Friday, November 30, 2012

Tuka, Part 4

Life in winter camp was noisy, boisterous & downright fun. Tuka settled into his winter gertee with Sally quite nicely. Besides keeping Tuka's bed warm at night Sally was an excellent cook & kept a clean home all with a smile on her round face.

Every day Tuka rounded up his motley sled dog team & hitched them up for a run. This was when Tuka felt really free & high on the adrendaline rush you get with exilarating exercise. The dogs loved it too & you could tell from their tails & tongues wagging away.

One day, Tuka & his team, came acoss an old, wise owl on a branch gleaming in the sunset. This pleases Tuka as he had had many conversations with this owl before. Always a patient one he waited for the owl to speak first.

"I see you are enjoying yourself in the village. That is good. You need to enjoy life along the way." Said the owl. Clearing his throat he continued on. "Not speaking of the gold you found is good, too. You will know when the time is right. Even if its 40 years from now. Gold is not like the salmon that return every summer & is eaten fresh & preserved for winter. Gold can stay in the ground year after year & never go bad."

So as Tuka mushed back to the village he looked forward to checking his email, watching Alaska State Troopers and most of all: picking out a brand new snow machine Sally was buying him!!


The End.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Card Perfect

Added another p/t job since my main job is boring & I need more action. It is cutting into my painting time. This is the first I've painted in a week. Still need to paint the watercolor for the Tuka installment on Friday. I don't think this one will fit in the theme of the story. It's more of a Christmas card theme.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Tuka, Part 3

When Tuka reached the outskirts of Winter Camp he staked, fed & bedded down his tired, scrappy dog team. Tuka would have preferred to bed down with his team, as he does on the trail, but dogs are forbidden from Winter Camp. The elder women of the camp spearheaded by his mother, Niki, stopped dog teams from barrelling into town last year. You were allowed to have dogs as family pets as long as you cleaned up after them. Sled dogs must not enter. Tuka decided the reason this stupid law passed was nobody mushed now that everyone ran noisy, gas guzzling snow go's instead. The old ways were dissappering rapidly & Tuka was a dying breed.

As he walked towards the camp his cousin Roy roared out to pick him up on his sno go. His mother wasn't patiently waiting to see him & he knew why.

"Dale!" Tuka's mother exclaimed when she saw her wayward son. "What is this I hear you are going by your father's (God rest his soul) name that he gave you at birth? Your birth certificate has your true name & that is what I will call you!" Niki spoke English but with her strong overbearing Russian influence.

"I mean no disrespect to you, mother." Tuka quietly explained. "My father's name suits me more than Dale does. When you told me my father named me Tuka, meaning Keeper of the Mountains, I feel that is my name & that is what I will go by & answer to."

"Dale!" His mother mimicked "Why are you so old fashion? Your Viking father left when you were young & showed you nothing of the old ways yet you insist on hanging on to them. Life is easier for our people now. We don't have to mush, make our own tools, hunt for food, trap for clothing, chop wood for fuel or be in the dark for months. Look at us. We have electricity! We have internet! We have satellite TV! Why won't you grasp it & make the most of it like the rest of us? I will never understand you like I never understood your father. It has got to be the Viking in you!"

Taku had to laugh at her last statement. It was the first time she had admitted he was indeed a Viking. More Viking than Russian & that he could not change.

"I have built your own gertee over by your cousin Roy's. Come with me & I will show you your new home. Sally helped me decorate it for you. You really should thank her & invite her to live with you." Niki was proud of her gertee making skills & loved to show anyone how to build & decorate them warmly.

For once Tuka liked his mother's plan for him. But what about his dogs? It was like his mother had read his mind when she said "Goldie can stay in camp with you. Your other mutts can be adopted out."

There was some warmth towards dogs in his mother's cold Russian heart.

Next week: Surprise

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Good Morning Alaska

This sunrise was so beautiful I tried to paint it. The photograph I took didn't do it justice. Not only that, with no laptop to upload to, the pic is still in my camera. I did find a shop in the valley that I can take my sick laptop to. Yeah!

Its hard writing on my phone so I've been spending my free time painting.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Taku, Part 2

Tuka had a lot of time to think on his journey to winter camp. A trip by a snow go would take a man 8 hrs. By dog sled 3 and half days. And Tuka's dog team was a laughing stock. Four mix matched mutts. Goldie, his lead dog, wasn't even close to being a husky. The fixed female lab/pit mix looked fat & too slow to be out front pulling his sled. In Tuka's mind she looked fast & sleek. She was strong, smart and demanded & received the respect being the lead dog requires. And her short brown coat glistening after a good long run lives up to her Tuka given name, Goldie.

As Tuka neared winter camp he had made his discision. He was not going to tell his people about the gold that appeared right before his eyes after an earthquake opened the earth & the water force pushed the heavy hard to get high grade gold to the surface. No, he decided he wasn't going to share his gigantic news of his gold strike.

Until spring.

Next week: Winter Camp

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Graveyard Blues

No photographs to share as its just getting light out when I go to bed & the sun is setting by the time I wake up. Pretty soon I will not see the light of day until next year.

Thank-you all for the encouraging words to keep painting! It brings light to my life to share my hopefully improving watercolor works.

I am having fun writing the next installment of "Tuka" which will be out on Fridays.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Monkeys Surfing

There is no story behind this watercolor except for the fact that I like monkeys.

I am churning out the watercolors. Yesterday morning on create tv I thought there was a new guy painting. He was young & reminded me of the 70's. I'm watching when he says "lets make another tree. We don't want him to be a lonely tree. Every tree needs a friend". I then realized he was Bob Ross! He didn't always have an afro.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Tuka, Part One

One long ago night, deep into the winter, a lone musher could be seen making his way across the frozen tundra. Not too far from the coast Tuka didn't need to worry about any open water crossing the sea ice, he thought. He was anxious and in a hurry which wasn't like him. Usually he would mush the dogs along at a slow steady speed. Enjoying the scenery and the solitude.

Not tonight.

Goldie, his lead dog, knew the way to winter camp and was happy to be running full board towards the coast. He could smell it and needed no urging on.

Tuka knew this and could fall asleep in the sled if he wanted. Or could. His mind wouldn't let him. All he could think about was the gold. Gold that glittered everywhere a man could see. And touch with his own bare hands. Gold that promised riches to Tuka and his people.

To be cont...

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

November Fish Fry

New Orleans Style Deep Fried Northern Pike, Halibut & Red Salmon. (Pictured) Cole Slaw, French Frys & King Salmon Hushpuppies (Pictured). Russian Tartar Sauce, Apple Pie ala mode with a brownie for good measure.

The Northern Pike was new to me. We cut it up small (larger pile on right) as its a boney, prehistoric demon monster that we need to eradicate from Alaskan waters. They are an invasive species that are ruining the fresh water habitats. I will be killing as many as I can ice fishing this winter & encourage everyone to do the same. They are not bad eating but not as good as the salmon & trout they are eating.

The King Salmon Hushpuppies were the bread that complimented this fish fry well.

My laptop is toast so until I get another set up I will have to blog from my iphone. Its weird so bare with me!