Monthly Archives: May 2015

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #22, May 28, 2015

I awoke this morning in McCarthy to find that not only did I have no Internet service, but I had no phone service at all. I experienced a small wave of panic when I realized that I may not be able to post this week’s Thirsty Thursday painting. Last year when I was posting a new painting every day, I lived in constant fear that one day I wouldn’t be able to get online. Luckily, everything is back up and running now. Phew! Let Thirsty Thursday commence! I have been in McCarthy for over two weeks and need to get back to my Anchorage studio. The cabin building project is a good way to completely forget about regular work as it is such a large undertaking. I kind of miss being forced to paint daily during the Year of Beer project. Although I didn’t get as much house building done then. Roofing commences in July when I return to McCarthy from Anchorage, hopefully towing a trailer with all my roofing materials.

Let’s get back on track. This week’s Thirsty Thursday painting was inspired by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), a superhero of modern painters, who lived a full lifetime until the age of 91. I chose to emulate his painting of the Three Musicians, because it represents Picasso’s mature style, painted in 1921, when he was 40 years of age. This is when he was dramatically changing his style yet again, as he went through many phases during his career. Picasso was gifted, a virtuoso of the art world. He was able to render very detailed drawings when he was barely able to stand on two feet. He was an instant success during his Blue Period, and was constantly reinventing his own style. He assimilated African art into the European Fine Art world, co-inventing Cubism with Georges Braque. The man is considered to be one of the top three modern artists of the western world. In his Three Musicians piece he utilized a technique that is a highly developed version of cubism decidedly Picassoesque, as he had been playing with cubism for over a decade by the time this piece was painted. I wanted to tell a little bit of a story with this one. I imagined how the musicians must have ended their evening with some much-needed libations; hence they are enjoying three pints. So I have entitled this piece the “Three Musicians After Hours.” It was a hoot to make, although as easy as Picasso makes these paintings look, I found it very challenging to adapt his style to fit my own beer concepts.

The original oil painting sold.  You can purchase limited-edition prints, or order a custom painting at my Etsy shop.

picasso beer painting by scott clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #22 by Scott Clendaniel. May 28, 2015. The Three Musicians After Hours. 11″x14″, oil on panel.


Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #21, May 21, 2015

René Magritte (1898-1967) is a well-known Surrealist painter known for his pieces that made people think. This piece is modeled after a painting entitled, “The Treachery of Images” (1928-29), consisting of a pipe with perfect cursive writing beneath it that says, “Leci n’est pas une pipe,” which in French means, “This is not a pipe”. Magritte is referring to the fact that it is an image of a pipe, not an actual pipe itself. Because he was a very exacting painter, this made sense. I didn’t even attempt to make the painting seem as lifelike as Magritte would have, but I had other motives. I was visiting Brandon Yanoshek, checking the inventory of his late father’s brew equipment, and looking into what was needed to get Brandon up and running. Brandon is an avid pipe smoker and loves to show off his pipe collection. He received a new pipe in the mail that day, a real beauty. Too bad I gave up tobacco a while ago. I still enjoy the smell of pipe tobacco. Later at home I was watching his YouTube video on how to load a pipe and this Magritte painting came to mind.   This painting has another meaning, referring to the fact that most “pint” glasses we use today are actually 13 ounces to the brim, a full 3 ounces short of a full pint, hence “This is not a pint.” If you want to see Brandon’s images of his pipes, follow him on Instagram at @thearcticpipe, and his YouTube channel if you need advice on how to fill your new corncob beauty. Cheers to beer! Check back next week for another Thirsty Thursday beer-themed painting.

The original oil painting sold.  You can purchase limited-edition prints, or order a custom painting at my Etsy shop.

Beer pint poster print painting by scott clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #21 by Scott Clendaniel. May 21, 2015. Leci n’est pas une Pint. 11″x14″, oil on panel.

McCarthy Summer Camp 2015!

