Saturday, February 1, 2014

Arctic Visions

Beautiful- Isn't it?

       That's just a local side road, in the afternoon sun, a couple years ago. The birch trees almost look candy coated with the frosted snow. This is a good visual answer to the (classic tourist) often asked 'how can you live up here in the winter?' Yes, we usually get cold, and ice, and snow... but we don't let that stop us, and in fact, we thrive in it.

      The National News this week has been talking about 'the horrible winter' and how the nation is 'frozen' by bad roads and icy weather.... and I have a hard time keeping a straight face watching it. Basically, the view from up here is the biggest problem with your (down there) deadlocked roads, is nobody seems to know how to drive... at least not on snow and ice. I spent 13 years as a School Bus driver up here- and looking at what you're trying to drive in, seems like just another winter school-day. (But then we also have outdoor recess to -20F.)  Now I'm not saying the ice storms causing power outages wouldn't create a problem... or couldn't get deadly when combined with extreme low temps. (Of course I think out ideas of extreme lows are a bit different from yours too.) But basic transportation, and distribution of emergency supplies shouldn't even be an issue.
   Then there's the other issue... the last couple of years, here in Fairbanks, AK, we've had relatively mild winters. So while colder than normal temps have hit the lower 48, we've been enjoying warm fronts keeping us near or in the positive side of the Fahrenheit Temps. Yes, we had a week of -40F last month, and a few days here and there, but nowhere near like my first winter here (3 moths of -40F or colder, with the low for that time being -67F.) Or even the 'normal' of temps bouncing between 0F and -50F with the 'standard' being -20F. I other words-  if it's above -20F we consider it 'warm', and below we consider it 'cold' during a 'normal' winter.

    But I've gotten sidetracked... I was going to talk about my studio's name--- Arctic Visions Studio. I have my wonderful wife to thank for it's name. I was originally going to base my studio name (and Business License) on my Art Style, say 'Nostalgia on Paper' or 'Acrylics by Shane', or (well there were hundreds of ideas- I know I filled at least one sketchbook with just names and logo ideas.). Looking through them, my wife had the brilliant observations, 'If it's a license for the artwork, why name it for only one of the styles you are making?' and 'What if you find a totally different art you like, will you need a new license?'
   At the time, I was producing Paintings and Linocut Prints, so a more generic name seemed appropriate- but I was undecided. Then out of the blue came a show opportunity, for something I hadn't thought of- I was making chainmail jewelry (bracelets and necklaces mainly) out of recycled wire as an 'on the go' craft rather than my studio work. Thus My wife and I kicked around non-limiting, but very local feeling names, and I stuck with Arctic Visions- mainly because it could be interpreted as 'anything I envision', or 'my vision based on what is up here'- or 'being up here has altered my vision.' All of which I like, especially the fact that it could be interpreted multiple ways. There's a local bumper sticker I like along the same vein- "Fairbanks- we're all here because we're not all there!"  Both meanings (we got away from 'there' or we're not all 'there' mentally) work well.
    So my License was bought, and the name has continued to fit no matter which way I stretch over the years- even now dabbling in fiber arts and woodworking now, as witnessed by my Etsy (also Arctic Visions)

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