Born to the Tlingit T’akDeinTaan Raven Clan from Glacier Bay, Alaska, I cannot help be the scavenger, a natural-born trait of ravens. Last year, Raven weavers Ricky Tagaban and my daughter Lily Hope collected .22 bullet shells from the Juneau rifle range as trim for the warp of their weavings; I had had the same idea when I saw bullet shells at a friend’s house. So what was the first thing I did when I returned to Juneau!?
While talking with the owner of the Haa Shagoon Gallery in downtown Juneau, in the middle of the conversation I suddenly turned around. I wasn’t even sure what I was looking for; just pure instinct led my eyes to this sculpture that totally caught my fancy. Why? I’m not sure, but as soon as I saw this figure I felt so compelled that it had to go home with a local, not a tourist, that I immediately called Amos’ grand-daughter and my friend, Donna Beaver Pizzarelli. With no answer and worried that a tourist would buy the sculpture, I snatched up this 8″ tall mold of a carving by Amos Wallace made in 1964 and I have it placed in a prestigious location: next to my weaving loom. This figure watches over me as I work. It’s great to have the company!
This small sculpture is a cast made of a plaster-like compound that gives it the appearance of wood or a stone called argillite. Manufactured by a company called Griffin’s Alaska based in Edmonds, Washington State between the years of 1964-67, they had a complete line of bowls and totems which are frequently mistaken for stone. Even the weight of this little guy feels like stone.
Amos Wallace was one of less than a handful of local Tlingit carvers here in Juneau, Alaska in the 1940’s until a few years before his passing in 2004. I grew up in the Russian Orthodox Church where he and his wife, Dorothy Wallace sang in the choir. It wasn’t until recently I discovered from his son Brian that Amos was of the Raven Moiety, T’akdeintaan Clan of Hoonah, which is also my clan! A gentle, soft-spoken man, his name was Jeet Yaaw Dustaa. Born in 1920, his older brother Lincoln Wallace, was also a carver.
Read the Juneau Empire article about Sealaska Heritage Institute receiving a collection of Amos’ drawings for their archives donated by Amos’ son, Brian Wallace at: http://juneauempire.com/art/2012-07-12/amos-wallace-collection-donated-walter-soboleff-center
Fellow student, Jane Lindsey came across a pile of eagle feathers neatly placed on the beach; she handed them off to me. Just the day before I had said to myself that I needed to go out looking for eagle feathers since I had given them away over the years. I didn’t want them to blow away so I stuck them into the soil in line with the four directions. Now some folks will say that is a spiritual act, and maybe it was, though I was being practical; the eagle feathers did come to me by “accident”…though my intentions to use them this way were no accident…!
Dominik reminds us to pay attention to the environmental factors when we are painting on site. Pay attention to the amount of wind, the sun and of course the rain. If sand blows into our painting, just wait until the painting is dry, then brush off gently.
Dominik usually gives a light wash of warm yellow background which he says provides a nice luminosity. When drafting a composition, Dominik does not use a pencil, rather he mixes a little red, blue and yellow to make a warm brown and “sketches” lightly with his brush. He uses a large brush and builds textures; this helps define space and is easy to mix paints. He says that he “shoves paint around” on the canvas board. Most of the time he starts from light to dark whether he works in oil or acrylic, though he is known for his oil paintings. He works in big strokes of paint first, then smaller strokes.
No, he never uses an umbrella.
He does not use sable brushes; he uses bristle brushes. Dominik suggests using Holbein acrylics, oils and brushes; excellent pigments that are made in Japan though very expensive. Holbein water-soluable oil paints are called “aqua-duo” vs. Royal Talons Cobra. The Canadian brand “Stevenson’s” is also very good; they are out of Toronto. He likes to order his supplies from Daniel Smith – he gets 15% off their prices and they are really good with prompt shipping.
Click here and read Part 1 and Part 2 of Dominik’s Plein Rein Painting Class in Juneau
I am always fascinated by an artist’s equipment, in no matter what the medium the artist works. Every one of us in this painting class had a different method to their madness. Before Dominik’s class officially began, I ran around looking at the different types of palette boxes the various students had; there were two that were quite innovative.
Retired school principal and one of the lead organizers for the Juneau Plein Rein group, Cristine Crooks sent out an email announcement that world-traveler plein air painter, Dominik Modlinski was coming to Juneau to teach a 3-day class in mid-July. Intrigued, I checked out his website and very much liked his painting style. I weighed how much work I already had on my plate with the cost of the class and I decided that no matter what, I had this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I jumped in! Wow! I learned more in three days with this young man than I did in an entire year of painting class at a college!
Born and raised in Warsaw, Poland in 1970, Dominik started painting at 6 years old. He said he always knew he wanted to be a painter. In Poland’s education system, whatever a child shows is his strongest interest, that is the avenue in which his parents and teachers guide him. Dominik has painted in the wilderness of South America, Africa, Japan, Quebec, British Columbia, Alaska and Yukon. He lives in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island and during the summers he spends his time in Yukon with a cabin in Atlin. Check out Dominik’s website at: http://www.paintingjourneys.com/
Day One: We worked indoors at the Juneau Arts & Cultural Center (JACC) learning how to mix our paints and make color charts. Fascinating! I have made color charts in high school and again in college courses and I found them totally boring, however, I have NEVER learned how to mix the colors to make these charts the way Dominik taught us; we mixed all day without a drop of boredom!