Summer camp 2015 is in full swing! Summers in McCarthy, Alaska feel like summer camp because most people leave for the winter, and in May we all meet again, excited about another amazing Alaskan summer in the Wrangells. The same people return every year, and there is always some new blood – summer workers from all over the globe. Scott and I shut down the studio in Anchorage for two weeks, and arrived to McCarthy on May 13th. This year summer came about two weeks early. The trees already have leaves, the ground is free of snow and dry, and the weather is incredible. There’s no rain in the near forecast, and the hot sun beats down on us all day long. I haven’t seen complete darkness in days.

We’re going back to Anchorage on May 29th to get ready for Scott’s upcoming solo art show at Midnight Sun Brewing Company in June. The next trip to McCarthy won’t be until after 4th of July. June is one of our least favorite times to be here, because the mosquitoes are horrendous, making life extremely frustrating. Plus we like to spend time with our Anchorage friends and family camping, fishing, etc.

Our list of tasks for this trip is short, but each item requires a lot of time and work. While people in Anchorage are going on bike rides, to barbeques and Farmer’s Markets, we’re working on improving our property during the day, and visiting with folks in the evenings at their cabins, or at the Golden Saloon.

Here’s what we want to accomplish on this trip:

1. Finish fire-wising our lot. This is a huge task, because we have about a million black spruce trees on our lot that need to be thinned out to mitigate fire danger. Luckily we bought a new chainsaw. This will take most of our time and energy.

2. Install sill logs for the roof on the cabin. We’re almost done with this task. Here’s a photo of the ones we installed yesterday on the West side. We’ll bring out roofing materials in July.

Alaska Cabin3. Continue painting and posting online Thirsty Thursday beer-themed paintings. We have to keep the art business alive from a distance, so Scott paints in our bug tent. Someday we’ll build a proper painting studio.


4. Remove as many stumps as possible. Scott has been removing about three stumps every day. We have many!!!

5. Enlarge the new driveway. Although the truck can drive down the new driveway we punched in last summer, it’s a bit difficult to maneuver through it, so we’re going to take down a few more trees.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to accomplish all these tasks. Taming the Alaskan wilderness is hard work, especially for two frugal people who don’t have heavy equipment. I consider this time to be my fitness boot camp – this is a great way to lose that extra winter weight. My arms are already sore from peeling logs yesterday.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #20, May 14, 2015

I am sitting in my outdoor studio in McCarthy, Alaska on my first whole day of the summer season here in the Wrangell – St. Elias National Park. I am a happy camper, because I just went down to town to get the water I will need for the next two weeks and stopped in at the Museum where I met John and Barb Rice who brought me a homebrewed beer all the way from St. Louis, Missouri! It was a ginger-honey beer called the Drippy Hippy, brewed from a recipe I formulated with my friend Nick Pugmire about ten years ago. I love drinking this beer and I ran out of my own a few months ago. So I was very excited to hear that John’s friend Kevin Cummings brewed a batch using the recipe that I published on this blog several months ago, during the Year of Beer Paintings. Kevin nailed it! It tasted just like the Drippy Hippy I brew here in Alaska! Good brewing Kevin! I will see if I can send a homebrew back in your bottle at the end of the summer when John and Barb return home. Thanks Kevin and John for following this blog, and a huge thank you for brewing this beer, Kevin, and to John for bringing it all the way here from the other side of the country!

McCarthy is a beer-centric place where beer is like currency and everybody is drinking the golden suds in the Golden Saloon, in the middle of the street, or at the softball game. Last night after portaging my supplies from the truck to my tiny house, Maria and I sat around the campfire and popped the cork from a bottle of Abbey Ale by Brewery Ommegang. I’ve had this beer many times, and it is a real favorite of mine. I carried a bottle all the way to the top of Mt. Marathon in Seward in 2007, and it was one of the first beers I drank when I visited the brewery in Cooperstown last fall. I bought it originally because it’s premium beer with a cork! Perfect for celebrating, nothing starts a party like popping the cork of a premium beer – the pop is a true sign of good times! Thanks Ommegang for brewing such a delicious beer!

