I took a few weeks away from the computer to really dig into work, but now that the leaves are starting to fall and the early winter schedule is coming together, I think I’m ready to be back. The Murie Building piece is well underway now. I’ve finally settled into a productive routine of alternating between carving and painting.
UAF held a dedication ceremony last week for the building. Most of the building’s work by three different artists will not be installed for some time to come, but the building is a showpiece and the day was a beauty. Here’s my somewhat intimidating wall to fill:
I think all the wood and color will make the lobby space warmer and more inviting. My idea behind the piece was a somewhat fanciful take on a river channel, but I also wanted to leave it non-representational enough to read as other biological transport systems.
If you’ve ever read “Two in the Far North” or know about the history of the conservation moment in Alaska and beyond, you’ll understand the significance of naming the building after Margaret Murie. I’m honored to be a part of it.
After a lot of consideration of the calendar, reality, and my inability to pay attention to other important projects, I asked for a modest extension on the deadline for this project. The end of November seems much more attainable than mid-October, considering the other things that appear on my schedule this fall. In addition to really feeling like I’ve neglected getting work to galleries, I need to finish a smaller commission for Clare House in Anchorage by October 1. Add in teaching for two weeks in Kodiak and a show in Kenai all prior to Thanksgiving, and you get a bit of a pile-up. Somehow the extra six weeks makes it all feel less like triage and more like a manageable if challenging assignment.
This is the sketch for Clare House – three seven foot by eleven inch carved and painted panels for a main area in an Anchorage women’s shelter.
And the season has changed – fast. All my beautiful flowers got hit hard last week, bringing a quick end to the hot summer and some scurrying to get new wood stoves in place and all the chores done before the snow flies. It’s been an interesting summer. The bar chart shows high marks on the “ability to pay bills” column, while the “nights spent in a tent” and “days of hiking” columns are non-existent. While I’m grateful for the first, we have to figure out how to balance it out with some of the second and third next summer.
Meanwhile, on with the carving!