May 18 — June 24, 2012
A few years ago, I began to think of the environmental crises as a crises of the imagination.
I couldn’t really imagine the scope of global degradation; so of course I couldn’t imagine what to do about it. And worse, I was unable to “imagine” the complexity of my own watershed and the changes affecting it. I thought: I need pictures, images to explain the science facts I “know”. Only then will I stop imagining I am not involved.
So in 2010, I began painting local endangered species. I collected information and species lists. I studied photographs, the only way to see most of the species. I walked trails I’d known for fifty years, slowly understanding—and mourning—the changes.
I don’t know where this study will lead me. What has surprised me is the effect of wild places and species on the way I think. There is a meshing of intuition, science, and a childlike innocence and wonder. I am stunned at life’s complexity and fragility. Maybe that’s what it takes. To accept being stunned, and to keep thinking—seriously, responsibly—from inside the whorl.