Monday, July 02, 2012

My Latest Plenn Air @ Eklutna Cemetery, Alaska

Eklutna Alaska Spirit Houses
Encaustic Beeswax

It goes without saying, I love cemetery’s on the way to Anchorage there is a charming little graveyard in Eklutna Alaska.. I wanted to paint the spirit houses there.
Once before when I tried to paint there but the Monk drove me off because I refused to pay the $5.00 admission fee on principal, this time I paid! Went inside, found a spot between two dilapidated spirit houses and set up my paint box. But the spirits had other ideas! In spite of having DEET and wearing clothes that covered my entire body the mosquitoes swarmed me and bit the hell out of me. Why those little vampires love me so much is a mystery, or I am just that sweet?  I decided to be brave and and stay but the swarm was intolerable! I continued to douse myself with bug dope and paint. Then the ultimate insult came there was a down pour and I had to quickly pack up and run for cover.  

Here are some factoids:

 This village has been inhabited for over 800 years. In the 1840s Russian Orthodox missionaries arrived and blended their beliefs with the Athabaskan traditions. Resulting in this unique cemetery. More than 100 brightly colored "spirit houses" are on the burial ground, a custom that combines Athabaskan and Russian Orthodox practices.

The Spirit Houses are lovingly built for our departed then simply left to the elements year after year, to fall down and dissinergrate symbolizing "From dust we came and to dust we shall return."

My mom used to say about the dust bunnies under her bed that she was growin a man!