Louie is proud of this work at Three Sisters Irrigation District – it is a benefit to wildlife and he wants to spread the story. But there is more to it than that. This is a mutual and reciprocal healing: a story I want to spread.Read More
Environmental problems are not a dichotomy of problems with nature on one side and humans on the other. The dichotomy begins to crumble as soon as the concept of nature is removed. How will our relationship with our ecosystems change and how will our decisions be different if the distinction disintegrates altogether?Read More
The creek has been stretched back in time, erasing not only the human created erosion and damage, but also eliminating any chiseling the creek had done on its own prior to human intervention. It’s like shaking a giant Etch A Sketch until all evidence of previous drawings have been eliminated and the raw material is reset to a flat smooth plane where a new drawing can start to take form.Read More
In conjunction with my solo exhibition, Stories Told by Water, Umpqua Valley Arts hosted an artist talk on August 5. In this talk I give context to Stories Told by Water and I introduce work in progress the studio.Read More
This place is defined by water.
I came to Pine Meadow Ranch to listen to stories of the creek on this ranch in Sisters, Oregon. The ranch is idyllic with its unobstructed views of the mountains and Whychus Creek, its milky glacial melt waters originating from Broken Top and all Three Sisters, running through the ranch.
Little, if any land on the ranch is untouched. It is a fully constructed landscape dating back to the 1800s when settlers cleared fields for cattle and began diverting streams to irrigate their ranches. Some of the coveted water rights for this ranch date back to 1895, superseding the water rights of Three Sisters Irrigation District (TSID).
Even if we are wary of beauty and its seductive qualities, it is still very difficult to avoid being seduced. Is there is a bias toward beautiful landscapes regarding scientific research?Read More
My art does not speak directly to environmental crises, environmentalism, or even ecology. There is a lot of art that does and I’m not convinced of the efficacy of much of it to change minds or to offer a new perspective, let alone to initiate action. There is only so much crisis one can take. I know this from experience.
I choose a different approach with my work.
My resistance to the label art-sci leads me to examine why I gravitate toward science with my art. I wanted more magic. Scientists show me how to see the world differently and expanding my mind by helping me see more complexity in the environment. But now, As an artist, instead of burying the magic, I get to draw it out and play with it.Read More
Art grants me certain liberties such as magic and intuition. Perhaps art offers scientists freedom and expansion to contemplate words like this. Expansions flow in both directions. I have gained freedoms and expansions from working with scientists.Read More
What do I learn from climbing a tall old-growth tree many times? What can I glean after sitting in one place from sunrise to sunset every season of the year? It makes me ponder the differences between actively or passively receiving information.Read More
Challenging perception is too confrontational for my liking and it implies that I: 1) know the viewers’ worldview and 2) have an agenda to change it. Neither is true.
Instead of a challenge, I see my art as an invitation.
Art does not need to include an explicit element of self expression. My creative process is in service to developing a relationship with place rather than expressing myself. My path veers away from science because of my intention. I look toward science for examples of field research processes and systems designed to look at the world objectively. Unlike scientists, I do not set up systems to ensure that whoever asks the question gets consistent answers. I do not aim to answer questions. My intention is to develop a relationship.Read More
You have a very structured and deliberate approach to your art. Do you find that limiting? Many students complain, saying science writing is so formulaic, so boring. But consider haiku. What writing could be more formulaic?Read More
May 20: The beauty and mystery of trees has long been a subject for artists, and more recently, concern for the survival of forests (the lungs of our planet) has been paramount.Read More
I receive many questions during presentations and artist talks. I can’t address them all in the event’s timeframe. This is a good place to reflect:
Q: What motivates your choice in topics?