I never thought that, for me, it could start with a face.
That face comes from where the mountains meet the sea. Tidal pools are filled with the purple, green and orange creatures softly muted by pale winter light and cold water. The fog weighs heavily among the trees. The old man might be a spirit or an ancestor…
The face is drawn from an 120 year old historical photograph of a Tlingit indian man, photographed by Winter & Pond in Juneau, Alaska (now in the public domain). The old black and white photo had no distinguishable background and wrapped in a dark blanket, he seemed to carry so much history in each line on that face.
Tlingit means ‘people of the tides’. That inspired me to paint him in a foggy mountain forest background, with starfish and anemones that fill tidal pools of the Northwest coastal region. And the name of his people inspired the title.
He moved me. He told me a story I felt compelled to share. What does he tell you?