Light on Plant, 2 1/2 x 3 1/2, watercolor, ©2011 Nikki Kinne

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

Nikki and I took different approaches today.  Her wonderful little abstract is really a representation of her impression 0f the way light fell on a colorful plant.  This artist trading card sized work of watercolor and ink captures an impression of growth and expansion.

Its perfectly understandable that Nikki would do a few smaller paintings this week.  She is completely immersed in a fabulous international extravaganza of the arts that takes place in Fairbanks each summer.  The Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival is something you should put on your agenda to experience if the combined thought of the arts in Alaska in the summer is something that appeals to you.   Nikki both takes classes and teaches them in rotation, and thanks to her I have been invited to teach there a few times too.

Top of the line musicians and artists from all over the world offer 2-weeks of study-performance opportunities in all art forms. The artists encourage both personal growth and arts appreciation regardless of your level of accomplishment. On the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus under the Midnight Sun approximately 1,000 adults register and participate with nearly 100 guest artists in 125 workshops in music, visual arts, literary arts, dance and healing arts with 45 performances. Its an extraordinary experience for those who journey their the end of July.   I have very fond memories of my two times there, and I can attest to the fact that there are incredibly talented artists in Alaska. Nikki’s husband Ken often joins with other vocal musicians to create music that sounds like angels singing.

Giacomo Gates, From Student to Star, 6 x 4, gaphite drawing, ©2011 Nikki Kinne

Nikki sketched this lovely little drawing at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival ‘Lunch Bites.’  (During the week the public is invited in to bring their lunch and listen to faculty and student musicians share their art during lunch-time performances in the lobby of the preforming art center.)   She drew Giacomo Gates, who a few years ago (as a middle aged Alaskan), was encouraged to attend the FSAF because of his love and interest in singing.  That accidental opportunity was the starting point for his successful career as a performer with a recent release of a CD, Centerpiece, produced by Origin Records.  Nikki plans to buy one of the CDs because her love for  his deep jazz voice.   I thought you might like to check it out too.  Go here for sound clips.

Nikki says, “Quick sketches are foreign territory for me.  But, this 33 in 33 is giving me courage to try lots of new things, and know that it is ok to not be good at it.  In fact, it is very silly for us to think just because we are somewhat successful in one artistic style we should be good at every artistic expression we try.  Like a baby learning to walk, we make gross expressions. ”

I’m so pleased to be doing this project with such an adventurous spirit!

Crow with Red String, 6x9, watercolor, ©2011 Helen Klebesadel

I found myself painting an imaginary  trickster crow carrying off a fancy, in this case a red string.  While its made up it bears a remarkable resemblance to crows in my neighborhood.   It has nowhere near the majestic power of Nikki’s earlier raven painting, but it does capture the sense of play our Wisconsin crows can embody.  I think crows are wonderful creatures.  They clean up after us, and they know how to play. They can survive everywhere.  If our crows can’t figure out how to survive, none of us will.  Yet they are often attracted to bright or shiny things that they will steal for their nests.  I love black birds.

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.

Thank you for joining us on our shared journey of discovery!