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Remembering Bygone Days In Isolation

The Road Of No Return Titus Canyon Death Valley California

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Twenty-seven miles of one way road snakes it’s way through the heart of the Grapevine Mountains. Heading east near the ghost town of Rhyolite Nevada you pick up the road to Titus Canyon. One of the most incredible backroad journeys you can experience in Death Valley National Park or anywhere else. This is definitely a bucket trip that you will happy to take. 

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We took the drive in late October of 2019. The temperatures were in the high seventies. Summer though can be extremely hot. This is Death Valley the hottest place in the United States. The fall, winter and spring are pretty much perfect. Although I will tell you 70 is cool but not as cold as 40 or 30. We all think about the heat, but the cold in place penetrates your body like a knife. I don’t think I have ever been colder in my life than I was in December 2006 in Death Valley. I’ve been in some pretty cold places too! October though is a perfect time to visit.

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The journey is not for the faint of heart though. The road is a rough dirt road that can be treacherous. Especially during the rainy season when flash flooding can happen anytime. The road itself offers challenges even for the most experienced drivers. The first 8 miles are relatively tame. A long winding dirt road traverses the landscape across open vista’s with spectacular views of the desert and surrounding Grapevine Mountains.

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Be warned by the tame nature of the first 8 miles. There is no turning around. It is oneway until you get to the other side through the canyon. The National Park Service recommends a high wheel base vehicle. Four wheel drive is preferred, however we never used our four wheel drive and if you take it slow you can make it. If you have a high wheelbase. Most cars today have low clearance, low wheel bases and would not make it through the canyon. Well not without significant damage to the undercarriage. So now you’ve been warned. You can rent a Jeep, it would be worth the rental fee.

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Once you get past the first 8 miles the road turns into an undulating snake, with twists turns and rapid falling hills. My Toyota Tundra was almost too big to navigate some of the tighter spots on the road. There are definitely places along the road it would be impossible to turn around. If you like the thrill of blind sear drop offs of roller coaster riding you will feel right at home with the thrill. Many turns in the road simply and blindly drop off as the road turns making in hard to see what is in front of you. Maybe you have more steel in you than I do, but I took it slow. Maybe you are like my wife. Who thinks if you lean hard enough opposite the dropping edge of the road. The truck will somehow manage to stay on the road. Besides slow in my experience is the best way to enjoy the journey. We all get too used to rushing through life from one experience to another. Slow is good, savor the moments as they come and enjoy the ride even if you have to hold on tight.

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If color and form is your thing? The skillful brush work of nature has endowed us with a magnificent masterpiece. Color exploding from plants to the geology of the sculptural rock formations are breath taking. From the red and yellow ochers to the purples and greens. Deep umbers and rich siennas mixed among the blues of the sky feed the senses. The relationship of form and space seem perfectly balanced with the color of this place. Of course the natural landscape is a continuously evolving master work. This is a place where I can breath and allow all my senses to enjoy every moment. From the rushes of excitement driving this roller coaster of a road to the wondrous moments of visual stimulation urge you on. It is a oneway trip and you have to commit to going the distance. With every turn a new splendor awaits as our curiosity coaxes us forward. After all it’s the only direction we can go.

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Then suddenly what was once civilization emerges in front of us. Leadfield now a ghost town appears in the distance. Established by a conman named CC Julian the town boomed for just one year from 1926 to 1927.

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Julian convince about 300 pioneers to move too and settle Leadfield. He advertised steamboats, steaming up the Amargosa River which is dry most of the year and located some 20 miles from the town site. That’s the story of this place for modern people. The lead soon played out, the post office closed and the town was deserted. Julian slipped away with his pockets full never to be seen again. He did leave behind the road.

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Still though Indigenous people who knew the canyon and the seasons well, left their endearing mark on this place. As you make your way through the towering walls of the canyon. The road now dry turns into a running wash during the rainy season. The evidence of seasonal flooding is clear if you know what to look for. It’s advisable to check with Park Rangers about road conditions before you go. The road is not well patrolled. 

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Then suddenly an oasis emerges in the heart of the canyon. A spring bubbling out of the bottom of the towering walls turns into a running stream. A large ancient petroglyph, a story stone marks the place. I’ve always seen these story stones as ancient bill boards.

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Interpretive signs with trail maps and the location of water and food sources. They too just like our modern interpretive signs identify the wildlife in the area. Of course this is just my interpretation of these story stones. Many experts see these petroglyphs as sacred artwork. What could be more sacred than water, food and directions. Ancient people I believe, were a practical people who had a sacred relationship with nature and their environment. Something I think we have lost today. This is a place where we can reconnect with nature, just a little for a brief time. If you slow down and experience the wonder of this place you will be changed. Savor the moments along the journey.

