The Ocean’s Talking Stick


Talking sticks are part of Native American culture, particularly the tribes from the Plains (Cheyenne, Blackfoot). They are used in discussions, permitting individuals to share points of view. Each item on the stick has meaning.
This still life is evocative of the shape and form of a Native American talking stick. The reeds and leaves speak of the land, the feather of the sky, and the bubbles of the ocean. This “talking stick”, found just at the water’s edge, speaks of the place where all these elements meet, the tide line.

Nature Imitates Art


With single digit temperatures, ocean water had frozen along the upper tide line this past weekend. This small shell fragment would be insignificant along a summer tide line. Buried within the frozen and crystallized sea water, though, it transformed into a small piece of impressionist art – painterly, indistinct – drawing me into the image.
I love beautiful landscapes and still lifes, but I also love gentle, almost mysterious compositions such as this one.

Frozen in Time

It was really quite cold walking the tide line yesterday, but it was also almost magical. The ocean spray had frozen over the rock jetties and the pilings, and the high tide’s standing water had frozen solid over the sand.
Today it is colder – 12 Fahrenheit, snowing, with 25 mph wind making the wind chill temperature -9. … But the wind is from the west and the storm is clearing out. That combination might be making for a fierce, furious, and magnificent ocean this morning. It would be dangerous to spend any time walking the tide line, but I hope I can manage to at least see the beach in its furious glory!



Homage to Picasso


Cubism is one of my favorite periods of art, largely because the imagination and innovation of the artists is almost unfathomable to me. How could Picasso have conceived painting from different angles in one portrait? In a period of time when artistic innovation was at odds with traditionalism, how could other Cubists have had the insight and incentive to look for underlying angles and lines in a still life or a landscape.
There are a number of portraits by Picasso (and innumerable similar pieces by others) where he paints a face both straight on and in partial profile. Consider this photograph as the tide line – land, water, and light – copying art, rather than the other way around.