The Winter of 2022-3 deposited a legendary amount of snow of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and we are now experiencing the full fecundity of mother nature. Our surging river, fed by snowmelt high in the mountains south of here, is in deep conversation with the land. Water is redrawing the riverbanks with deep curves, exposing a fine drapery of roots. Great blooms of wildflowers dance at the edges. Massive willows and alders rooted in the rushing waters, nod their heads in time with the smooth waves flowing around them.
The place we call the ‘Swimming Hole’, a rocky/sandy beach that usually offers us a fun spot to play, got transformed into an island for a while this Spring. I’ve painted this spot many times over the years, in different seasons, different lights. The endless cycle of change I witness here is an honor to behold.
For me, painting is an act of slow looking and responding. The process is a gradual opening, a dilation of the mind. Intimacy with a subject comes from staying with it, and not succumbing to distractions. A form of meditation, painting helps me embrace the transience of nature, and life.
When I try to grasp Autumn leaves, they lose their colour, and turn to dust. Wildflowers wither in my hand, river ripples distort and disappear. Embracing the ephemeral beauty of seasons and light has become a portal to my understanding of the ‘eternal now’. Painting is a synthesis of experience, time and reflection. The slow unfolding of a fleeting moment.