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As you reach the end. You emerge from the sliver of a road running through towering rock walls into a vast open aerial vista of the valley below.

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The last 3 miles of the road is wide open and two lanes wide. You can come into the canyon from the west on the 3 miles of two lane road. Then take the trailhead and hike in by foot but you will miss one of the best drives you can ever take. 

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So as we all face news that seems more grim by the day. The future is a oneway trip. Forward is the only way we can go. Know that we will emerge from this time and there is a future for the majority of us. We can honor those we lose over the next days weeks months and maybe years by taking stock of what is important. Hope is more important now than ever. One thing I have learned. We took a chance over a year ago when we decided to just downsize and go do the things we always wanted to do. We wanted to travel to all these wondrous places. We wanted experiences we could cherish. At our age time is always something that is running out. This is just something age teaches all of us. So we took a big chance, we bought a truck and a travel trailer and we took our bucket list and hit the road. We haven’t gotten to all of our list yet, but we have hope tomorrow will be better days. My purpose now is to dream of those days and I hope I can inspire you to dream a little too. 

I’m sad, angry and worried, maybe like you. I won’t give up and I hope you can find your way to go on. Even though I know many of you are grieving for loved ones and for your own loss of freedom and normalcy. As you face today as hard as it is. My hope is you can keep your eye on the future. Now is the time to dig deep and search your soul for what is important to you. Make a plan for the future and do it. It is painfully obvious we all have to make changes and we are all in this together. We have to think about and care for each other. Just like those ancient people who made the story stones. They left messages for unknown generations to come. So that they too could find the means to flourish and succeed in the future. 

Chow

Be Healthy Be Safe and Wash Your Hands and Have Hope and Dream. 

 Death Valley

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Barbara and Gus at the Borax Works

As we all hunker down in the time of isolation. Dreams of a better tomorrow, places to go things to do offer hope when we can once again leave our shelter from this invisible storm.

When the temperatures eased this past fall of 2019 we made our way from the Pacific Coast down to Death Valley. For me Death Valley is one of those mysterious scared places where the sky opens over a surreal landscape. The geology of the place is truly something to behold. The rock formations explode with colors like a rainbow fell from the never ending sky covering the landscape with all the beauty an artistic mind can conjure. The valley for me has to be one of the greatest natural sculptural landscapes on the planet. Everywhere you go, everywhere you look the landscape changes dramatically into a dream like frontier sculpted by all the wonder and power of nature.

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This barren place has never really been settled in the true sense of the word, although many generations have tried. I would call Death Valley at best a seasonal garden of delight where we humans visit. Oh sure today in modern times we have foot holds of settlement brought mostly by the National Park Service. Although without the monumental effort to maintain the modern infrastructure this place would quickly return to a forbidding wasteland as barren as Mars. Life though is abundant. Somehow the small emaciated coyotes still roam the desert plains in search of something to eat and a drop of water to drink.

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Water is life here. Deep inside Death Valley water is more precious than gold or any other resource this place holds. Many have tried to find their fortunes in this place only to fail. Beaten by the extreme summer temperatures that soar into the hundreds making the parched landscape inhospitable to most living creatures. 

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At night the edge of the universe rests on the distance mountains. The night sky is more brilliant here than any other place I’ve been. Maybe it’s the dry air or the below sea level elevation. You can almost reach out and touch the stars. This is a place to watch satellites and meteors. While we were there the Big Dipper rested on the distance edge of the earth. It stretched out across the landscape from the edges of mountain to mountain laying on the middle plains. Having seen the Big Dipper countless times, here it was like I’d never saw it before. You can begin to realize how vast the universe really is here. You can feel its size in human terms. You feel like you’re standing at the edge of an unimaginable height peering deep into space and time. I think this is one of the many reasons the first people here thought of this place as scared. You would have to be devoid of your senses not to be over come by the magic of nature here. 

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From the mountains if you know where to look you can find the stone maps indigenous people made with rocks. Similar to the Nazca Lines in Peru. Ancient people created paths, maps by placing rocks in lines and circles. The theory was these were navigation markers. Early visitors thought the lines and circles were natural, but human hands sculpted these markers. 

And then there are the Wandering Stones. Rocks boulders that mysteriously move on their own. These rocks do travel long distances too. They just slide across the ground with no apparent means of transport. A lot of theories speculate on how and why these sometimes massive rocks move. Still today it’s a mystery. It’s hard to wrap your head around the how’s and why’s, because believe me countless of experts have tried. It’s just Magic and wondrous, so just believe.  

