Tag Archives: real art is better

Oil Paintings for People Who Have BIG Empty Walls

~ by Maria Benner

We are looking for people who have big empty walls.  If that’s you, or if you know someone who fits that description, let us know.  We can help them fill that space with large oil paintings by Alaskan artist Scott Clendaniel.  Art for your office space is tax deductible!

Here are four large oil paintings currently available.  The edges are finished with oak, so they are already framed, and ready to hang.  Shipping cost will depend on location.

1. Susitna Pops. Oil on panel, 5ft x 2.5ft, 2016. Click here to purchase, or contact us to view this painting in person at our studio.

Large oil painting for big empty wall Scott Clendaniel Susitna Poppies

2. Bluebird Day at Alyeska. Oil on panel, 5ft x 2.5ft, 2017.  Click here to purchase, or contact us to view this painting in person at our studio.Alyeska Resort large oil painting Alaskan artist Scott Clendaniel

3. Athena’s Owl. Oil on panel, 8ft x 4ft, 2015.  Click here to purchase, or contact us to view this painting in person at our studio.Athena's Owl. 8ft 4ft. Oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

4. Birch on Birch. Oil on birch panel, 4ft x 5ft, 2018.  Contact us to view this painting in person at our studio.

large oil painting of a birch by scott clendaniel

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May First Friday Art Walk | Open Studio Mode vs. Work Mode

~ by Maria Benner

This Friday, May 4 is the first Friday of the month, which means that most local art galleries will have new art shows and will be hosting receptions.  The artists are normally present at these events, and often there is live music and complimentary refreshments.  Most of the action happens downtown, but there are many venues around town that host First Friday events.  The Anchorage Press is a good source for event listings.  Scott and I usually open our studio to the public for First Friday Art Walk, but not every month.  This one in May will be the last one we’ll host at the studio until October.  Scott will have an art opening in June, but it will be at Midnight Sun Brewing Company.  In preparation for an open studio event, we always have to do quite a bit of cleaning and rearranging of paintings and studio equipment.  Work mode and open studio mode are very different.  We completely clear my desk to make room for prints and greeting cards, put away all the painting stuff and scrub the floor.  Here are some pictures to give you an idea of what the studio looks like in work mode, versus how we make it look for visitors during open studio events.  We hope you’ll stop by this First Friday from 5:00 – 7:30 pm.  We’ll have cookies that Scott will bake from scratch, and new paintings that have never been shown before.  The address is 333 W 4th Avenue, Suite 4 (inside the 4th Avenue Market Place).

Work mode

Work mode

Work mode

Open studio mode

Open studio mode

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #135. Octopus Drinking Beer.

Did you know that after a male octopus slings its sperm with a specially affected arm (not a tentacle, they are called arms) it then withers and dies?  The female receives the gametes in her mantle cavity then finds a protected spot to deposit the fertilized eggs, after which she also withers and dies.  Pretty depressing that right after achieving your reproductive goals in life, to simply sit back and die, never to see your offspring.  This octopus is not even thinking about reproduction though, he is only thinking about how he still has six arms left without beer!  That is like only having 1/4 of a beer in your human hands.  It also might be a problem that this guy is underwater and I am sure that this beverage is leaking out into the sea.  Better get on it you suffering cephalopod, and slurp the suds down your beak before it dissolves faster than you can say octopus ink.  Octopoda are smart, and this guy proves it by choosing beer as his beverage of choice.  Cheers to intelligent decisions!  Drink beer!  Be merry!  Don’t spawn out too early!

This original oil painting, and 52 limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #135. Octopus Drinking Beer. 16"x20", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #135. Octopus Drinking Beer. 16″x20″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

5 Alaskan Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

~ by Maria Benner

I’ve lived in Alaska most of my life, and when I shop for gifts, I always try to buy from small local businesses, because they make this place quirky, interesting and cultured.  Without our artsy community, Anchorage would be a sad place.  So, I came up with a list of five businesses that offer perfect gifts for Mother’s Day.  You can feel good about supporting the local economy, while giving a unique and meaningful gift.  FYI, Mother’s Day is May 13th.

  • Food & Wine Class at Marx Brothers Cafe.  Mom will get to explore wine pairing with 18 foods and 9 wines.  That will surely make her forget all her worries.  The last class until next January is May 19th.  The cost is $95.

Marx Brothers Caesar Salad Class

qiviut hat

  • Yoga Classes.  There are many local yoga studios that offer classes for all ability levels.  Mom would come home relaxed and centered after a class.

Cheers to all the wonderful and caring Moms who make this world go round!

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #132. Spruce IPA by Alaskan Brewing Co.

