Child's Play - gold mine train

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    Another favorite Alaskan destination for me en plein air paint (especially in the fall when the tundra turns a lovely scarlet) is Independence Mine State Historical Park. (Plein air painting is a French impressionist term meaning in open air.) It's an abandoned gold mine located in Hatcher Pass, Alaska. The old gold mine, up in the majestic Talkeetna Mountains has a spirit of adventure and sacrifice than is unlike anything else I've ever experienced. Gorgeous views of the valley below leave me feeling tiny in all of God's creation. The tiny mining train rusted and sun beaten is always a favorite for my children to play on. I enjoy watching their freedom as their imaginations soar pretending to be gold miners. I was initially going to only paint the train--its textures attracting my interest. I put my jacket on it to provide a little discord to the analogous warm harmony before me. But when a visiting family walked by and their little boy hopped on the train as my boys have done so often, I knew I had found a far more interesting focal point for my miniature painting.

    This painting was featured and sold in the Best and Brightest juried Art Show in Scottsdale Artists School.