Sunday, January 24, 2010

Painting A Series: The Depths of Time

Depths Of Time 1: The First Shelter
Ink & Colored Pencil on Paper 22x30 $550
For some time I've been wanting to attempt a series, and I finally got an idea for a series of mixed media paintings. The theme is to show two aspects of landscapes—the beautiful scenery we see around us, and the secret, hidden structures that lie beneath them. The Earth is every bit as complex and dynamic a construction as the more visible organic forms that inhabit it. In an environment as profusely alive with carbon-based life forms as here in the Willamette Valley, it's hard to remember the beauty that we don't see. A few days' stay in any desert should open a new window for you into this world.

I have been interested in rocks and stones since my childhood, living in the desert at Davis Monthan Air Base by Tucson, Arizona, and after a summertime visit in the Petrified Forest National Park. But I never felt a real sense of the earth by itself until I spend a four-day Thanksgiving weekend in Death Valley, camping out with friends. I'm a tree and plant lover, primarily, and it took me two days of seeing rocks, rocks, and more rocks with almost no plants whatsoever to stop wishing there was more greenery around. On the third day there, I suddenly began to notice the colors and forms of the stone around me. I could for the first time feel the deep strength, the quiet but definitely alive energies that could only have been coming from the Earth. I came away from that trip knowing that I had had to slow down my mind and my body for a long enough period of time to be able to feel the life energy in that great stillness, to sense it in a separate way, as the foundation of all the more active beings that live and grow upon it. I've never lost that connection which was forged there, and for me, the Earth is as alive as I am.

I am calling the series "Depths of Time", in recognition of how this Earth of ours has changed over time, and how its history is written so clearly in the thick and thin layers of rocks and soil that we get to see where the processes of creation and destruction reveal them. I'd like to dedicate this series to the thousands of inquiring minds, professional and amateur scientists alike, who have over the preceding centuries been given the grace to see and understand the clues that have lain around us for aeons—in the depths of time.


  1. Fantastic! You really were able to convey in the painting the image of a landscape as being both real and abstract. Wonderful use of color.

  2. Thanks, Jackie! I really appreciate your support. Happy painting!