Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

By CVN Staff 

Festival artist featured; Svenson on cover of climbing mag


November 10, 2011

Haines painter and glass worker John Svenson explains his art and its relation to his life of mountaineering in the autumn edition of Alpinist magazine.

"All climbers should draw rock faces and mountains before starting up them, regardless of ability. The act trains you to observe. As the view of the landscape travels from your eye to your hand, it passes through – and becomes organized in – your brain," Svenson writes in the 10-page article.

It includes 13 of his artworks and ruminations ranging from memories of his childhood as the son of a sculptor in southern California to trekking through spider-infested jungles of New Guinea.

His watercolor, "Morning Tea," featured on the magazine’s cover, shows climbers huddled on a dark, snowy ledge while sun bathes a distant peak. "Not so far from reality that it could have been true," Svenson said. "How many mornings have climbers been on the chilly side of the wall, facing a warmer, sunny mountainside?"

Svenson said his appearance in the magazine is through a connection with editor-in-chief Michael Kennedy, who guided on Mount McKinley when Svenson also worked as a guide there.

The glossy magazine has been around 10 years and is the "National Geographic" of climbing, Svenson said. "It’s more philosophical than macho climbing." A copy is available at the library.


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