Gold in the Air Land and Water
mixed media 54"x85"
"This project started by simply unrolling some canvases from my archived illustration projects, and seeing the possibilities of collaging them in new ways, for new artistic statements. Quickly, the project took on a life of its own. "
California's Wild Gold
Mixed Media Nature Tapestries
These collages are created from illustrations originally commissioned for displays in California state parks and protected areas. They are a celebration of the abundance of life and wildlife diversity found in California. As related to the title of the series, they invite the viewer to enjoy the proliferation of life, and also to reflect upon the true nature and meaning of wealth.
Gold is associated with wealth, and gold is associated with California. What is gold? Speaking metaphorically or otherwise, it is “that which makes us rich.” In California, the 1850s gold rush brought hordes of people from all over the world, and modern-day California was born. A few people got rich from the hard yellow stuff, but it has since been obvious that the true wealth of this vast state comes from the abundance of life, natural resources and fertile soil.
California's Wild Gold is presented here as a joyful celebration — and as a warning. If life, land and natural abundance are true wealth, then how do we integrate our vast numbers, our insatiable appetite for land and development? How do we protect the future? What is to become of California's Wild Gold?
Creating California's Wild Gold
As a nature illustrator, I spend much time and effort “getting it right.” Project review teams are focused on detail and accuracy. I am much like the conscientious student, dutifully doing my homework putting time and effort into the research.
Making these tapestries lets me feel more like being a toddler in a sandbox, slinging things around, playing with shapes and colors and just having fun. Stitchery, cutting, pasting, painting on fabric, all of these tasks take me back to crafting days as a young girl.
In this project, nothing is machine stitched, all measuring is eyeballed, intuitively based. There is no focus on “right.” And to me, that feels just right."