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Some day when you get out of Isolation and we can then move around like we once did. Put Death Valley on your bucket list. I warn you though, if you go be prepared. Not just water, but your imagination. Be Safe Be Healthy and wash your hands!

Next Titus Canyon Death Valley. A oneway journey to adventure. There is no turning back! 

 

 

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The Tempest

 

A Dramatic End Of The Road Trip

Spring 2019 we set out on our road trip adventure. We made a two month long trip out west, then returned to our rental in North Carolina. We finished putting everything in storage and hit the road full time in August. Unravelling all those anchor connections take time. 

I had planned on blogging as we traveled around the country, but I didn’t. It just seemed too much of a distraction from the adventure. Always looking for a stable internet connection. The hot spot was most of the time a luke warm blob. So I decided to just disconnect and enjoy my time wandering America. We did too, making a big loop around both coasts, the north, south and middle. Now pretty rusty and immersed in a pandemic the question is where to begin? I never thought my Isolated Studio would really mean Isolated from everybody. Isolation is our new reality.

So I will begin at the end of our adventure. 

We had been on the coast of North Carolina for the past few months. Parked on the edge of Topsail Sound. We had some family business we needed to take care of these last few months. My kids a military family had gotten orders to move to Japan for three years. They needed to sell the house, cars, well about everything. The house still had damage from Hurricane Florence that needed repaired before the sale could be finalized. In short we got all the work done and the sale went through. We decided to stick around until they departed for Japan on the scheduled date of March 18, 2020. We were watching the pandemic beginning to emerge and were getting a little worried we needed to get home to Montana. That is where all of our business is located and more important our medical support. 

Then just a few days before they were to leave. New orders came saying travel was now restricted to Japan and they were ordered to hold in place until the middle of May. Trouble was they were living in a temporary furnished beach rental and their time was up on the original departure schedule. The unit was booked and they couldn’t extend. So with a lot of scrambling and support from their friends they landed in a Fifth Wheel Trailer on a friends farm with an old loaner truck from another friend. They had gotten rid of their cars, house and all their stuff is on a ship somewhere in the Pacific headed to Japan. They are just fine and settled in for the duration. So we decided on March 18 that it was now or never to head home to Montana. 

So we hit the road not knowing we would be able to get home. Things stated ramping up just as we left North Carolina. Many state and city campgrounds were closing. However most private campgrounds were still open with social isolation restrictions in place. Yes we were socially isolated. Being completely self contained and well supplied the only time we needed to stop was for gas. Yes gas was cheap too. A blessing in disguise. Gasing up was all by card, taking precautions to sanitize and wash my hands it was all good. Most campgrounds were no contact everything was digital. The couple that weren’t we used the night box and strict social distancing, mutual choice on everybody’s part. So i felt as secure as any of us can these days.

We have a long term spot in Montana now where we will hunker down and ride out this disaster. Now myself and my wife are both in high risk groups, age is working against. My son and his wife have been isolating because of a possible transmission from a coworker. They were just finishing their 14 days as we arrived home. They both work at a ski resort where numerous visitors from Washington and California come like the plague every year. Only this year it was the plague. They are both ok and healthy.

Worried about us, they have been doing all our shopping and errands. Which we really appreciate. It is a big roll reversal for us, we are highly independent and we are also the ones who help everybody else. The truth is we need to help now because the risk is high and growing by the day. The part that really sucks is the social distancing. Standing six feet apart, no hugs no touching the ones you love. Disinfecting everything that comes into our RV. Yes that means wiping down all the cans and packages with Lysol wipes. Gus our dogs is heart broken too, no one can pet him. He could transfer the virus via his fur from someones hand to us. He won’t get sick but we could. 

The only way any of us are going to be safe is to not get sick in the first place. Already I have two friends that I know of who have confirmed Covid19. One younger is recovering the other in her 70s, hospitalized with severe pneumonia. We haven’t heard anything from her now for two days. This I’m afraid is the real deal and it is only getting worse. No one is 100 percent safe. So we all have to do our part and stay home if we can. If we can’t stay home we need to enter our world with caution. 

This invisible monster, virus is tricky. The virus can invade our bodies making us sick without symptoms for up to 14 days. But those who have been infected are infectious, they just don’t know they are sick. It’s a nasty trick nature is playing on all of the human race. Still even right now today there are still many people who don’t realize the danger, even with tens of thousands of people testing positive for Covid19. The numbers are going up every hour every day. This is the reality of our world today and for the foreseeable future. If we all follow the protocols the scientists and experts recommend the majority of us can emerge from this disaster sooner than later. 