What is the official Alaska State tree?  The Sitka Spruce, which is also the source of the critical ingredient in Alaskan Brewing Company’s Spruce IPA, a beer brewed with Spruce tips.  This IPA is a must-drink!  I know New England IPAs are all the rage.  “Have a milkshake,” people are saying.  “Try this coffee-infused IPA, it has never been better.”  I will, and have tried all these varieties.  The flavor Alaskan Brewing put out in its Spruce IPA is unique.  IPA is rapidly becoming the largest style with the most variations.

“I made this weird beer, it has a lot of hops in it, but I don’t know what to call it.”

“Dude, it has lots of hops, call it an IPA.”

This seems to be the most common solution to these unique beers and I can’t really say the hop-forward Spruce IPA is any different, but it is different, and that is the problem.  What do you do with these avant-garde beer styles that do not fit any of the specific BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) style guidelines?  Craft beer is evolving too rapidly for the BJCP to keep up.  The answer is easy, just drink the tasty beverage and quit complaining about the name.

Cheers to Alaskan Brewing Spruce IPA, a great ale that brings a smile to my lips!

The original oil painting, and 52 limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop Real Art Is Better.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #132. Spruce IPA by Alaskan Brewing Co. 8"x10", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #132. Spruce IPA by Alaskan Brewing Co. 8″x10″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #131. Lucky Lager.

Feeling lucky tonight?  For this week’s Thirsty Thursday beer painting I decided to paint a vintage beer I grew up loving.  This was the first beer I ever drank.  Lucky Lager is not only a pretty tasty beverage, similar to beers nearly twice as expensive, but also has this vibe to it making me think, “If I drink this elixir I could win at gambling, I can dance better, or I might even get lucky tonight…  If I play my cards right”.
General Brewing from San Francisco started brewing this American adjunct lager in 1934 with the intent to make a beer as well as the Germans on a large scale.  Becoming the second most popular beer in America off and on during the 50’s and 60’s, its popularity dropped off in the seventies and the product name was sold to Labatt Brewing and Pabst, and is still sold today in parts of Canada.  I’m hoping to find some when I go there next year.  Although this is not a craft beer, I always thought it was very refreshing, and I loved the aesthetic of the label.  This verbiage on the can sold me on the contents when I was young and impressionable, “This Traditional Lager Beer owes its distinctive character to the finest quality ingredients and purest brewing water. In addition, long aging in ice cold cellars makes Lucky a true Lager beer and is the reason Lucky has been a favorite since 1934.”
I hope you have  fond memories of Lucky Lager like I do.  Raise your cans, stubbies, or 40s high, and make a toast, “Cheers to getting Lucky!”

This original oil painting, and 52 limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #131. Lucky Lager. 8"x10", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #131. Lucky Lager. 8″x10″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #128. Rondy Brew by Anchorage Brewing Co.

Today is the first day of March, which begins my favorite stage of Alaskan winter — early Spring. We’re still in winter mode, but we get extra daylight, and with a bit of luck the snow is in perfect condition to get outside and play.  Here in Anchorage we have a big festival known as Fur Rendezvous.  Dating back a bit longer than 80 years (originating in 1935), local Alaskans (miners and trappers) traditionally met up for a huge fur auction and a bit of fun.  Today we still don our furs (or fur like garments) as it is still cold outside, only 2 degrees above zero this morning.  The fur auction is still on, but there are so many great events and traditions that it’s hard to name them all.  Maria always buys a Rondy pin, but my favorite tradition is to buy a Rondy Brew from Anchorage Brewing Co.  This year available in pint-size cans and served up in a four pack as well as on draft around town.  I am impressed with this year’s recipe, a nice IPA at 6.4% with 55 IBUs.  Brewed with Mosaic (one of my favorite aroma hops) and Idaho 7, which is new to me, but seems to be just right for drinking while watching the fireworks display.  Maybe don’t have more than one before getting on the Tilt-a-Whirl at the annual Rondy Carnival.  Best save that for afterwards!  This weekend is the end of the festival, and also the beginning of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race.  The ceremonial start is this Saturday in Anchorage on 4th Avenue, right in front of our studio building.  If you are in Anchorage, stop by the Real Art is Better headquarters (333 W. 4th Ave, Suite #4) this Saturday, March 3 for some fresh baked cookies, or to warm up.  We’ll be open 10 – 5pm.  Running of the Reindeer, another epic Rondy event is to be held at 4pm.  Don’t delay getting your Rondy-Brew on, as this is a once a year beer, and next year will be changed.  Who knows?  Gabe Fletcher may make a sour lemongrass saison again (also very good, but decidedly different).
Cheers to Rondy — a great festival, and to Rondy Brew — a great beer!

The original oil painting sold. Limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #128. Rondy Brew by Anchorage Brewing Co. 11"x14", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #128. Rondy Brew by Anchorage Brewing Co. 11″x14″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel