Talk Dirt To Me

Gardening in Alaska presents big challenges, whether it's the extra effort in finding plants tough enough to survive our Zone 2-4 climate, communicating with like-minded Alaska gardeners, or keeping up with the latest trends, issues and solutions. We'll try to help with that. We'll also tour gardens from Homer to Anchorage to Wasilla to Willow whenever we get the chance, and post the best garden photos around. Presenting a forum about cold-weather gardening and for cold-weather gardeners is what we are all about. We hope you'll join us on the Talk Dirt garden blog.

Photographer and gardener Fran Durner ( writes the blog.

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Still Life with Carol Lambert

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Squash blossom by Carol Lambert.Squash blossom by Carol Lambert.Last Friday, December 5, was First Friday, the night art galleries around Anchorage stay open a little later to showcase new art for the month.

My daughter and I like to get together and visit the galleries on these nights. It's become something of a mother-daughter night out - an inexpensive form of entertainment - plus we both get some "culcha." Some of these openings are fun, with live entertainment and refreshments. We try to go on the early side before it gets too crowded so we can really see the art.

Pomegranate by Carol Lambert.Pomegranate by Carol Lambert.So on our rounds this First Friday we stopped in at Charlie's Club 25 Coffee Gallery at the corner of 4th and D Street, because I noticed that artist Carol Lambert was going to be there.

I've been a fan of Carol's still-lifes since my cousin brought home a lovely painting of green apples a few years ago. I'd begun to notice her work in other galleries, especially her still-lifes of fruits, flowers and vegetables.

Apple harvest by Carol Lambert.Apple harvest by Carol Lambert.Carol was at Charlie's, set up with easel and oil paints just inside the door. She's a friendly woman, with cropped gray hair, glasses and a sweet smile. She was working on one of her "daily paintings" - a small painting she tries to complete, from start to finish, in just one day. Carol told me she often goes to Saturday markets during the summer to pick up something to "paint first, eat later." Found objects and familiar household items also find a way onto her canvases.

She'll be there at Charlie's with a display of her paintings on Friday's throughout December and on First Fridays in January, February and March plus some Fur Rondy and Iditarod days. She's usually set up at opening and stays till the gallery closes most times.

Raspberries by Carol Lambert.Raspberries by Carol Lambert.Stop by one Friday and visit with Carol and view her lovely paintings. You can also see more of her paintings on her website as well as on her blog.

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