Factual information along with Social Distancing and Lysol is your best weapon for defense. There is a lot of misinformation about what is going on and what we can expect. The fight has become to seek out and find factual information, the truth. Listen to the experts they do know or will tell us they don’t. Not the political new speak. Who gives a damm about the economy if millions are infected and tens of thousands are dead. Nothing will save the economy if that happens! It’s LIFE, HEALTH above all else!

Im not only an Artist, I also worked for the Office Of Disaster Assistance an important branch of the Small Business Association. The Federal Agency charged with providing disaster assistance to businesses and the general population, home owners and renters. In fact it is the SBA that provides most of the disaster assistance to property owners, businesses and individuals. FEMA doesn’t rebuild your house and they don’t fund businesses at all. It is the SBA that pushes most of the federal disaster money into communities to rebuild in the form of low interest disaster loans. The SBA is also one of the lead agencies that go out into your community and assess the damage, economic and structural and put the numbers, cost on disaster. Like this one. The SBA will play a key role in restoring our national economy. That is the mission. I worked as a Construction Analyst, on the ground evaluating the damage and the economic costs of disasters. Ive been trained to deal all types of disasters including pandemics. Now that you know a little more of my background before I retired. Now I’m just a Nomad.

Back to information. Factual information is critical and misinformation is very dangerous. I’m not going to wade into to the politics right now. But I will say pollyanna hunch’s and I have a feeling isn’t going to be helpful. Facts the unvarnished truth, facts are what you and I need. 

The Federal Government is modeled on a military chain of command. Most Federal workers from top to bottom have been trained to assume positions of responsibility within this chain of command. Those individuals in charge today may be too sick to carry out their duties or dead in the coming days, weeks or months. Today it was announce Boris Johnson the Prime Minister of Great Britain has Covid19. We also have at least one Senator Rand Paul. Who has been diagnosed with Covid19 and there will be more. The fact is many essential Federal employees are or will be sick or even die. This is where the chain of command will fill the gaps. This is the reality of a pandemic or major disaster. It is going to be a rocky road and we don’t fully know what is around every turn. There will be surprises. 

We have to rely on the experts, we have to listen to what they recommend to stay safe. The experts have clearly said. There is no human immunity to Covid19. If you get infected you will be sick even if your symptoms are minimal. The big thing is if you get Covid19 you will be infectious to other people who are more vulnerable. Grandma,, Grandpa, Mom and Dad. So do you part for everybody and follow the protocols. 

Stay safe stay healthy and hold steady. We are all in this together and together we will come to the end of this sooner or later. 

So if you are reading this I got my crappy internet connection working good enough to upload. 

Next Time Highlights from the road

Chow

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“Lethe” The Waters Of Forgetfulness. Digital Montage Print 30 x 30 inches on Aluminum.

Lethe is a new print of mine now published. The print is assembled from images of a creek taken near Marais Pass on the westside of the continental divide in northwestern Montana. It was early spring and the creek was still partially frozen in ice. The spring melt had began and the season was transitioning from the dead of winter to the rebirth of a new spring. It reminded me of how the transitions of the season play out in the transition of life. As one season passes a new one emerges and the old season is forgotten.

Lethe (LEE-thee) was a river in Hades written about in Greek mythology. Lethe was located on the banks of the River Styx where the Shades, or the ghostly remains of the dead congregated to seek passage to the afterlife. Unless they could bribe Charon, the ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers Styx and Acheron, the river of woe that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead. A coin to pay Charon was needed to pay for passage across the River Styx. Greek custom was to place a coin in the mouth of the deceased to pay for passage. Those who were lucky enough to cross the River Styx would arrive at the banks of the River Lethe. Where they would drink from water of Lethe and forget their worldly life. With nothing left to reminisce or mourn they would be at peace for eternity. Those who could not pay Charon would wonder aimlessly forever along the banks of the River Styx.

The shades of the dead were required to drink the waters of the Lethe in order to forget their earthly life. In the Aeneid, Virgil writes that it is only when the dead have had their memories erased by the Lethe that they may be reincarnated.

As the dead of winter is forgotten with the rebirth of spring the cycle of life begins again when it’s ending is forgotten.

 

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Guardians Of Skyland

A question that I get all the time is. What inspires me, what inspires my work? The simple answer for me is. ” The Persistence of Memory.” The answer itself really isn’t all that simple to explain. So l will try and tell you the story about the memories my work is focused on.

