Every Work of Art has a Story.

Every Story is an Inspiration.

Thursday
Jul022015

Roughing it with Puffins


Today I dropped this puffin painting off at it's new forever home with Miss Chelsea. She was so excited to know it was coming that she met me at the door before I had even knocked. Before I had driven the fifteen minute drive back to my house, she was already posting pictures of hanging it on her wall in a prominant spot over her bed. This made my entire week, that something I painted could already bring such joy to a friend who also happens to suffer from a dibilitating disease. So for the next story behind the painting, I thought it fitting that I tell the story of Chelsea's puffins. I hope you enjoy it as much as she did.

 

 Life at Sea

Puffins spend the majority of their lives at sea, only coming to land with their bond mate to dig a burrow into sheer rock cliffs, and breed. They lay and incubate their eggs on the cold rocks, and rear one to two voracious chicks. Even on land, they return to the sea continually, diving to depths of more than one hundred feet, in search of fish to feed themselves and their young.  When the chicks fledge the nest, they do so by literally jumping off a cliff and plunging into the sea. In fact, they spend the first five years of their lives at sea while they learn to dive and hunt the dark waters for themselves. When I think my life is tough, I think of the puffins and take comfort. 

This painting was commissioned by Chelsea Larigey, who suffers from a horribly debilitating disease known as ME or myalgic encephalomyelitis. 100% of the proceeds went to fund research for finding a cure and defining better treatments for ME. For more information on how to help those who suffer from ME/CFS visit solvecfs.org.

If you are interested in more about puffins, or you just want to spy on live ones for a bit, check out Audobon's new spy cam and their alerts from the Atlantic Puffins breeding grounds.

 

Friday
Jun122015

Animanity in Art

Come explore the state of being animal, what I call Animanity, at the latest showing of my art work. This Tuesday night, June 16th, at the Common Grounds Cafe, on Boonsboro Road in Lynchburg, Virginia, there will be an artist's reception and a viewing of my latest collection of Animanity paintings. Each painting is displayed along with the stories that have inspired and informed my work, stories that I hope will help others consider the world from a different perspective. As an example, I'm posting the story behind the painting that first brought this series together in my mind.

The A'la la.

Hawaiian Crows are extinct in the wild. This particular young male, named Nalu, lives at the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center on the Big Island of Hawaii, where I worked as an intern. He is part of a partially successful captive breed and release program that has, so far, saved the species from total extinction. Though the program has successfully bred and raised captive A'lalas, they have been unable to reduce enough of the introduced diseases, and species on the islands, and have yet to clean up enough environmental toxins for the released birds to survive. 100% of those released either died quickly of illness, or predation, or were recaptured and placed back into captivity.

Of the twenty six intelligent, gregarious and amazing A'lalas I met at Keauhou, Nalu was my favorite, largely because this painting captures exactly what he did the moment we met. He came right over and stuck his face in mine, giving me a thorough inspection. And once he decided he liked the look of me, he proceeded to follow me everywhere attempting to "help" me do my job. Nalu deserves a home free from a cage, where he can hunt and explore the O'hia forests as he would have before the human species was introduced to his home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday
May262014

Books, Books, and More Books. Summer Reading is Here!

Hey ya'll. I'm thrilled to announce that three more books from The Ravens Crossing are now available over at Amazon.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ravens Crossing Book Five is an the anthology of all three current Season Five stories written by myself, Andi Lea, and West Thornhill over at The Ravens Crossing. To catch up on Season Five, go here.

There is also a brand new story, for all of those following Darien and Lani. Don't miss the first book in the Wildwood Tides series, a prequal to the current TRC storyline. This story has never appeared on the TRC website. Find out how Darien and Lani met in Hawaii. It's a big adventure which might explain quite a bit about their current relationship. To purchase a copy, click here. 

In addition, for all those following West Thornhill's Wildwood Dreams, the prequal to that story is also available here. Find out how Keenan and Sera met.

And just because it's summer break over at TRC, don't think for a minute there's nothing to read. We have tons of fun summer posts planned, so check back on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to find out what's happening in Wildwood. Have a fantastic summer, and as always thanks for reading!! 

Sunday
May112014

The Mom and Me Post

Rincon, Puerto RicoThis being Mother's Day, I find myself thinking back on all the adventures my Mom and I have shared together. If I had to venture a guess, I'd have to say we've been on more than most. Always together, we've hiked right into  the middle of things feeling fairly fearless. We've traveled to something like twelve countries, not to mention all over the USA. We've seen and done some seriously amazing things, like climbing the Parthenon in Athens, Greece, and climbing the mountains of Morelia, Mexico to witness the monarch migration. We've been in the wine caves of France and the olive groves of Tuscany, the rainforest of Costa Rica, and the Mayan ruins of Tulum. We've had rides in limos, and cruised the Caribbean, been bear watching in North Carolina, and whale watching in Maine. We've performed folk dancing at Kennedy Center, danced for governors, presidents, and a queen. We've seen the tattoo in Scotland and street performers in Paris and New York. And through it all, we've been together. So thanks Mom, for sharing the world with me. It's been a grand adventure. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Here are just a few of the pictures. Now, I'm off to go find the ones that need to be scanned, so I can digitally preserve them. It seems like a good mother's day project while I wait for my Mom to return home for our celebration tonight. Happy Mother's Day to all of you. I wish for you a mother as wonderful as mine.

Limo ride with the Mom and Me Gang
Under the Tuscan Sun

Mayan Ruins of Tulum

The Moulin Rouge

Dining Caribbean Cruise Line Style

Del Rosario Monarch Sanctuary. Those are pine trees, peeps.

Casino Time for the Mom and Me Gang

Sunset Cruise in Bar Harbor, Maine

Hawk Migration in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Home

Enjoying the Virginia Coast

 

 

 

Wednesday
Apr022014

Cougar Kittens Brave a New World

Spring at the NC Zoo is always a busy time. But, this year I miss the busy quite a bit. That's probably because  I keep getting all these amazing baby videos and photos. Who can resist Cougar cubs? Check out the videos below. The first is their most recent, their first exploration of their new exhibit, and the second is an earlier group of clips of them playing in their quarantine housing, where all arrivals at the zoo stay when they first enter the animal collection until they have been deemed healthy and disease free. Since they are now on exhibit, we can assume the kittens are all in good health. Yay! They will be making brief outings into their exhibit over the next few weeks until their keepers feel they are ready to brave the public and their new home on a regular basis. Happy housewarming and best of luck, kitties!