I am taking a course to become a certified California Naturalist. Ann Wasser, our teacher for the course at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, told us about local author, scientist and educator, Elin Kelsey, who has been inspiring children and adults for many years about the natural world and creativity. Her most recent book that has just come out is Wild Ideas. It is a book about how animals solve problems creatively. Check out her website for many other inspiring books and ways of approaching the environmental challenges we face in fun and engaging ways.
The paintings are proving to be excellent tools for educating and inspiring people about the project and the work being done to help the river. I was at the MEarth Day event this past Saturday where people expressed their appreciation for this series of paintings.
I plan on doing interviews and painting portraits of people involved in this project as well as continuing to document the stages of the construction and restoration of the project area. Donations in support of this painting project are gratefully accepted. Contact Paola through this website. Thank you.
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Here is the full excavation of the mountain as seen from the platform at San Clemente Rancho. Imagine that there was a mountain there last year at this time! (from the long straight cut on the right to the cut on the left... that was all mountain! 342, 000 cubic yards of rock and earth, 200 feet high at the highest point on the right. First pass on the painting started on April 1, 2015. Second pass painted today, April 4, 2015 from 8:30 am - 12:30 p.m. The painting is not quite finished in this photo.
(You can see the first stages of this excavation in the June 2014 blog post.)
I will be doing more paintings from this location when the water is drained in a couple weeks in preparation for taking the dam down at the end of the summer. The subsequent paintings will show how deep the excavation is and the restoration to make the new river course with step pools for the steelhead.
I have been recording the bird sounds and other sounds while i paint. When I come home, I then have my own soundtrack to listen to! I plan on using the sounds in exhibits when the series is complete.
A quote by Robert Hass, poet, came to me in my inbox today from the Global Oneness Project/Cleary Vaughn-Lee:
“The fundamental work of the 21st century has got to be river restoration, because all the rest of life depends on rivers. So the future is going to be a complicated combination of human art, human science, human engineering, and respect for an understanding of natural processes that make room for the rest of life to thrive.”
After painting the excavation, I turned around to paint the sky lupin...so inviting, couldn't not paint it!
This body of work is lovely and needs to be seen by the community. I'm envisioning that you will get an exhibition, the visibility and support for this project. - Marie Butcher
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