Fellowship of Dawn

Everyone has their favorite time of the day.  I am a morning person.  I love the dawn and the sunrise and the sound of birds waking up to the new day.
There is nothing I like better than camping and waking up to a cool, crisp dawn.  Make some coffee on the fire, quietly listen as everything in nature wakes.  Walk to the water’s edge….hear the waves lapping against the shore before you can even see it.
Then – that magical moment of dawn when the clouds start to brighten.  The indigo of night, inch by inch, changes to greys before the riot of pinks, purples and oranges of sunrise.  It is a moment of fellowship with nature and with God and with life.


Living in the 'flatlands' of mid-Michigan, surrounded by wheat and corn fields, it is not unusual to see big trees.  But they are usually second or third generation, standing alone in someones yard or a park.  Michigan was pretty well clear cut from shore to shore and top to bottom back in the 1800's.  Conservation practices were unknown.  Man ruled and nature and all it's bounty was there for the taking and for our every use.
The opportunity for me to see virgin stands of the last giant trees in Michigan came while I was Artist in Residence at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.  Hiking the Government Peak Trail, Lake Superior Trail and Big Carp River Trail left me in awe of what Michigan must have looked like. 
Huge, majestic, beings that grew for centuries in the storms and winds of Lake Superior.  They strengthened their bones against the onslaught by growing roots into the rocks of the escarpment, wrapping around and through them.  
They grew slowly and with purpose up to the light of the sky and 
a beam of light from the sun.

The trees were deemed too difficult to get to and fell back in the day and so were left.  Today, without the protection of the Park, all kinds of machinery would be moved in and fell them with no problem.

What troubles me is how big business and government love to worm around the protection placed on our public lands.  Lands that WE, the taxpayers own!  The moves recently to go under these lands, searching for oil, gas, minerals.  They put forth the argument that they are not disturbing the Park - we can still hike the trails and enjoy the wildlife and views above ground.  And look at all the jobs they will create!  Goodness!  We should all embrace their compassion for us!
Yet they maim the land gaining access and then poison the groundwaters that flow into the streams, rivers and the largest source of fresh water on earth!  They don't think about the consequences to the next generations that can never repair their damage.

We need to stand tall, like these giant trees.  Grow deep strong roots.  Hold on tight against the winds that conspire to fell us.  We need to reach with everything we have toward the sun and harness the energy given by it instead of digging into the deep places where what we do is hidden from the light.

We need to Beam.

The Art of Sleeping Bear Dunes

Art of the Sleeping Bear Dunes: A Fine Art Publication and Exhibition

Artists have been drawn to the beauty and ever-changing landscape of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore for years.  Leelanau Press, a non-profit publisher whose mission is to publish work of regional writers and artists, in conjunction with the Dennos Museum Center at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, Michigan, invited artists to submit work in a juried fine art competition with the promise of the publication of a color, large format, hardcover book and an exhibition at the Dennos Museum Center in October 2013 - January 2014. 

I am honored to find that 'Glow' was accepted into this exhibition.

Tokyo Exhibition 1/18-1.31

Please enjoy the photos of the Exhibition of the Six - 2012 Mokuhanga Innovative Residents.
Wish I could have been there for this exhibition.  There were over 120 attendees.
The exhibit now moves to Kawaguchi, location of the Residency, for the local community to enjoy and find out more about the program.

Paths We Travel

I find it so interesting the paths we travel.  It was never even in my thoughts that at some point in my life I would travel to Japan and live at Mt. Fuji.  Never!

So imagine my surprise when I was recently moving and found this watercolor painting I did when I was 16 years old.

And then compare with my recent woodblock print from my Residency at Mt. Fuji this fall.