Thirty More Years.
I need at least thirty more years of painting to express the beauty of the coastal wildflowers and the ancient quiet of the redwood forests. Our earth is so precious and beautiful. Regardless of what we do to damage it, it still gives back to us, enhancing our lives and nourishing our spirits. Not only did the beauty of nature inspire me. The white-haired men and women participating in extreme sports inspired me to live up to their example. I watch a man in his seventies kiteboarding for almost an hour, flying through the air high above the waves and coming down to meet the ocean again with grace, speed and agility. He soared higher than any of the other twenty, younger kiteboarders surfing the waves that day. Along steep mountain roads I passed older bikers still pedaling strongly after already biking up several miles of grueling steepness, smiles of euphoria between the sweat dripping down their cheeks. Amazing people in an amazing land, the Bay Area of California and north along the coast.
Following a fabulous, three-day workshop at RileyStreet Art Supply in Santa Rosa and sharing treasured moments with my artsy pal, Joanie Springer, I headed to Sea Ranch for a week of painting with another dear artist, Brook Trout. Not only do we share a love for art, we share a curiosity about botanicals and cosmology. That’s a rare combination of common interests. Sea Ranch was abloom with May Wildflowers. Over the twenty five years that Brook has visited Sea Ranch, she had never seen them as exquisite as they were this year. On the first day, I fell in love with the Miner’s Lettuce and the early stages of Cow Parsnips.
At low tide, treasures were washed ashore and tidal pools appeared on one of the rockier beaches. Snail shells were abundant and the remains of crabs lay captive among the seaweed. Harbor seals nursed young ones upon sandier beaches. At high tide, seals played together in the water. At the end of day, Brook and I sat quietly painting together and shared the discoveries of the day. We estimate having seen over a hundred species of wildflowers during the week’s stay, not all of which we have identified yet.
Images: Mandalas or Zendalas of a different sort….. we decided to call them simply “Dalas” – Drawn first in Ink followed by watercolor. Miner’s Lettuce and Cow Parnsips – 9″ x 6.5″. Crab Snails, Broken Shell and Seaweed – 8″ x 6.5″.