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They Came From the Sea

They Came from the Sea

Friends –

Although I am no longer in Oregon, I still feel the magic of Yachats and Cape Perpetua and I want to share with you one more adventure I experienced there. I spent most of the summer trying to immerse myself in the history, culture, traditions and trails of Cape Perpetua so that I could better understand (and paint) what was important about this beautiful part of the country. I was lucky enough to meet just the right people to help me do this in a more fulfilled way than I ever would have dreamed.

Also, several long, solo hikes in the area helped me soak in the beauty, feel the dangers, and understand the spirits that result from the collision of those two.  By the time I took this hike along the rocky coastline, I had read ancient stories about life and death struggles among bears, raccoons, wrens, ravens and other animals – all of them taking on human thoughts and actions, for better or worse.  I’d say it was mostly for worse.   The stories were fiction, but the reference to local landmarks in the tales and the undeniable symbolism made them feel real.

With this frame of mind, and also some eerie morning fog, I made a discovery which led to this painting, ‘They Came from the Sea’.

At first I was just noticing the many huge logs that were marooned on the beach – remnants of 19th century destructive logging practices.  Now they remain tangled among the rocks, pounded by waves and bleached by the sun. And then, among all of that, I saw what I at first thought were animals…. birds, perhaps?  Lots of them.  And they seemed to be coming out of the sea. But no, wait!  They were not moving.  I got closer and recognized what I thought they were. I can best describe them as cairns.

Now, cairns are supposed to help you follow the correct trail, but that cannot have been the purpose for these!  If you did try follow them you would at best get very confused, and at worst, go deep into the water and drown.  They lead to the ocean, if anywhere at all. I could not decide if it was creepy or whimsical, or artistic or something else.

But in the end, I decided it was fun. Whoever built those – and I am assuming it was a human being – did an amazing amount of work with so many rocks stacked in so many impossible angles perched on so many impossible places.

One month later I brought Bob with me and took him there to show him.  But alas, they were mostly gone.  Thus, I had to make this painting.  Maybe you can understand the purpose of these creatures better than I.   

‘From the Sea’ is an 14x18” oil on canvas that I will exchange for a donation to a worthwhile non-profit organization, such as LCC Scholarship Foundation.

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