Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Beavers, Bisons, and Prairie Dogs, Part 1

I have a stack of reading that I'm going through to research for my Fluid Dynamics exhibit next August at Waterstone Gallery in Portland, Oregon. I decided to start with what is probably the most fun, easiest, and least depressing of the bunch, Water: A Natural History, by Alice Outwater (I assume that last name was completely coincidental). And it has proven to be a fun and informative read.

Just for fun, here's the back side of the state flag of Oregon:

I have lived in Oregon for 30+ years, and had never really fully appreciated the state mammal, the beaver, until I started reading this book. I knew, of course, that they built dams, that they had powerful teeth, that they had an unusual tail, and that they were hunted almost to extinction for their pelts when Europeans started to settle in N. America. (Their pelts were prized for coats and hats, but it was the hat trade that did them in.)

What I didn't know was how big an impact they had on managing rivers and the riparian zones (habitats for fish/insects/birds), and ground water. When the beaver population was decimated, the rivers flowed faster, provided fewer shelters and less organic materials as food for fish/insects/birds. And not only that, by cutting down trees near the water, the beavers created more diverse habitats. And for humans, the faster flow meant that less water seeped down to the aquifer to be stored for future use.

Coming up in the next few days, some process images of Beavers vs Hats.

Has It Really Been Six Months?

Looks like my last post was on April 6 when I wrote about Phlebotomy of a Pie!

Truth be told, I've been spending more time over on facebook, yeah, you know, THAT place. (And if you'd like more frequent but quick updates, you can sign up there.)

Well, no point crying over spilt milk, what I haven't posted here, I haven't posted here. Suffice to say that I have been busy over the summer — there were 6 small paintings of bugs and 5 have sold! My goodness, that's a record for me. The last one is available at Bainbridge Arts & Crafts Gallery:

Grace Hopper's Bug, II

Here are three that sold during the August exhibit at the gallery:

Grace Hopper's Bug, I

Hello World


I followed these up with Hello World, II and Startup, II and they sold before I was able to get high quality photos of them. That's a good problem to have.

I have started to plan and create work for my next solo exhibit at Waterstone Gallery next August, Fluid Dynamics. It will be a show of paintings and artists' books about our changing relationship with water. Because the topic is complicated, I will be writing more about it here. Facebook is great for a short & quick update, but sometimes, one needs more than that.