Part 2. Painting my private view and “something more . . .”
In my last Blog I told about my greatly expanded sense of place from our Sabbatical travels to the Southwest. After 15 months, I returned home with a sense of the wholeness of creation and the unity to be found. Living outdoors generated a familiarity and comfortableness with nature I carry to this day. My visual memory holds a picture of the overlapping patchwork of plant communities (eco–communities) that blanket the West, our life support systems. I am astonished at the networks and humbled by the immensity of it all.
The beauty of the landscape stirred my inner artist, and these paintings express my private view. To my surprise the year–long journey became “something more”, a pilgrimage. Spiritual renewal brought me back to Christian faith and triggered advocacy for earth stewardship. I am keenly aware of the need to restore and sustain the life communities that keep us alive.
I hope my work will encourage viewers and readers to step outdoors and “take another look.” The delicate structures of leaves and small plants, the bold stands of conifers, mighty oaks, and other deciduous trees, the antics of animals, the flight of birds, the topography itself from “Fourteener” peaks of the Rockies to the low desert lands of Death Valley, combine with the hidden canyons of the Red Rock Country and endless wonders to make up a natural world that is endlessly fascinating. The eco–communities (we used to call them plant communities) are lifelines, literal lifelines for humans. The green infrastructure that blankets the earth provides food and oxygen or we would perish. The beauty is a spiritual lifeline. Go forth, enjoy, and Cherish the Earth!