Untamed Land

Untamed Land
Untamed Land

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Trip South

Unfortunately this is not about my trip south. It has been snowing all day and I wish I was headed south to someplace tropical. This post is a sampling of some photos from my friends, Jean and Scott. They flew past this islet with lighthouse off the coast of B.C. Canada.
Somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, (they gave me the location of all their photos but I did not pay attention to that) they saw this nice Bull Elk.
Wherever it was they went, they saw some big ol trees. This is Jean.
Scott prepares to hug a tree.
After the Pacific Northwest, they went to the Southwest and saw some gracefully sculpted rocks.
Checking out a slot canyon. Way cool!
Best of all IMHO, Scott managed to get one quick shot of a Northern Pygmy Owl.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Lonesome Lake and Colder Stuff

This is my latest painting, still in the early stages. The working title is, Lonesome Lake.
It is going to be a Bull Moose. The size is, 12x16".
The rest of these photos are just random frozen things like this river, ( I forget the name of it).
Another angle of the same river.
Some frozen waterfalls above the highway south of Anchorage.
Another one nearby.
Another one even further south.
Late afternoon sunlight on the hillside.
Another sunlit hillside across Turnagain Arm.
One last frozen photo. Burrrrr!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Alpha Dogs at Last

Before I get to the painting, I will show two photos of some unusual looking clouds that are out my back window.
Alaska is not known for having colorful clouds or interesting sunsets.
In the last post I showed a photo of the first layer of paint on this wolf's head. Now, after a marathon session today, it is finished.
The completed 16x20" painting, Alpha Dogs. Now I am off to dinner.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Alpha Dogs and Seward

Although life has been hectic, I have had a little time to work on my latest painting, Alpha Dogs.
This morning I laid down a few basic tones on this wolf which will be the main focal point of the painting. So far I have encountered few problems with it except making the time to put forth my best effort.
This wolf is mostly finished.
We made a quick trip to Seward. It is a long drive.
Resurrection Bay was calm as glass for a while in the early morning.
Common Murres in their Winter finery.
A bunch of Barrow's Goldeneyes in the harbor.
More Barrow's Goldeneyes along the coast.
It's always good to see Surf Scoters.
A pair of Harlequins kept their distance.
And finally, a Yellow-billed Loon in Winter colors.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Searching for the Oracle

Since I have had such a busy week, I made very little progress on the new wolf painting. So I will continue revisiting my trip to Peru from several years ago. I cannot remember whether I wrote about the Oracle of Pacha Kamaq before this.
Pachacamac is a pre-Inca archaeological site about 30 miles south of Lima. It is mostly known for being the home of the Oracle of Pacha Kamaq.
While I was reading about Peru before traveling there, I was intrigued by the story of the Oracle. The Oracle was probably the most sacred pre-Columbian object in South America. People made pilgrimages to the site from far and wide.
The temples and other structures were built between 800 and 1450 CE. Some of these photos were shot in related sites within the city of Lima, (such as this photo in Parque de Las Leyendas).
Black Vultures guarding the eroded temples.
Anyway the story goes that when Pizarro invaded Peru and ruthlessly defeated the Inca empire, he learned of the existence of Pachacamac.
Being a typical conquistador he imagined that the place must be full of gold and other treasures. So he made an arduous journey from the Andes to the coast.
When he arrived he was very disappointed to find no gold.
He sought out the Oracle and when he saw it, he sneered and remarked how ugly it was. He did not bother to loot it or destroy it. The Oracle was already ancient when Pizarro arrived, and it survives today. It is made of wood which has been preserved by the extremely dry climate of coastal Peru which seldom receives rainfall.
I was intrigued by all of this and I really wanted to see it. This photo is one that I stole off the internet. It shows only the top portion of the Oracle which sits atop a long pole. When I was there I asked where I could go to see it. I was told that it was off display because it was undergoing restoration. Great disappointment for me, just like Pizarro.
To my eyes there is a remarkable resemblance between it and Polynesian carvings. In spite of what science claims, I believe that there must be some connection between the two cultures, especially since in the local mythology, people first came to Peru in boats from the sea.
Anyway I got to see some good birds like these Peruvian Thick-knees. They are large nocturnal shorebirds. They rose up from the sand about 20 feet in front of me. If they had not moved I would never have seen them.
A Saffron Finch at Parque de Las Leyendas.
A Blue-black Grassquit at the same place.