First off: yes, that’s my real last name. (That’s usually the first question people ask me, especially out here where lots of people adopt a chosen island name for themselves.)
I spent my seminal childhood years on a farm in northern California, while my adult life as a designer and artist took place in the big cities of New York, San Francisco & Portland OR. Until I sold my house and most everything I owned in 2012 for a year-long self-imposed sabbatical to reconnect with the slower natural pace and living things I knew & adored as a child. That sabbatical year has stretched into a new life chapter – I’ve been living, working, traveling & exploring amongst the Salish Sea islands of Canada & Washington State ever since.
Modern nomad of the Salish Sea
Since committing my art work to my specific bioregion, I am not able to work in my studio creating art year-round. Out of financial necessity, I take on other types of work as well. Sometimes these jobs relate directly to my ongoing bioregional studies, other times I am doing work to help others in my small island community. These jobs allow me the breathing room to create the art work I feel most compelled to do, while also constraining the time in which I have to create it.
I relish the spring and summer months working with other people in my island community and our seasonal visitors. In the summer tourist season I primarily work as a naturalist and deckhand aboard M/V Odyssey in Friday Harbor on San Juan island. Summer is my season for working with others, learning and sharing my knowledge about the natural world here in Cascadia and encouraging visitors to explore and learn about the natural world that surrounds them wherever they live.
Gentle adventures in art & nature
I equally relish big blocks of time in the winter to draw, paint, think, explore. I satisfy my nomadic nature by holing up in various off-grid cabins on small islands, preferably with wild animals and semi-feral people for neighbors, mentors and muses. These are the months for hibernation, quiet reflection, close observations of discreet moments in nature, art making, sleeping, reading, cooking, chopping wood, stoking wood stove fires, hiking & kayaking in the rain. Sometimes in my PJs.
Simple seasonal living
This winter, 2016, I’ve plunked down my life savings for a modest half acre of cleared land on a small island of 30 full-time households to live out the rest of my days in tune with the natural world. I am looking forward to building my own natural homestead and gardens while observing the seasonal and yearly changes tied to a specific place in the Cascadia bioregion. My own small piece of land, my own homestead, my home island, my home – and radiating outwards from here. As another islander artist remarked, “This will be your biggest art project of all!”
Support for localized, resilient communities & organizations
When you purchase my artwork or wares, know that you are supporting my ongoing studies & work, my small island community, and environmental and social justice organizations. Nature is my church, I share 10%+ of my earnings each year with organizations doing important work in the world. Thank you all!
SeaDoc Society – Friends of the San Juans – Long Live the Kings – The Whale Museum – Center for Whale Research – Kwiaht Center for the Historical Ecology of the Salish Sea – The Washington Sustainable Food & Farming Network – Cascadia Now – Pacific Wild – Heiltsuk Tribe Efforts in Oil Spill Clean up – Puget Sound Mycological Society – NRDC – Earth Justice – Sierra Club – Oceti Sakowin Camp – Sacred Stone Camp – Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council – Lakota Youth Against DAPL – Free Red Fawn Fundraiser – Veterans for Standing Rock – Democracy Now – The Guardian – Unicorn Riot Media – ACLU – Planned Parenthood – Southern Poverty Law Center – The White Helmets – Wikipedia