This is part two of my Alaska trip illustrations – planned to be surreal images. I think, maybe, this drawing has something to do with a dream image of the whale as a “beast of burden” for the fishing industry. And it might have something to do with the way I felt visiting Anchorage. I didn’t find Anchorage to be a beautiful city to visit. The visitors bureau tries to make it a pleasant tourist site, but maybe that’s the problem; it’s too touristy. And I was overwhelmed with the large number of homeless natives that, I guess, you’re suppose to ignore while visiting the local attractions. I used public transportation to get around, and every bus stop had native peoples asking for bus money and cigerettes. There were natives loitering on every street corner, and in the parks – young kids in the parks. I wanted to beg them to go back to their old ways, their natural lives as depicted in Claire Fejes books and art on the Noatak and Athabaskan tribes: life was tough, but not poor, not poor in community. (Fejes was a Fairbanks resident and founder of The Alaska House Art Gallery that is, now, run by her daughter.) Maybe Anchorage is doing their best for the native residents, people who seemed caught between two worlds, I don’t know.
On a more positive note: the Anchorage historic district boasts many good restaurants. I tried Fat Ptarmigan which later prompted a poem. And the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail Knowles Coastal Trail is awesome: I biked twenty two miles just to spot a moose. LOL
Below is the photo, taken in Anchorage, that inspired my drawing: a whale mural close to downtown; the historic district.
And here’s the moose :