Cedar Shadows on Blue-Green Pools

There is a distant memory I hold of a family trip to Yellowstone Park, my family of five sharing a tiny camping trailer. I remember vague details of my Herman Munster comic book, the cheers of the crowd at the towering spout of Old Faithful, something about a propane fire that singed my Mother’s hair and shook us all up. But the most clear memory is of the crystalline depths of the Morning Glory Pool, a volcanic spring with a stunning range of mysterious blues and greens descending into the depths of the Earth.

A fascination with water kept me deeply engaged and generally soaked throughout my formative years. I was up to my elbows in aquariums, or I was attempting to traverse any body of water with any floating object on our various family farms. Then there was an embarrassing moment of coming up for a breath after “diving” in our algae-coated horse trough, and looking through the fogged visor of my swim mask into the bewildered faces of my father and a neighboring farmer on our Palouse Hills farm in Washington state. And then there was the turning of countless rocks in tide pools of the Oregon Coast as I learned of the vast, beautiful sprawl of geologic time and the evolution of life forms at an OMSI summer science camp.

There was a brief interlude away from the Northwest: my father, a veterinary pathologist, got promoted to an important administrative position at a Nebraska university. I spent four years of high school yearning for the cool, lush forests and clear blue green waters of the Pacific Northwest. I returned immediately upon graduation. That separation cemented into my soul a deep, permanent love of this region that has not diminished after 25 years of living by Puget Sound.

Not yet 20 years old, I was soon hiking remote rivers as a Fisheries field tech with a giant battery on my back, and zapping baby salmon for the science of their own survival : that was my introduction to the Puget Sound Basin’s cool, mysterious river pools. And that is just one of countless subsistence jobs that has supported my various art projects and kept fresh paint on my palette.

Currently I work at the historic Pike Place Market, as the Senior Market Master and Daystall and Arts Program Manager. The one common thread through this meandering stream of experience is that after work, on evenings, weekends and vacations, I have been seeking and painting images of wild Pacific Northwest waters.

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