Ripe Strawberry, 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 watercolor, ©2011 Helen Klebesadel

Welcome to day fourteen in the 33 Paintings in 33 Days Project of Alaskan artist  Nikki Kinne and Wisconsin artist Helen Klebesadel.

A very full day was planned so I focused for day fourteen on a close up portrait of a ripe strawberry on an artist trading card sized paper.  Of course I also happily ate my model before I headed off for the day.

Taking the time to focus in on a subject with careful observation before charging off for a full day changes the quality of the day.  I consider it ‘putting my artist eyes on.’  It changes how I see things all day long and makes me eager to get to the studio in the evening.

By the way, an artist trading card (or ATC) is a collaborative experience of sorts too.  I was introduced to them on my first trip to Alaska by the artist community in Fairbanks.  ATCs are miniature works of art, 2 ½ X 3 ½ inches in any material.  They should be originals, or small editions created with the intention of trading them with other people for their original artworks the same size.  ATCs are traded like baseball cards, one art work for one art work.  I love including the making of artist trading cards in my art workshops as an extra exercise, if there is enough time, so I can trade with my students, and they can trade with each other too.  I have quite a collection now.

“Yukon Island” – 11” by 7”, watercolor, ©2011 Nikki Kinne

Nikki painted this classic plein air painting of Yukon Island on a beautiful sunny day during her travels to Homer.  Yukon Island is in the Kachemak Bay on the tip of the Alaskan Kenai Peninsula.  It is seven miles across the water from Homer. 

The Island is a significant archaeological site with dense woods, heavy vegetation, tidal zones, abundant sea life and wildlife such as salmon, otters and bald eagles.  For more than three thousand years, the island has been inhabited.  Residents have included two periods of Eskimo people, a period of Dena’ina Indians, Russian influence, fox farmers in the early 1900s, and the Abbott family in the 1950s.  It is now a national historical landmark owned by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife service.  Nikki captures its allure.

We are enjoying this experience of creative exchange.  Thank you for joining us on the journey!

I am now making my daily works for this project available for sale online in my Meylah shop here:​besadel  I post them each day after they are posted in the blog.