I recently came across a term that I had not heard before; ‘woodshedding’. It’s a musicians term, usually used by jazz musicians, meaning to go off to practice or hone skills. It doesn’t have to pertain just to musicians, but includes creative people in general. It’s sort of a self-imposed exile which a creative person endures in order to reach his full potential. (Woop- t- do, right?) HOWEVER, I have planned myself a woodshedding trip…to Alaska…in January. I know what you’re thinking, but being from the South, I can’t say that I really know what winter feels like. I figured it was high time to find out. And, it seems that Alaska’s winter landscape would lend itself well to watercolor, a medium that twenty years ago I had a pretty good command of. You know what they say: If you don’t use it you loose it, and I fear that that includes working with watercolor. I suppose you could say that I will be watercolor woodshedding in a winter wonderland. Wow!
I will arrive in Kenai early on January 24th and go to Nikiski where the Grouchy Old Woman Bed and Breakfast will serve as my woodshed for a week. I plan to take pictures during the daylight hours (such as they will be) and use them as reference for my paintings. The Grouchy Old Woman has assured me that she has proper outerwear to fit me. That means that I won’t have to buy stuff that the only time I would wear it again, would be if I went down to Parkway Grocery and sat in the cooler. She also promised that she will not let me get frostbite. I can only hope she’s right because, bless my heart, I don’t have a clue when it comes to surviving in those temperatures.
I’ve been looking at a blog by Patrick Endres who is a photographer in Fairbanks. Following are some of his images.
Well, creation calls…I’m going…and those are the cold hard facts.