Learn to paint, learn to see…
it will change your life.
In between fishing trips, bug catching, discovery hikes, lizard chasing, fossil digging, photographing, and studying plants, the children are home–schooled, but this is no intellectual exercise. The year–long campout in 16 National Parks and Forest Service sites becomes a journey of the heart. The family grows to love the way the great outdoors is put together.
Part travelogue, part natural history, part field course in art appreciation, the author records her development as an artist as she learns to paint and learns to see. To her surprise, a spiritual awakening sneaks up on her, and the journey turns into something more—a pilgrimage.
Any book that starts with a quote by Ken Burns immediately gets my attention. Janice Kirk’s “The Road to Beaver Park” explores land, art and family that culminates in a spiritual awakening – for the author, and quite possibly, for the reader too. The journey may have been taken long ago (1970s) but it is current in its telling. And Janice’s sketches enhance the storytelling. If you need to “get away” for a bit, this is a nice journey to take.
By LHicks on April 1, 2018
Amazon Customer Review
➥ The Road to Beaver Park is a travelogue full of wonder and insight. Jan’s artistic perception unveils the beauty and order of the Western United States—evidence that fuels the spiritual pilgrimage that sneaks up on her along the way. I was moved by her honesty and the lovely imagery of her words.
D. Weiss, California. (Singer, Sailor, CSU Adjunct Voice Instructor)
➥ It’s like an enlightenment book. Reminds me of Travels With Charlie (John Steinbeck). Beaver Park is about traveling the country and growing as an artist as well as a growth in faith. I have spent many a morning in a duck blind waiting for the sun to rise and understand some of the same feelings.
A. Hansen, California. (Community College Science Teacher, Outdoorsman)
➥ The Road to Beaver Park gave me an entirely new perspective on the wonders of the earth and of nature’s diverse life. Seeing the world through the eyes of a painter expanded my appreciation for what is around me. Jan uses her observations as evidence of a Creative Force behind the harmonies and complexities of the natural world. Beaver Park is an easy–to–read story of one woman’s journey to find her spiritual home.
M. Milton, California. (Editor, Author, Horsewoman)
➥ I got halfway through the Prologue, and I’m already crying…I can’t put this book down. Jan’s story narrative hints of Barbara Kingsolver and Rachel Carson, but with a clear voice all her own. Great book!
T. Douse, California. (Nature lover, Off–the–Grid environmentalist)
➥ Your book so inspired me for our family camping trip that I wanted to thank you. We had a nature scavenger hunt, what you see/collect…
B. Feeser, California. (ELCA Lutheran Pastor, fisherman, camper)
➥ Going through the process of awakening the senses and learning your craft was particularly fascinating. It reminded me of a Harvard prof’s paper about “the observant eye”, calling it the most important lesson each field scientist needs to learn as part of our craft. Any ecologist must go out and observe everything before making conclusions. Too many products of environmental education programs have used information from books and data, never drawing real life conclusions or even verifications…It continually struck me that your conclusions from art and those from science are the same–patterns, confluence, the “web of life”, etc. I’ve always considered life itself a great gift to each of us, but understanding the oneness of it all is an even greater gift.
N. Milton, California. (Geobotanist, U.S. Geological Survey, retired)
➥ I finished your book and I love it…you were over my right shoulder talking to me, and Don was on my left. I loved the way you wove your testimony into the narrative! Great job! I also enjoyed your discussion about artistic perception…Beaver Park is a great book and I am sharing it with others.
B. Kalsbeek, California. (retired teacher, RV traveler)
➥ Everyone will glean info from this book. Even if they are not going to the same places they can use all of this info wherever they travel. The parts about flowing lines are so educational even though it is something we should already know. Great stuff! Loaded with information—natural history, travelogue, painting lore, and family having fun. Enjoy!
M. Cambra, California. (Author)