Last night brought the first smattering of snow for the season. With the coming of the endless Alaskan winter, my thoughts invariably turn south.
Almost every year I escape the coldest, darkest part of winter by travelling to some exotic location. This year it will be South Africa, but that wont be until the end of January. That means I have to endure the brunt of the nasty. At least it is beautiful.
Over the years I have accumulated an immense collection of tropical reference photos. They make compelling subject matter for paintings. I have become very familiar with certain tropical habitats, and wildlife.
The problem is that most art galleries in Alaska want only Alaska subjects. That means endless paintings of bears, wolves, eagles, and moose etc. Most art buyers want some memento of theit Alaskan adventure. A bear symbolizes Alaska better than anything else. That is why I have painted hundreds of them, and I want to cry everytime I'm about to start a new one. Once I'm into the process it's not so bad.
Ocassionally I just have to paint a tropical subject. These paintings are very hard to sell. I'm hoping that the internet will one day become a steady marketplace for selling these things. I would paint many, many more of them if I could sell them.