You can purchase this painting, or a limited-edition print at my Etsy shop.

Beer oil painting of abbey ale by brewery ommegang by Scott Clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #20 by Scott Clendaniel. May 14, 2015. Abbey Ale by Brewery Ommegang. 11″x14″, oil on panel.


“How is the new studio working out?”

The most common question we’ve been hearing is, “How’s the new studio working out?”  Two months ago we moved our work outside our home to a more spacious studio space inside the 4th Avenue Marketplace building on 4th Avenue and C Street.  Many people think this is a gallery space with regular hours, but it’s just a studio where we work.  We open it to the public on First Fridays, and customers and friends are welcome to visit when we’re here.  If we wanted to open a retail space, we would have chosen a much better location.  Most of our sales happen online at our Etsy shop, at Dos Manos year-round, and at galleries around Alaska in the summer time, and the two solo exhibitions at Midnight Sun Brewing in January and June each year, and at Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge in October.

So, how’s the studio working out?  Well, it’s nice not having our small home cluttered with work supplies, and now there’s a definite separation between work and personal life.  We’re more productive in a shorter period of time.  The studio makes us look more professional to clients who stop by to pick up paintings, and having a First Friday event space is definitely a bonus.  We love the view, and the extra space.  On the other hand, we had to adjust to leaving home to go to work, sometimes forgetting things at one place, and having to plan a bit more carefully.  That’s not a big deal though.  So far we haven’t noticed the extra cost of the space in our day-to-day lives, but it definitely hasn’t generated enough revenue to cover the extra expense.  With the summer tourism season coming up, that may change, but we’ll miss about half of that, because we’ll be in McCarthy finishing up the cabin.

Eventually the plan may be to open a gallery, but we don’t want it to be a conventional one, because those seem to be empty most of the time.  So we’ve been brainstorming about offering beer and wine and an area dedicated for kids.  What else would make a gallery more of an attraction?

Several people who stopped by on First Friday asked what the studio looks like when we’re actually working, rather than hosting a reception.  So here are some photos of the “action”.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #19, May 7, 2015

This week’s beer-themed painting is of my homebrewed Saison chillin’ in the snow on top of Flattop Mountain. After a vigorous hike to the summit we drank the beer while enjoying the view and then had a good time sliding down the snow on our way down. I chose to paint homebrew this week because May 7th is the day that National Homebrew Day was announced before Congress in 1988. Last Saturday the Great Northern Brewers Club put on an event known as Brew-a-thon where home brewers of Anchorage showed up to brew together. It is a national event that kicks off with a nationwide toast at noon CDT, 9AM here in Anchorage! I teamed up with newly retired Rick Levinson to brew a California Common Beer (like Anchor Steam Beer) we are calling the Steamy Retirement. I have been home-brewing for ages and consistently putting out homebrews for ten years now, but I recently upgraded my system from a less than five-gallon setup, to a ten-plus-gallon, all-grain, two-kettle brewery. I enjoy every aspect of the brewing process, except for cleaning fermenters, which is the most boring, although extremely important part of the job. In brewing, cleanliness is next to godliness! I have filled every fermenter I own with beer from the new system. Cheers to Arctic Brewing Supply for having every piece of gear a home-brewer could ever need, and all the ingredients to make world-class beer! I hope your homebrew tastes fresher and more delicious than any commercial beer! If you brew with the GNBC, you are on your way!

The original oil painting sold.  You can purchase limited-edition prints, or order a custom painting at my Etsy shop.

Homebrew on Flattop Mountain Oil Painting by Scott Clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #19 by Scott Clendaniel. May 7, 2015. Home-brew on Flattop Mountain. 11″x14″, oil on panel.