Wallace Stegner originally called the national parks our best idea: “National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.”
I’ve spent a lot of time all over the West exploring their landscapes. Besides my sheer joy at being in the midst of such visual feasts, the way I learn a place is by painting it. I’ve been Artist-in-Residence in North Cascades, Glacier, Zion, Grand Canyon, Capitol Reef. I’ve also been an art colony resident in Banff, AB (between three Canadian national parks), at Willowtail Springs, CO (next to Mesa Verde), the Vermont Studio Center, the Jentel Foundation in Wyoming near the Big Horn Mountains and Playa Summer Lake in Oregon. Each time I fall in love with a new landscape. But close observation also makes me aware of the many issues facing those lands. My joy in their beauty becomes a goad to more serious work about the threats to them, such as insect invasions and forest fires.
In this exhibit "Rainforest" is from the Olympic National Park, "Young & Old Alike" is from The North Cascades National Park and "The Landscape of Fire" is from Banff National Park.