Alaskan Skies, Alaska 2009
First time I left home to go travelling I began in Guatemala and headed North. I was alone for pretty much most of the journey and hitchhiked mainly or caught buses/trains when there was no other option. In Portland, Oregan I boarded a train headed for Seattle. Finding a spot with a window I started watching the city roll away behind as the train pulled away, when a strong looking, long haired man sat down opposite me with a racksack to witness the same scene of the sun disappearing behind Portland. We struck up a conversation, found oursleves in a very familiar frame of mind and enjoying each others company and by the time the train pulled into Seattle I’d agreed to go with him and his family to their home town in Alaska. This person that spontaneously became a travel companion couldn’t have been a wilder breed of Alaskan, a mountaineer without with a deep rooted desire for freedom that shone out through his eyes. Zack took me walking on the glaciers and up some local mountains that for him were probably pretty tame but newly arrived in this vast and uninhabited part of the world, from my perspective it felt pretty wild. This painting shows one of the glaciers we walked over and a scene that sticks in my mind the day I had to leave. A local pilot, originally a gold prospector was heading back to Anchorage and gave me an early morning lift in the back of his two seater plane. Flying out from the small village, we spotted a family of bears below moving their way up a snowy mountain. That had to be the best ride on that journey hitchhiking up the west coast.
Black & white pen on canvas