Sketching an Alaska Winter Moon

Winter in Alaska is so unique. It isn’t dark all the time, just most of the time. For a few hours the sun drags itself from southeast to southwest and we see a glow, but not direct sunshine. It isn’t awful and it isn’t miserable; it’s just a little pathetic. I noticed at noon right now it is as light as it is at midnight in June. That’s pretty pathetic.

I stopped to sketch this at about four o’clock in the afternoon facing southeast from Eureka Summit, Alaska. It was -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Lots of blues and purples with an orange glow in the sky.

Winter Eureka Moon at Four O'Clock

Alaska Winter Moon at Four O’Clock/Eureka

Along with many other people, I’ve been thinking about goals and direction at this beginning of a new year. My favorite thing to do is to teach in a way that encourages students. I love to see people “get it”. I want to get some watercolor demonstrations on this blog and I’ll get around to it. I also want to teach more workshops.

I want to use art to help you to encourage others and this is what I have in mind: I’m going to give twenty-five of my art prints away to your friends!  The only charge will be for shipping: $5.00 in the USA./$7.00 everywhere else. (I also had to charge 1% to make it show up as an item)

Here are the rules:

1) I will ship one print to your friend and charge you only shipping, but remember, it is a gift to your friend. You only get one (one print, not one friend). The site will allow you to order more than one, but I’ll only give one print for this offer.

2) You have to tell me something encouraging to write on your choice of print (ie: “To my amazing Cindy from your ever-loving Tom”, “Thank you for being a friend”,  etc)

3) I’m offering this to my blog readers first(that would be you), then over to my Facebook page in a couple of days, but I’m limiting it to twenty-five of my thirteen prints.

Here is the link.  At checkout, use the code: MyFriend for this offer. You will see where to apply it on the right, near the credit card icons in a blue font. Let me know if you can’t find it by making a comment.

What Color is Alaska in the Winter? Sketches From a Warm Car

Although it has been cold and windy here, I was determined to get out and paint the soft colors of winter in Alaska last week. I gathered my sketch bag and tootled off in our car with the heater on high.

The sun has long ago abandoned us and only touches the mountain peaks during the middle of the day.  I stopped to sketch the Matanuska River from the Glenn Highway. Most of the river is full of ice and the reflections are from ice polished by snow as it blows down the frozen river. Water is flowing under and around the ice, being fed by ground water and springs. No glacier melt adds to the flow when the thermometer hovers below minus ten degrees day after day.

Winter-Sketch-2

WInter-Sketch-4

Mount Wickersham glows in the sunlight, causing colorful shadows.

Spruce trees are almost navy blue against the glow of the deciduous tree bark being lit by the weak sunshine. The sky is pale and silvery.

Alaska Winter Sketch 5

Winter-Sketch-3

I wasn’t sketching very long before the sun set at three in the afternoon. The weak blue in the sky gave way to a warm peachy glow as I sat snuggled up in my car, happy as a cat as I sketched with the heat on.

What color is winter where you are?

Winter-Sketch-1

Alaska Winter Sky

Winter Sky

Yesterday the clouds cleared away after a huge storm and this was the view from our windows. The wind is blowing fresh snow from the mountain into the sky. It was very dramatic. And cold. I took this photo around one o’clock in the afternoon. January is such a bleak month here in Alaska. We appreciate the bits of light gain every day. At our house, we don’t see the sun for about a month. What you see in this photo is what we get. Glow. Yesterday my dear husband shoveled tons of snow around the house. My self-appointed job is the deck. One shovel full at a time.

This is the view of the deck from my studio. It might take some time.