Another small piece trying to express some of my life spent in the glorious wilds of Puget Sound.
Whidbey Island…a place of great significance and deep attachment for generations of my family. Some set down roots and lived (live) on the island. We have spent a couple of weeks there, almost every summer…for the past forty years. The distances I’ve traveled on this particular beach, Casey beach, cannot be calculated. Hundreds of hours spent picking through rocks, balancing on driftwood, bare-footing through sand and finding prize agates. On a map it’s four miles long…if you make the trek to Ebey’s Landing. It’s not just about the linear distance…it’s about running there quickly to see an amazing storm front move in over the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It’s about the hide and seek played…the perfect sticks and logs found and turned into magical forts. Racing each other, up and over driftwood, without touching the rocks.
It’s about running into and out of waves…walking and talking with friends or family…airing our lives…sharing ideas, problems, sadness, joys, hopes. Miles and miles covered every hour spent on that beach. A long walk. Hope.
Hope is like the constantly moving front edge of a weather system. It is not the same everywhere or for everyone. There will be clouds, there will be sun. There will be wind. There will be rain…and many variations of those elements. We are constantly reminded of “hope’s” companion – despair. Without it we don’t push to find hope.
Maybe I am tired, maybe I am battered by the elements – but I move through, I don’t sit down and stop or give up.
That action is hope personified. We are all capable of action. I can’t help it…I search for the moments and movement that put me in the company of beauty – exhilaration – and that which stirs the soul.
This painting is taped onto a masonite backboard on my easel. I prepared a number of these pieces of gessoed paper, painted them with a warm, red under painting and that is what you see popping out between the brushstrokes. This is an enormous green-ish rock that I have visited many times, after walking over a mile to the north on the beach. Working from memory and cropping photographs and sketching to get the composition as strong as possible, I start to put down the first layers of colors. I will post photos of the painting when it is finished, but thought you might like to see a bit of the process.
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