Sunday, April 29, 2012


i live in a beautiful place, and am lucky enough to have incredibly easy access to places like those below- the first 2 photos taken on the route of my daily hike (when it's dry enough to be on the trails) and the second a 15 minute drive away and favorite weekend trail. 

i was born in the city and my mother says that i saw a tiger before i ever saw a cow, but that's because she was taking me to the zoo as an infant. and the arboretum. and the museum of natural history. and pointing out cardinals, talking about jenny wren who came to her mother's house every year, pressing autumn leaves- noticing and appreciating nature is something that i remember always being part of my life.

my parents moved from chicago to denver when i was 12 and when i saw the mountains i was done. i tried living away from them, but that didn't work out so well. i will have been in boise 20 years this october, the longest by far that i've lived anywhere. there are still plenty of spots in and near this beautiful state to explore.

i know her well enough to anticipate my favorite wildflowers blooming, the greening of the hills, the arrival of the sandhill cranes & yellow headed blackbirds, the browning of the hills (making them look like velvet), the yellows of autumn and white and stillness of winter. i am still delighted by surprises like finding moose live closer to home than i ever hoped and finding and identifying new wildflowers & birds.

i have all of this in my heart and it, in turn, finds its way into my art. after my last post about what art is, janice at postcards from wildwood emailed me because the question of voice and what the artist intends vs. what the viewer receives has been on her mind. i am not introspective (being an aries and all) and janice is ( i think virgo?) so we are coming at this from divergent angles. and i appreciate her truly interested and thoughtful questions making me THINK.

and this is what i came up with-

"i am not so sure that there is a message as that there is a mission- or a desire to have a voice- to share something about how i see the world. which will be interpreted by everyone who looks. but if my art makes a real connection with the viewer i feel like i have succeeded, regardless of their interpretation.
on the whole, though, i think that if i have a message it's that it's a great big wonderful world and that the natural world is amazing. that there are hidden depths and different ways of looking at things and if you open your eyes (and mind) there are always things to learn."
janice replied with an interesting observation that i haven't has a chance to ask if she minds if i share, so that may come later.

it's an interesting journey we're on, and we're all artists for compelling reasons, but they're all very individual and not always easy to articulate or define.

i am reading carole king's autobiography natural woman right now and am impressed by her generosity of spirit, creativity and insistence on living her life as she needed to. we share a love for idaho, which is part of what inspired this post.

we saw carole & james taylor on their troubadour tour a few years ago in sun valley and they were wonderful- beautiful is a song that i need to throw on when i'm feeling kind of cranky :) and it inspired, in part, this post.

and since i am too inept to figure out how to embed the youtube into this post it'll be a separate post, but oh well!


Postcards from Wildwood said...

Hi Marianne,
I'm visiting a little later than intended due to one of my severe migraines. :(

I've been enjoying your photos of your lovely walks, envying the beauty you have on your doorstep, and wishing I had the energy to be out of bed for 5am walks!

The background story about you in this post is interesting, and in view of our discussion helps things to fall into place about your love of the wide open spaces. Although I had noticed you photograph a lot of birds and use them in your art, I hadn't realised you were quite as interested in them as you are - identifying them, anticipating their stays in the vicinity, etc. All adds to the picture of who you are and what inspires you.

I'm still thinking about voice too. Can't remember what I said to you, but I'm happy for you to share it if it's of interest to anyone else.

Seth said...

A desire to have a voice. Well said! That totally resonates with me too.