Fossil Beach


8×10 oil on canvas panel, Fossil Beach, Kodiak AK

This painting was a real beast to paint! It seems like most of my paintings are, so I wont get into it. It has been in the works since February. I’ve started and finished several paintings in between because this one refused to come together until this last week. Paintings like this are the reason why I work on several paintings at once. If I have a lot trouble with one I can set it aside for later. I don’t get as discouraged this way.

I really love how the cliff transitions from a warm grey to yellow to a burnt orange. The cliffs aren’t quite this colorful in real life, but that’s the magic of artistic license. The day I took the picture was overcast and grey and the grey permeated everything. I couldn’t let this gorgeous view be the victim of grey.

I’ve been playing with making time-lapse videos lately to capture the progress of my paintings. This time-lapse is better toward the end because I hadn’t considered a video until about a week ago and started taking more pictures while painting. My camera now spends a considerable amount of time in a plastic bag so I don’t destroy it with paint. If I continue I’m going to have to invest in a better tripod and an intervalometer to streamline the process.

A Word or Two About the Photo & Location:

Looking back at Fossil Beach, Kodiak, AK

This is really one of my favorite places in Kodiak, AK. For a place that’s already in the middle of nowhere, this place is even more remote. It’s called Fossil Beach and it’s the end of the road. It’s as far as you can drive on the island and worth the drive in my opinion. You have to pass the Kodiak Launch Complex where satellites are launched into polar orbit. The area is occasionally closed (for good reason) so you need to be aware of signs posted but it wasn’t ever closed on days I was there. I didn’t know what the name of this beach was until after I left. I probably would’ve looked closer at the cliffs for the fossils exposed there if I had known about them. We always called it Twin Lake Beach because of the twin lakes right next to the beach.

Looking at the Kodiak Launch Complex from Fossil Beach

At the right time of year, there’s excellent whale watching. If you’re motivated, there are concrete bunker ruins from World War II up the hill and even more commanding views of the area. There are remnants from WWII all over this island if you take the time to find them. Coming across them unexpectedly while hiking is always a treat.

WWII Bunker on Kodiak Island, Alaska

Read more about this painting:

Part 1 – May Update

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