Hiding in the Scraps. This simple piece had a most unusual outcome. The idea came last winter. A blackened backboard. Some Scraps from my bin and … Voilà! Then an April surprise. “Hiding in the Scraps”won third place at the Society of Washington’ Artist’s Show and Sale at the Water Resources Education Center in Vancouver, Washington in the category “Water-Media-Under-Glass. Take a look at some of other winners among the 85 artists and 208 pieces on exhibit. I’m humbled and honored to have participated.
Friends in any Weather. This simple piece received a lot of comments from followers as it developed. In fact the title chosen came from a viewer suggestion. The idea for this started last winter in the midst of ice and snow. Juicy watercolor was brushed on paper and place outside to freeze. The color did it’s thing and the result sat in my studio staring at me until spring. Then, Voilà! Enjoy.
Preparing for spring with two shows back to back. Three entries in the Society of Washington Art Show April 27 – 30 at the Vancouver Water Resource Center and six (6) show for the month of May at the Three Creeks Community Library in Salmon Creek. Each venue is different and the art displayed will be specific to that venue. All original art shown is for sale and reproductions are available upon request.
Society of WA Artists
Vancouver Water Resource Center Community Room
4600 SE Columbia Way,
Vancouver, WA 98661
May 6 – June 1
Three Creeks Community Library
800-C NE Tenney Rd.
Vancouver, WA 98685
Running Before the Storm, gifted to Art for the Life of Elephants in the summer of 2015 by artist and teacher Mary Ann Harkness, is this month’s pick and dedicated to the memory of Satao 2 who was savagely killed by two poachers in the Tsavo National Conservation Area in Kenya. Mary’s watercolor, one of my favorites, is her painting from a photo she took during a safari through Tsavo National Park in 1967 when she was in Kenya with World Campus Afloat. The piece depicts just one occasion; a day when she came across an elephant herd. “The piece shows exactly what we saw,” she told me, ” By the end of the day I had stopped taking photos of elephants because we had seen so many roaming across the park.”
Now there are only 6 of the big tuskers left within Tsavo reserve (twice the size of South Africa’s Kruger National Park) is home to the highest population of large-tusked elephants in the world, the ‘super tuskers’, and a devastating blow to their gene pool. There are now approximately 25-30 these magnificent creatures – the super tuskers – left in the whole of Africa and only 15 emerging tuskers (young bulls who have the genes and potential to become tuskers).
When Mary Anne heard the news she said, “It’s very sad to think they are almost gone. Unimaginable. Wish I had taken more photos.”
ALE’s hope is to gift this piece in exchange for a direct donation to Save the Elephants in Kenya via the Wildlife Conservation Network in San Francisco. Our fear is these elephants have nowhere to run or hide. It has been very difficult in the US to draw attention to any cause these days with trumpets of another kind dominating the media. And to be truthful, ALE is not at all optimistic about the future of elephants in the years ahead. Nonetheless we must confess the difficulty we feel in letting go of our desire to help those on the ground in Kenya trying to the largest of mammals on earth.
Goodbye Satao 2. We hope you can find peace now in the memory of those who once witnessed the runs you once made for the joy of living and from storms that were short-lived.
Art for the Life of Elephants has three entries in the March 18 and 19th Annual Spring Art and Craft Show hosted by the Battle Ground, Washington Art Alliance. The theme for the 2017 show, which has become the largest judged and juried show in Southwest Washington, is “Flights of Fancy”. The ALE entries are: “Potential”, “Orange Star” and “Enchanted Forest” by Gary Watson.
A Point of Simplicity. Sometimes you see things differently. After about a year of rest in my “art study bin” I re-discovered this piece, made a few touch ups here and there and decided “simplicity” can be revealing.
Record memo November 13 – The lions “In our Presence” found a new home. Gifted to a couple in Vancouver, Washington in exchange for an $850 donation to the Wildlife Conservation Network in San Francisco. 100% of their contribution will go to the Niassa Carnivore Project to help support the work and lifelong efforts of Dr. Colleen Begg and her family in Mozambique. Hooray!
August 12, 2016 – World Elephant Day — I have a dream, a dream of a new beginning. A dream where lions, giraffes and elephants are. A dream of wild comfort and of human comfort with wildness. Where all living things are able to share space in the splendor of earth. I will bask in the thought that such a dream might come true.
Tomorrow I will remember again what we humans have done over 10,000 years and wonder if we have, in fact, entered into an era of unprecedented extinction that we alone are accountable for—where one in eight species of birds, one in three of amphibians, and one in four of mammals have been condemned irretrievably. Time beyond tomorrow is for assessing how the demands of modern life allow us to forget one simple truth: we rely on natural ecosystems as much as any other species. The aura of our human technology is seductive. We are lured into believing we have mastered the environment we inhabit. But nothing could be further from the truth.
However, today I will allow myself to dream and relish in the good news that individuals, scientists, conservation organizations, and governments are uniting behind a strategy for stopping the killing of elephants. In so doing, I magically declare World Elephant Day to be a day when no one will be allowed to give up on elephants or kill one. I will choose to ignore what I’ve learned. Instead I will pretend broad public support for those dedicated few who are committed by evidence of their actions to the idea that all life matters. And on this day I won’t allow anyone to give up on elephants or to be passive about their extinction. The temptation to ignore the challenges or to conclude Africa is a quagmire that sucks money, time, and resources dry will be removed from human consciousness.
August 12 is a day for the well intended to dramatize the shameful plight of elephants, but for me today is just for dreaming. A pretend day. A day when elephants matter the most. Perhaps today might become a portal in time, a new beginning for these humble, compassionate creatures if we choose to make it so. When you dream, all things are possible. No matter who you are, your circumstances, or how angry you are at the overwhelming forces changing our world each minute of every day, all can pretend elephants matter, not only because of their ecological importance, their aesthetic beauty and power, and their value to developing economies but because their very existence symbolizes stability, security, and the triumph of good governance and the rule of law.
And no matter what happens today I will dream and borrow from Martin Luther King, “that one day the earth shall be exhalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight,” and I will boldly add that all living things shall see it together.
So yes, I have a dream. An inclusive one that values the urgency of the moment. One where those that are now content but have the power to intervene will have a rude awakening if the world tomorrow returns to business as usual. And I think it’s true to say my dream is rooted in a dream many Americans share; that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed and expand its reach to say: We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all living things–not just humans– are of equal value.
Let the trumpeting of elephants blare from the snowcaps of Kilimanjaro to the plains of the Serengeti. Let the sound of wildness ring across all continents big and small. Let the screams be heard that all life, not just human life, matters.
On August 12 I will lose all fear that my dream is but a child’s dream or a misplaced fantasy, something worthy of the likes of Don Quixote. I will do so because living has taught me otherwise; that a child lives in all of us though sometimes disguised in a manner that requires the rest of our life to discover. And when this happens, and when we allow wildness to be, and when we hear its noise in every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, and every nation we will be able to speed up that day when we will all truly be like Mother Nature’s children. That is my hope. Please, share in my dream.