Our final stop on the Inside Passage, Haines, population 2000, is one of the northernmost communities of the Tongass National Forest. Situated on a peninsula, between the Chilkat and Chilkoot Inlets, it is flanked by Glacier Bay National Park to the west and surrounded by Chilkat State Park to the south, Chilkoot State Park to the north, and Haines State Park to the east. It’s no wonder this community is teeming with artists and outdoor enthusiasts!
Four years ago, Dave & I met and visited with Rob Goldberg, Donna Catotti and their two sons, who in turn introduced me to Rod Weagant, another Haines artist with whom I painted at one of his favorite local spots. Memories of those enriching experiences were, in large part, the seeds for my Plein Air Odyssey goal of connecting with outdoor artists along this journey.
By now, Rod has moved his studio to Washington state, Rob has surrendered his paint brush and handcrafts beautiful guitars and stringed instruments, and Donna is thrilled to have recently had several paintings accepted into national shows. Despite being in the midst of her own exhibition in Haines and planning an art journey later in the week, Donna had me painting less than two hours after our ferry arrived along with Bev Schupp and Tia Heywood, who is heading to Brown University in the fall to study education. We enjoyed a glorious time painting at the beautiful Chilkat Inlet with it’s massive mountains and flowing glacier water. The tough part was picking a view!
When Bev, Donna and I returned to the same area the next morning, I noticed wild roses blooming everywhere and we chose a more elevated view near the road. While I set up along the edge, Donna claimed that the best spot was right in the middle and plopped down there. The few cars that went by were very accommodating, slowly creeping around her as she worked.
I have been thrilled to reconnect with good friends in Haines and to meet some new ones, and it has been a joy to capture a slice of nature’s beauty surrounding the town. It’s easy to see why people are enthusiastic here. I’d heartily recommend it to anyone who is looking for a bit of inspiration!