Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sitka sketches

Sitka, Alaska is a beautiful little town. We are tied up at the dock and daily walk (uphill) into town to look at all it has to offer. The Indian River is chock full of salmon now. The cruise ships have tied up near downtown (I always hate that part) and the streets are jammed with tourists. Better are the days when no cruise ships crowd the harbor and we can wander at our own pace.

St Michael's Cathedral sits at the heart of downtown and reminds everyone of the Russian influence here. Gift shops are filled with stacking dolls, Russian pottery, and furs. On one of my walks, I watched four 20-something year old guys playing basketball. They were razzing one another IN RUSSIAN! Sadly, the original cathedral (Russian Orthodox church) was burned in the 1960s and rebuilt. The copper spires are still nicely aged and green.

As I put this post together, I can look out the window of the boat and see bald eagles swooping down to catch fish in the harbor. Just the other day, I was talking to a friend on the phone when a mother and baby orca swam within 100 feet of me! This photo of a page of my sketchbook is typical of what I do when I am busy out and about while we are tied to a dock. Quick sketches and then running to catch up with my husband. Color comes later.

Finally, a quote from Ezra Pound, "The artist is the antennae of the race." Do you agree? Disagree?

We'll be leaving Sitka tomorrow and starting our journey back South, toward home. About 1000 miles of Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington before I rest my head on my pillow at home. More art ahead. And flat water, I hope!


Celeste Bergin said...

beautiful sketches, Kvan. It certainly will be fun to look at those sketches and re-live your journey with you.
That quote from Ezra Pound reminds me of something I heard once...that the "health" of a community can be measured by looking at their art. When the arts thrive, it means that people are living to their potential and when the arts are neglected it is an indication that there is sub-par "health" in the community. Artists remind everyone of the "prevailing conditions."

Pam Holnback said...

Love these Sitka sketches. we did not get up there, but were told it was the most beautiful town in Alaska! Maybe next trip. The crowds and cruise ships sound like what we saw in Ketchican.

Unknown said...

These funky bulbous roof tops were the first thing I picked out from your Sitka pictures. They have very much a Moscow look so could you look West and wave to the Russians? Ha.

Love all your sketches Katherine; I'll fight to get to look at your sketch books first when you return.