Monday, June 30, 2008

know your fish

This salmon-colored hand rising out of water represents what multiple tour guides told us--how to remember the 5 kinds of salmon:
chum --rhymes with thumb (used mostly for dog food)
sockeye --for the finger you poke someone in the eye with
king --for the central, or longest finger (giving someone the "king salmon salute" is an Alaskan line), said to be the strongest-taste in salmon
silver --for the ring finger
pink --for the pinkie, and the mildest flavor

Now I will always know my salmon types!

My usual media on Superdeluxe Aquabee.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bloglines weirdness

Bloglines just popped up with 200 old InkTracks posts from 2007. Not sure what that means or if it's a problem, this is just to notify you of weirdness.

Edited to add: Bloglines had a major database problem. All fixed now!

Big Bird

In the stories of creation among Northwest native American tribes, Raven created the world. We visited a Tribal Museum that is keeping and sharing their cultural traditions.

There I met a woman of the Cupik tribe whose grandfather was a native Norwegian who came to the area 60+ years ago to help the people learn to herd reindeer. Her grandmother was the first to marry outside her tribe, to a tribal man (not white) of a distant land.

Another man told us of his shaman grandfather who had sent him a dream years ago that their stories would be told and spread to a wider audience. Now this Museum exists and the man is a storyteller and drum painter, fulfilling his dream's prophecy.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

northern lights and fish

Because it's too light to see the aurora in Alaska now, we went to a little film of what is up there. It was actually a stream of still photos of the northern lights done by one guy who'd spent hours and hours in the bitter cold taking pictures.

And I bought a pair of fish earrings.

Everything goes in the Handbook journal.

Friday, June 27, 2008

the land of the midnight sun

I totally loved the light-all-night in Fairbanks. Residents said they burn out, staying up too much, but it balances those dark, dark winter days.

In Fairbanks when it is -50 degrees, the children don't have to go to school. They can do tasks online and be counted as present. One woman said that last winter there were 2 weeks of -50 degree school days!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

snacks and shades

I took prepackaged cashews for emergency fuel and 5 pairs of clip-on sunglasses. Never needed the sunglasses; it was overcast nearly the whole time we were there.

Residents got very excited on the few days we had beams of sun. In Ketchikan, especially, where they get 160 inches of rain a year. If it's not raining, they said, it's about to.

Tech pen, pencil, and w/c on an index card. I didn't know how to convey the shadows on transparent cellophane, but pencil worked ok.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


As we drove through Anchorage, these two babies and their mom were wandering outside the airport.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

the little workhorse

This little camera takes great pictures and has lots of setting variables, but all are so easy to use. Comparing the pictures this takes to my husband's Casio, I'm really happy with the color and contrast of mine. I didn't buy this for the Nikon name, but it stands up to a comparison test!

We've done the first edit of over 1000 pictures and I've uploaded 70 to Snapfish (9 cents apiece for printing + shipping = $10.32 for the first load of a hardcopy album).

All endorsements come from my own enthusiasm, not affiliation with the companies.

Tech pen and w/c on very thin index "card." I took a pile of these so-called cards to let out a little of the need-to-create tension as we moved from event to event absorbing a gazillion factoids, sights, and vacation encounters.

Monday, June 23, 2008

up close and almost too personal

There was a raised walkway from the parking lot to the visitor's center at Mendenhall Glacier. This black bear (they can come in all shades of brown, too) was just below us as we walked past.

Yes, wild animals are viewable THAT close. Every day we saw fascinating animals or birds or sealife, wild and free.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


We're back from an ama-azing trip to Alaska! We saw sooo many animals, among which were grizzly bears and their cubs, baby moose, great horned owl babies (they're HUGE) . . . so many new little ones were out with their moms. None of these were in zoos or fences, all roaming freely in Denali National Park and environs.

Early June is definitely the time to see Alaska--before the tourist crowds and before the newborns know to hide from the tourists!

We took hundreds of pictures and I drew a little bit. Mostly we were on the move: plane, bus, paddlewheel, train, ship, dogsled (the wheeled kind). It was all scenically wonderful and too panoramic to capture well.

This picture was taken in College Fjord from the cruise ship. Moving the digitals around will take some time before there's more. Hold this space . . .

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

imagining a taste

As intense and flavorful as you can imagine.

W/c on Aqua-Super

Thursday, June 19, 2008

imagining a beach

We might be on a beach like this on the trip. Check out that earth curvature!

W/c on Aquabee Superdeluxe.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

the best sharpener

I took plenty of art supplies. These were drawn in 2005.

Pencil on paper I don't remember.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

emerging face

I started drawing random ink lines and this face emerged.

Monday, June 16, 2008



Tech pen and w/c in the Moleskine sketchbook.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

bag and Moleskine

The eternally useful Moleskine and a little bag for treasures. Drawn in 2005, reposted/preposted while I'm in Alaska.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

mixed fluids

Scribbly takeoff on the objects, playing with different fluids: 50% ink in a waterbrush, a brown G2 that wasn't flowing well, but I like the color, and w/c to fill in a pen drawing.

On Strathmore drawing paper.

Friday, June 13, 2008

sandals I didn't pack

We're getting on the cruise ship today (according to the itinerary, posted before we left). These sandals didn't get to go on the trip.

Tech pen and w/c in the Handbook Artist Journal.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

emerging detail

It wasn't until I'd drawn the glasses that I saw the unusual double shadows from can lights over a counter. Each curved earpiece has 3 images.

Pencil in the Handmade Artist Journal, great paper!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Paris sculpture

A drawing of a statue in Paris, painted my own way.

Tech pen and w/c on Strathmore Aquarius II paper.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Playing with paint, imagining the scent.

Tech pen and w/c on Aqua-Super.

Monday, June 09, 2008

where's my staff?

Chaucer says he misses his attendant. A visiting kibble-distributor is NOT the same.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


When I get back, I'm going to try making some monoprints.

Meanwhile, I'm in Denali National Park; next is the dome train to Anchorage.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


We hope to see eagles in Alaska. This is one I have at home, an eagle with attitude.

Pencil on Strathmore drawing paper.

Friday, June 06, 2008

flying away

I'm getting on a plane, to Chicago, Anchorage, then Fairbanks. With hours and hours of layovers in each stop. And do you realize it's a 6 hour flight from Chicago to Anchorage?!

Ignore moaning. This vest is now in the suitcase, ready to visit Alaska!

Pen on lined journal paper.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

hiding from the model

In a waiting room, I found a perfect angle for drawing this man so he wouldn't see me, and I wouldn't have to draw his head.

And he didn't move until I was done, so I consider him a perfect model!

Tech pen on Strathmore drawing paper, painted later.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

no cookies

A pottery jar that has never had cookies, or anything else, inside. I don't remember buying it, must have been a gift. I really like the rough, unglazed surface.

2B pencil on Strathmore drawing paper.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

packing for Alaska

This is an umbrella I'm not taking.

This will be a plane/paddlewheel/bus/train/ship trip. Mountains, Denali, glaciers, and our first experience of a glitzy Carnival cruise ship.

I hope to draw some of it.

We leave in 3 days, so I'm setting up drawings to post while we're gone. With the wonder of Blogger's new scheduling feature, Ink Tracks will trek on until I return.

Monday, June 02, 2008

cat's eye

Chaucer, embodying focused intent.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Painting the painter

Rolling primer onto shelves means the model never stopped moving. I attempted to capture one frame of that movie. Painted later, with colors more interesting than the real ones.

Tech pen and w/c on Aquabee Superdeluxe.