, and boy, could I use a dose of southwest right about now. Not that I really have time to disappear into the desert for two weeks, what with the Bioblitz and associated art exhibit coming up in a few months. Seeing that I'm the curator of said exhibit. And am giving presentations on the Bioblitz Art Team and the Chugach Artist in Residence Program. And cannot manage public speaking without lots of visual aides to hide behind. And of course, have to finish half a dozen painting of Alaska for the exhibit.

I'm also still tempted to apply for another Alaska residency this year. I know it's greedy, and it would make me thoroughly frantic for the rest of the year, but now that I know how I want to work with the imagery, I could use another dose. If I don't do it again in 2012, I am definitely going to try for it in 2013.  Of course I've also applied for a Grand Canyon residency for 2013, so maybe the government should just appoint me Official AIR for our parks and forests and I can quit my job and travel around the country living in these beautiful places, painting, exploring and teaching. And then I could win the lottery or get a genius grant. And then I could wake up one morning 20 years younger, surrounded by kittens! Too far? OK, I'll dial it would be great if I ever get to return to Alaska...and I'm so LUCKY to be going to the Petrified Forest.  


  1. Hi Kathy,

    You are finally going! That's great. I look forward to seeing your interpretations. Your work is all so beautiful. For me, I'm trying to meet the deadline to have lots of stuff for the local presentation, and send them something great. I don't know how you do it all!


  2. Thanks Jenn, did you already do yours? I'd love to hear your impressions and see your work.

    1. Hi Kathy,

      I did mine in June, but I'm still working on it! (Of course, maybe I will work on it my whole life.)

      My biggest advice you probably already know is to talk to the volunteers and rangers and go on all of their walks. They are so nice, and will show you paths where you are allowed but that are not on the regular map, and teach you all kinds of things. You might be able to get an appointment to see their lab where they preserve.

      The next advice is that you are allowed to be in the park (besides your cabin area) after hours if you arrange it ahead of time. This is worth it. :-)

      One lady I talked to said she was able to do the residence without renting a car, but I did. Even though it cost more than the flight, and even though trying to pay for it is part of the reason I am behind doing the work, I think it is also worth it. (Though some of the volunteers are so nice, they would probably take you along with them to the walks.)

      Here is my email: I would love your advice on your travels and your artwork and applying too. :-)

      Here are some sketches and photos on the link to the June entry of my blog:

      here is a link with finished works from other places (I need to get my act together and make a website!):

  3. I think going back to an area I'e been in is priceless. I'd like to return to the Petrified Forest, although when I left I thought I'd not ever really want to go back. But now I know what I needed to do (or need to do). So one of these days, who knows, I may go back. The lack of wifi makes one-half of the team very unhappy, although maybe I could persuade him to go to Winston and photograph while I paint....

    Oh, and say hello to Sarah and Matt (rangers/education and preparator) for us.

  4. I always realize what I should have focused on after getting home and working for a few months on my imagery. The only residency I was able to return to though was Cape Cod, which is close to home, but the painted desert reminds me a bit of the Badlands, so I should make some connections with my work.

    Thanks for the inspiration of your journal, I feel like I've already had a peek at what to expect.


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