Something Beautiful is a self-imposed initiative to find a visual feast for each day of a year.
Day 11: The Alaskan Adventure.
Freedom. A day not owned by work. Not encumbered by others. A day with a car — alone. I began the day with good intentions. 6am alarm. I planned to get all gift shopping completed, have the rental car in tow by 8am, and head out for a day of glorious weather and watercolor painting.
OK. A full sky of clouds at 6:30am when dear Rosemary called from the east coast to see if I was back in the lower 48. No. I am not. I finish the mandatory shopping and collect the car by 10am. Judy’s Cafe on Maloney Road stands between me and inspiration—and so I stop for a comfort breakfast. At 11am a call from work. A crisis. Just breathe. An hour later the crisis is resolved and I have found my way back to Old Seward Highway and the mountain road.
Potter Marsh is a familiar landmark. I am only minutes from spectacular scenery—clouds or not. The weather changes fast and mountains have their own climate. So I am optimistic about the benefits of fast changing weather. Unencumbered, I am driving free in the last frontier. I stop at the first road side pull off because the view is breathtaking. The skies are cloudy but still beyond belief. The temperature 70 with no humidity. Beyond the guard rail is a railroad track and then a strip of land that positions me perfectly for a long view toward Beluga Point. I pull out my paints, paper, iphone for music, and suitcase for a seat and head down. Bliss. I begin to experience bliss. The colors are intense. The sky clouds challenging and I am in the midst of magnificent mountains and vast waters. The train approaches and blows its whistle. The engineer most undoubtedly questioning my sanity in impolite terms.
Of all impossible weird things, I choose to listen to John Rutter’s Cambridge Singers Christmas Carols—and they are sublime. In 45 minutes, I have my first painting and I am happy, satisfied, open and wired in to my creative self.
Exhilerated I head down the highway. The small outcroppings from the first painting become large islands in the foreground of Beluga Point. I find a broken guard rail post and settle in. The clouds are spectacular and the skies are clearing in spots. People stop to observe and chat. The sun is warm. The breeze is cool. And I am blending into the environment. A peak experience. I want to paint here forever. If the painter is ready, will the patron appear? Bella. Bella. Bella.