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Tom and Irene were married on May 26th, 1994. They went to Alaska on their honeymoon. Tom thought that since it was Alaska he would paint large paintings, so he finagled a way to transport canvas and stretchers unassembled to Seattle, their starting point. Once there he assembled 5 30" x 40" canvases and screwed them together with plates so that their surfaces did not touch. He could then carry 5 wet paintings in relative protection. That with his 90lb pack made for easy transport to and from ferries, in and out of hotels. At the end of their trip the paintings had sufficiently dried to be able to disassemble them, roll them up and fly back to Cincinnati. This series of works illustrates the chiaroscuros approach Tom was using then. His method was to paint a scene with strong lights and darks using the contrast as a abstract form in the paintings. In "Ketchikan, Alaska" you can clearly see the strong light cut through the paining.

Mount Denali, Alaska
June 20 1994, Oil on canvas, 40" x 30"
Painted in Denali State Park after climbing up a 2000 foot mountain. You can see the only road that goes into the park below. Tom hiked up from the parking lot where private cars had to stop and after stopping every now and then looking for a good view stopped at the level you can see across the valley. In 45 mile, an hour winds where the bugs slapped his face and took refuge on the lee side of his face and as he continually slapped his face with a cloth hat and while continually holding onto his easel he painted this canvas. His lunch laying around and the ground squirrels running about discussing his work it was only after Tom was safe back at the hotel that he realized that a bear could have followed his scent and showed up to have a bite and a look see. His wife took the school bus into the park seeing moose, bear and rams. The bus drivers had signals so they could lewt the incoming drivers know what they saw. A claw hand for a bear, a fist for a ram, a spladed hand for a moose.

Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska
June 18 1994, Oil on canvas, 40" x 30"
Outside of Ketchikan is the edge of the Saint Alegis Ice Flow. The size of Rhode Island the glacier leads to the vast ice field in the middle of the mountain range. A tranquil shelter belonging to the National Park Service offers this view of the glacier. Tom took the bus from town and hiked a mile up the road to spend the day painting. Helicopters and tourist passed by taking in the scene on one of the four rainless days in Juno.

Ketchikan, Alaska
June 16 1994, Oil on canvas, 40" x 30"
Painted from life while on his honeymoon. Tom brought five large canvases with him making his total pack 90 pounds. Everyday there was a window to paint Tom would set out to spend the day painting. This view was the finest in Alaska. The day was also special for it was one of the rare clear rainless days in a town where it rained 360 days a year. In this painting, Tom was experimenting with a novel compositional method of having a sunlight streak run diagonally through the canvas.

Inside Passage II
June 14 1994, Oil on canvas, 40" x 30"
Painted off the fantail of the ferry. Tom was using a novel approach to composition. The painting was done as an experiment in placing various local items on top of a landscape.  Looking closely you can see a sea plane in the water to the right, fins of the Orcas in the water on the left, salmon jumping on the hill sides on the right, a mountain man in the clouds on the right and a breaching hump back whale in the clouds on the left.

Inside Passage I
June 13 1994, Oil on canvas, 40" x 30"

After a initial study of the travel pamphlets on the first ferry out of Bellingham, Tom decided he would paint the ultimate memory of an Alaskan trip: The breaching of a Humpback Whale as you kayaked.



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