1) So, tell me about “Morning Mist at the Dock” – when was it painted and what were the circumstances surrounding the painting? What inspired you?
I’ve been fascinated by the view of the historic Fisherman’s Quay building with the boats moored out front and the Sisters Mountains looming above. It is challenging because of the scale of the mountains and the way the light flattens the buildings. I’ve worked on different versions many times and about ten years ago finally felt that I did justice to the scene. I’ve known and loved (the boat’s late skipper) Larry Calvin for years because of his delightful nature and tireless support of this wonderful Tongass forest where we have both been fortunate to spend our time.
I didn’t realize it was Larry’s boat at first because this was painted before he put the trolling poles on her. Larry’s deckhand Pat Burnett recognized the boat and told me a story about a King salmon opening where he trolled with Larry–tucked into a little hidey-hole — going around in tight circles catching over 50 Kings on opening day, while outside most of the fleet struggled mightily to catch far fewer.
2) Do you have the original painting, or does Larry’s estate/family? Does the boat still exist?
The original painting was sold many years ago (to Robert & Marilyn Juranich of Sitka) and the boat is still in existence. It is now part of the Fisherman’s Quay, which is owned by Larry’s four children. Several of the children and grandchildren have fished or used the boat and worked to restore her.
3) What have you been doing since March of 2020 (when we had our last interview)?
I retired in August 1999 and have been spending more of my time painting and teaching some workshops. We sold our fishing boat but could not bear the thought of not being out on the waters of Sitka Sound, so recently I bought a 28’ Glasply – the Steller J, which has been adventuring around Sitka since 1986. My daughters and I have been doing some restorative work on her and I am hoping to take people out on painting tours in the future. It feels wonderful to be able to concentrate more on my artwork.
4) What has your family been doing?
My husband Howard retired after almost 50 years fishing and is enjoying spending summers on land. My older daughter, Coral, is now the owner/ operator of Skookum Canvasworks. She’s been helping me with cushions and covers for my boat, in addition
to constructing enclosures and doing fabrications for the commercial and recreational fleets in Southeast Alaska. My younger daughter, Katy, has recently begun doing publicity for the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association and just completed her certification to begin teaching for them. Since shortly after I first arrived in Alaska in 1980, AMSEA has provided life- and vessel-saving education — making the ocean a much safer place — and I am thrilled to have her working with AMSEA.
5) What’s up for you now?
I am more and more concerned about climate-related changes that are affecting our oceans and the land around us. I am working on a body of paintings that highlight the Tongass Wilderness — to draw attention to the value of the Tongass for sequestering carbon, as well as increasing awareness of the need to change our patterns of consumption and waste. I’m hoping to spend time exploring the wild places in Southeast and sharing those magical spaces through my artwork.
Prints of “Morning Mist at the Dock” can be found at Island Artists Gallery in Sitka (likely under the name “Sitka’s Murray Pa- cific”). You can see more of Pat’s paintings at the gallery/artist cooperative (and she is very happy that she can now spend more time painting!)