Gates of the Valley
Oil on canvas
71 x 44 in
Collection of the University of Alaska Museum, Fairbanks
Done entirely on location during a trip with two other artists, Bob Head of Murray, Kentucky and darleen masiak of Fairbanks, Alaska. Three climber/hiker friends, Coert Olmsted, Robert Eichstaedt, and Ronnie Weinstein joined us for most of the trip. As Ronnie stood watching me paint, he lifted his harmonica to the wind. The wind and Ronnie played the blues just at the soft edge of perception. I don't know how long he played, or even how long he stood there before I finally noticed him. The magic of painting, drawing and hearing the wind turn into song out there in a vast space is one of my fondest memories.