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South Jetty.jpeg

South Jetty

50" x 50"

I made a day trip with an artist friend to the South Jetty at the mouth of the Columbia River. We stood on an observation platform that provides a full-circuit view of rocks, sea, river and wetlands.

As I photographed, I felt the wind and absorbed the salt spray. It was total joy. 

Back in the studio, I thought about how to depict the strength of the waves, jetty, wind, but also the strength of friendship that held us together. I wanted the work to be more than a seascape. I wanted it to sing of this special time and place.

I began by painting the fabric in large sections that I could divide with free, strong sweeps of the scissors. I sprayed some of the paint like the wind across the top of a wave. I assembled these elements by collage. I finished the work by stitching across it leaving lines like navigational maps. South Jetty became an ode to nature, power and friendship.


January '22

40" x 30"

Early this year I decided to start a work to be titled Clean Slate. I’ve never titled a piece before it was made, but I was sure of what I wanted to do: White with some undertones of gray like a poorly erased blackboard. A palimpsest for the new year.The white asked for contrast, so in came some grey. Not quite right, so I added some slightly darker shades; then really dark, and even a touch of color.


 My plan was disappearing; obviously the piece had a mind of its own. 

It began as a horizontal, making that line of white look like a horizon, so I tilted it 90º to the right and that improved the composition for me. By this time, Clean Slate was gone, but in its place I saw the strong dark to light textures of these particular times. It named itself: January ‘22.

What the Tide Revealed 2019.png

What the Tide Revealed

5 Panels | 60" x 8" each

I have a fascination for places where water and land connect. Ocean and sand. Rivers and rocks. Steel or wooden pilings that form bulkheads or snags, ever- changing and full of life and death. Rarely do I have time to sketch, and so I photograph the details and make notes on the colors, shapes, forms, percentages of light and dark, anything that recalls the moment. I don’t make finished drawings. If the drawing becomes a finished product, I don’t want to make a copy of it. I want to maintain spontaneity in the final work. 


The textures that inspire me are most apparent at low tide. Rust, mud, barnacles, seaweed: death and life meeting to form an imposing surface. Bulkheads and bridges, structures of strength. There’s a connection for me with the low tides of our lives revealing both strength and beauty to survive.



44" x 31"

What’s in an inspiration? A dream; a beach: a boatyard; a walk on a country road…or a city one, for that matter. The great naturalist, John Muir, wrote that going out for a walk was really going in. Going in: INspiration. 

My phone becomes an instant note maker. I appreciate knowing where and when the photo was taken, since it’s often years before a particular picture resonates with my current explorations. Occasionally I compose a recognizable image from a photo source, but more often I lean into a  feeling, a suggestion, a gesture; an overblown detail that reads as abstract. Either representational or not, a finished work rarely resembles the actual source.

That’s the case for a recent work titled Downstream. I was walking around Raft Island, where I used to live. It had rained heavily, forming a run-off in one part of the road. Sand and mud were pouring toward a drain, and the light hit at just the right moment. I was drawn to the energy of the flow. That photo, several years later, became  Downstream.

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