We learned Complementary Contrast #1:
Two colors are complementary if their pigments mixed together produce a neutral gray-black. Physically, light of two complementary colors, mixed together, will yield white. Two such colors are a strange pair. They are opposite, they require each other. They incite each other to maximum vividness when adjacent; and they annihilate each other, to gray-black, when mixed – like fire and water. There is always but one color complementary to a given color. In the color circle, complementary colors are diametrically opposite each other.
Examples of complementary pairs are: yellow-violet, blue-orange, red-green
In analyzing these pairs of complimentaries, all three primaries – yellow, red, blue – are always present:
yellow – violet = yellow, red + blue
blue – orange = blue, yellow + red
red – green = red, yellow + blue
Complimentary Contrast #2:
Each complimentary pair has its own peculiarities:
Yellow – Violet, represents not only complimentary contrast but also extreme dark-light contrast.
Red – Orange – Blue-green is a complementary pair, and at the same time the extreme of cold-warm contrast.
Red – Green are complimentary, and the two saturated colours have the same brilliance.
Many paintings based on complimentary contrast exhibit not only contrasting complementaries themselves but also their graduated mixtures as intermediates and compensating tones. Being related to the pure colours they unite the two into one family. In fact, these mixed tones often occupy more space the pure colours.
Simultaneous Contrast #1:
Simultaneous contrast results from teh fact that for any given color, the eye simultaneously requires the complementary color, and generatesit spontaneously if it is not already present.
The simultaneously generated complementary occurs as a sensation int eh eye of beholder, and it is not objectively present.
the simultaneously appearing colour, not being objectively present but genereated in the eye, induces feeling of excitement and lively vibration of ever-changing intensity.
Each of six pure color squares contains a small neutral gray square, matching the background color in brilliance. Each gray square seems to be tinged with the complementary of the background. The simultaneous effect becomes more intense, the longer the principal color of a square is viewed.
Three small gray squares, surrounded by orange:
Three grays barely distinct from each other have been used. The first gray is bluish, and intensifies the simultaneous effect; the second gray is neutral, and suffers simultaneous modification; the third gray contains an admixture of orange, and therefore fails to be modified.
Simultaneous Contrast #2:
The simultaneous effect occurs not only between a gray and a strong chormatic colour, but also between any two colours that are not precisely complementary. Each of teh two will tend to shift the other towards its own complement, and generally both will loose some of their intrinsic character and become tinged with new effects.
Under these conditions, colours give an appearance of dynamic activity.
Click here for Part 2, 2nd Day of Plein Rein Painting Class with Dominic Modlinski
Here’s an easy front clasp for button robes. Fetch one from JoAnn’s for about $5 (depending on size). One was enough for this robe however, if you have only smaller size, then think about using 2 or 3 “frog” closures for the robe.
“Hunting in Wartime” was shown at the Gold Town Nickelodean Theatre in Juneau last weekend. The documentary profiles the extraordinary stories of Tlingit Vietnam War veterans from Hoonah, Alaska. The film traces the tension of the soldiers’ tremendous pride in service, the racism that affects their livelihoods, and the challenges they faced (and continue to face) in the military and back at home.
Hoonah, Alaska is where my mother grew up; it is the home of our clan the Black-legged Kittywake “T’akDeinTaan Clan.
My brother, the late Robert “Bunny” Lampe served during the Vietnam era though he was stationed in Germany and did not go to the front lines as our cousins in this film. The men in this film are all guys Bunny grew up with since his teenage years. I remember Bunny saying that when these men returned from Vietnam they were not the same; in fact they seemed “scary.” Though I did not know this men, I recognize every one of them by either their names or their faces.
The film was very moving from start to finish.
Movie Trailer: http://hoonahsheroes.com
who sponsors the weekly TV series called “Colores” at PBS New Mexico.
When show organizer John Morris contacted me about being a part of the Antique Native American Art Show in Santa Fe, New Mexico opening August 17th, I did not know it would involve doing my first public television interview airing on Saturday, August 8th in Albuquerque, NM. Modern technology made it so that the interviewer, who was in the television station in Albquerque, could interview me while I sat in the KTOO television sound room. Technology sent the visual interview via internet along with me providing about 100 images of my work to the TV company who sponsors the weekly TV series called “Colores” at PBS New Mexico in Albuquerque.
The interview will broadcast on the following dates:
The episode with my segment will broadcast on Saturday, August, 8th at 4:00pm on Channel 5.l PBS New Mexico who sponsors the weekly TV series called “Colores”.
It will also repeat as follows:
Monday, August 10th at 9:30pm on Channel 9.1.
Friday, August 14th at 10:30pm on Channel 5.1.
Just a reminder that this is a segment not the entire show. The way Colores! works is that each show is made up of approximately 3 segments. Clarissa’s segment is about 5 minutes. They will mention the Santa Fe Antique Native American art show during the program.
Thank you Tara Walsh and Joan Rebecchi at PBS New Mexico and the folks at Juneau’s KTOO for getting this interview together.
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