Thursday, November 17, 2011

Kindness and Inspiration

"One kind word can warm three months of winter" ~ Japanese Proverb 

Share your kind words this holiday season with my Alaska inspired holiday cards.
     
 Dashing Through the Snow

These high quality 5x7 cards were Made in Alaska (permit #6528) and are available for purchase at various Alaskan retailers as well as online. A portion of the profits from these card sales will be donated to the Fairbanks North Star Borough Animal Shelter.

Have a warm and peaceful holiday season and thank you for your support. ~ Sue Dranchak













Saturday, July 16, 2011

Returning to Matanuska Glacier, Alaska

  I had such a great experience climbing and studying the Matanuska Glacier last fall that I knew I would have to give it another go. With some planning and good timing I was able to get my husband Andy, out on the ice with me this time. It was Andy's first experience with ice climbing and this day was part of a belated birthday present from me to him. He took right to it and after watching him out there for an afternoon I think he is a natural. The day started out cold and rainy but actually turned out to be a great day for climbing and before we knew it the sun was out and we were shedding layers.
The Matanuska has changed a bit since I was on it last, about 10 months ago. This is also a different time of year and the light was different. I recognized some of the area around the massive crevasse that I had climbed out of in September and it certainly has changed as the glacier is moving and changing constantly. Once again I found inspiration in the giant mass of icey blue and took many pictures to use later for visual reference in my studio.

Between climbs Andy and I pause for a quick pose. It's good to be able to share these places and experiences with a willing partner.

Andy ascends a wall of ice. On belay is one our guides Jamal who spent the afternoon with us.

No hands!

After a successful ascent Andy turns his ice axes into a safe handling position before repelling back down the ice wall. Looking good Birthday Boy!

It's my turn. Actually this is about my fifth or sixth turn that afternoon and I'm starting to feel a little fatigued but not enough to back down. Andy did this same climb right before me and is down below offering advice and words of encouragement..

Raising my ice axe in victory, "I made it!" It's my final climb of the afternoon and I'm tired. It was a great day but I'm ready for it to be over. At this point about all I can think about is a cheeseburger with some warm greasy french fries. I have plans to take Andy to the nearby Long Rifle Lodge for a birthday dinner tonight.

It's been a good day and after dinner we are headed off to the little port town of Whittier for five days of sea kayaking and exploring in Blackstone Bay...stay tuned. 


Friday, April 29, 2011

September Sunrise~ my first ever painting of Denali

September Sunrise 2011
12"x16" acrylic on wood panel

There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope. ~ Bern Williams

   "I witnessed this sunrise on Denali while travelling southbound on the Parks Highway in Alaska last September. I was on my way to the Matanuska Glacier and with a long drive ahead of me I was on the road quite early in the day. It was a calm and cloudless morning and as I approached Broad Pass just south of Cantwell I wondered if I would catch a glimpses of Denali as I passed through. I had been driving through dusk but as I had my first opportunity to see the mountain the first sun rays were spreading across the tundra and illuminating the mountain.
   This is my first ever attempt at painting Denali and I'm fairly happy with composition." ~Sue Dranchak

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

From the Banks of the Chena River


"Preening Pair of Mallards" 2011
12"x16" acrylic on wood panel
$950

For more information about this painting or to purchase