I have not posted a waterfall adventure and painting in quite some time, but that does not mean they are not still happening. I am not bushwhacking to new waterfalls nearly as often, but I have been toting larger wood panels to the same sites multiple times, adding different elements on site and back in the studio, trying to reach a new level with them. I have half a dozen of these that are almost done. Some of them may end up being successful completed paintings, but I admit the process change alters the experience. There is a bliss in creating a complete painting in the one focused visit that is lost. I may start doing some paintings on paper again, or maybe mix some smaller panels in, but in the meantime I have found another way to get my negative ions, connect with the beauty of nature, and be fully present in the moment. I have been playing in the creek.
I spent countless hours playing in the creek as a child and even as a teen continued to visit my favorite spots in the woods off Glendale Drive. My time at Amos Creek is very similar. The soothing sounds, glistening colors, and the gentle challenge of sorting and stacking rocks work together to create a deep calm. In a season of increasing stress and pressure the effect seems nothing short of magical.
I feel like I need to mention that I am not out in wilderness areas leaving a trace and messing up habitats. My bits of creekscaping are on land that has been domesticated and altered by humans for generations. Larger scale changes to avoid erosion and optimize drainage make the area far from pristine. The salamanders of Amos Creek are used to a shifting landscape. My little creations seem unlikely to ruin their day.
There are artists creating dramatic pieces in nature on many scales. Some are exquisite while others others feel gimmicky. Though I am trying to share a few images of mine they are not meant to be Art with a capital A. They have no chance of permanence. They will wash away with the next rain so there is no need to seek perfection. The bliss is in the moment of balance, the comfort of sorting, the ripples of pleasure that coincide with the flow of light, water, and color.