Self Portrait in Siberia No. 1 Sally K. Smith
My family has been watching the National Geographic series Wild Russia. Each series begins with beautiful aerial views of the Urals or other parts of Siberia. I am also in the middle of reading Ian Frazier's Travels in Siberia. On top of this, I recently talked with a friend who rode the Siberian Express for her honeymoon. I've visited Moscow and St. Petersburg, but have never been to Siberia. Now I have developed a serious longing to visit the place. But a visit is not likely in the next few years. Since I can't visit Siberia anytime soon, I decided I could at least paint myself in Siberia. Thus my series of self portraits in Siberia evolved.
Self Portrait in Siberia No. 2
I may not be so easy to spot in all of the portraits. Really, the paintings are an excuse to paint a beautiful landscape. But yes, I am there somewhere - near the shadow of a passing train or waiving at the viewer from the trees. The painting currently in progress is based on a 1921 photograph of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bear at Emma Harbor in Siberia. The Bear provided transportation for magnetic field work. One will notice that the remote figure on the Bear is me, waiving from a 90 year old photograph.