Thanks to Sue Ready who reviewed The Road to Beaver Park, Painting, Perception, and Pilgrimage. Excerpts follow, or read it for yourself:
Point out the road I must travel;
I’m all ears, all eyes before you.
-Ps 143: 8B
An Artist’s Pilgrimage
An opportunity to take a year long sabbatical family trip exploring the Southwest across deserts, mountains and plains proved to be a transformative experience for Janice Kirk, her husband Don and school aged children, Nate and Amy. The Road to Beaver Park Painting, Perception, and Pilgrimage is a memoir of a woman’s journey of discovery, renewed spiritual and ecological awareness.
San Miguel Camping 1976
In 1976 Janice’s husband, a biology professor secured a sabbatical to study plant and animal life in the western part of the U.S. The children brought schoolbooks and assignments to keep up with their classes while she brought her student painting equipment, sketchbooks, paints and other necessary supplies feeling she needed a project too.
The book stands out from other memoirs as the story is viewed from multiple perspectives: the author, her husband and their children. In addition the story unfolds as part natural history, field course, travelogue and art appreciation. Janice’s voice resonates with honesty and gratitude. Her descriptive and informative paragraphs are rich with sensory images and detailed sketches throughout the book capturing the ever changing terrain. Janice often is filled with a sense of awe for the world’s creative order. Each chapter is peppered with carefully chosen psalms and bible verses that mirror the family’s experiences every step of the way.
With unlimited time for field work, painting, exploring and discoveries each family member relished their time outdoors and the time spent around evening campfires sharing and comparing their observations. Curiosity, ingenuity and common sense strengthened as time moved into days, weeks and months.
For Don, a naturalist, his field work affirmed the book knowledge he acquired. He found nature alive discovering patterns and grasping the big picture of the planet’s dynamic system. He loved the history of the Old West, geology and its history. He also used his time to hone his photography skills. Read more of this Review by Sue Ready next week . . .