Sunday, June 18, 2017


Artists seem to be drawn to certain subjects and will spend months, even years dissecting and exploring every aspect. For an artist to produce something worthy, he or she much study her subject and become intimate with it in order to interpret it for others to understand. This takes time and lots of observation, letting your subject speak to you on its terms.

One of my favorite artists, Sarah Adams, paints the North Cornwall coast, mostly sea caves. They remind me of my current obsession - portals. You can peek through her stone cathedrals and catch a slim glimpse of the outside world. Our lives actually parallel each other's in numerous ways. Her caves are my portals.

My definition of a portal is a place in the natural world where energy is manifested to a point where it's palpable. It is a gateway, an entrance, an invitation to peek into a new realm. While wandering through the refuge at Alligator River, portals will appear and beckon me to stop and sketch. They will remain for a day or so then disappear soon after, never to reopen in the same place again. Whether these portals are at the mercy of fluctuating water levels and the shifting of wet earth, I don't know. Perhaps a benevolent elemental such as a fairy or elf has decided to allow me a glimpse behind the veil. I tend to think this could indeed be the case since I swear I am being watched at times while sketching along the creeks.

A few years ago, a close friend and I experienced our first portal. I was mesmerized. Secret things appeared that aren't usually seen like a bobcat strolling towards us and funnels of wings in a vortex just above the dirt road. We could look straight through this watery opening to an area that should have been just field. I have never yearned more for a kayak than I did at that very moment. Returning a couple of days later, it had closed, and I have never located it since.

These portals offer me lost secrets, and unexplained opportunities are presented. I am taking advantage of them for however long they continue to appear to me. They appeal to that part of my brain that questions what reality really is or might be if I just open up to what might lie beyond. What new experience will I find next time? I capture these gateways as a reminder that there was a time I truly believed in enchanted woods and winged beings. And now I am being offered once more a peek inside those memories and the promise of more to come.


  1. Never stop believing, and never stop painting these lovely scenes. Like sand mandalas, your heart and soul go into them, and then they close and are not to be glimpsed again - but you have proof there were once there :)

  2. Oh I love that - I DO have proof they existed. Thank you for that.

  3. Stunning paintings and what a wonderful post! I am going to start looking more closely from here on out.

  4. Thank you Ann. Keep looking, they're out there, I promise!