This spring when our Buffalo, our American Bison returned home to Montana. I was reminded of a course I took in a business class back in the mid nineteen nineties. The course was titled Paradigms for Success and was based on the writing and lectures of futurist Joel Barker. Why was an Artist like myself in a business class. The agency I had worked for lost it’s major contract and with that lost the majority of it’s funding and I found myself unemployed. I was living in Tucson Arizona at the time and decided to take advantage of a training program that was offered through a joint partnership between Pima County and Pima Community College to retrain. As an Artist we are constantly being told. You have to learn business to succeed. We were told making art itself was not enough to be successful. Does this sound familiar to you? So I signed up for the Entrepreneurs program. I completed the the program and got a diploma. Was it helpful, yes. Most of the course was just the nuts and bolts of business, pretty boring stuff until you need to know the nuts and bolts. As an Artist you do need to know the nuts and bolts to help you manage your way to success.

Back to the future. The section on Paradigms for Success by Futurist Joel Barker was one of the most interesting highlights of the course. The whole premise in a nut shell was the fact that most business fail to recognize change. Here’s the funny thing. I was sitting in the classroom filled by a majority of class mates who were computer science engineers that had lost their jobs working for IBM. They had lost their jobs at a time when the personal computer was about to change the world as we knew it. As Barker pointed out in no uncertain words, Big Blue, IBM failed to recognize the paradigm shift that was happening right under their noses. The historical fact is Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were sent packing by IBM with their revolutionary software and hardware designs. Why because IBM didn’t believe their was any sustainable future in the personal computer. The rest is history and my fellow class mates the Smurf’s as they referred to themselves were I guess learning a lesson the hard way. While these brilliant men and women were trying to figure a way forward in the coming new world. I was focused on the past.

A past that Joel Barker talked about as our future. He talked about the Buffalo Commons. This was an idea that one day the Buffalo would again roam free over the North American landscape. The concept was written about in the book, The Buffalo Commons. The hypothesis was that business, agriculture would change throughout the heartland of the Americas. That large tracks of land would be returned to the commons. The natural migration corridors would be restored, not just for the buffalo but for wildlife and fauna in general. Over the course of the last twenty years great strides in this pursuit to join together these vast tracks of land, to restore the great migration pathways are becoming a reality. A reality in large thanks to many people who have the vision of an old, but very new paradigm. The recent return of our genetically pure Wild Buffalo herd to the Blackfeet Nation in Northern Montana is another step forward. The same can be said for the changing management ideas of our Wild Buffalo management of our Yellowstone herd. The American Bison, the Buffalo is the only wild native species that has not been aloud to roam free for more than a 100 years across our natural landscape. As Barker believed and as I do with the Buffalo will come a restorative paradigm that will restore our natural landscape. I will go so far as to say that we have this idea of the wild free roaming Buffalo embedded in our memory, imbedded in our very DNA.

The second idea Barker talked about that stuck with me was connected to agriculture. He said imagine if we had used all of our creativity, knowledge and technology to manage and harvest our native natural foods. Native and naturally cultivated plants and animals? We would have built and agricultural system that would have been sustainable and restorative. His idea seemed so foreign to how agriculture was and still is I can still hardly grasp the idea. Still over the last twenty years the paradigm is moving in the direction of a natural and sustainable based agricultural system. Barker talked about cultivating natural foods in a natural landscape without the cultivation million of acres under the plow. Without destroying what nature had provided us to start with. Now that is a mind blowing idea. Think about that for a while. It really isn’t so far fetched when you think about the global fishing industry. Not that historically we have done a good job managing our global fisheries, but that management is changing. I go back to our memory, our DNA when we were hunter gathers. So we know that at one time it was possible. It would though be a very different world today. For now, I think of a world somewhere in between what we now have and what was. A world of the future that has it’s roots deep in our memories in our DNA.

Back to the Buffalo. So the other day I started designing some outlines for a series of new paintings. Painting about the Buffalo. I was scrolling through my Facebook page and saw an article by Derrick Jensen, “When I Dream of a Planet in Recovery.” The article was written for Yes! magazine. The headline had a picture of Buffalo on the open prairie. So I clicked and read the first paragraph, then continued reading.

Derrick Jensen posted Apr 06, 2016

“In the time after, the buffalo come home. At first only a few, shaking snow off their
shoulders as they pass from mountain to plain. Big bulls sweep away snowpack to the soft grass beneath; big cows attend to and protect their young. The young themselves delight, like the young everywhere, in the newness of everything they see, smell, taste, touch, and feel. Wolves follow the buffalo, as do mallards, gadwalls, blue-winged teal, northern shovelers, northern pintails, redheads, canvasbacks, and tundra swans. Prairie dogs come home, bringing with them the rain, and bringing with them ferrets, foxes, hawks, eagles, snakes, and badgers. With all of these come meadowlarks and redwing blackbirds. With all of these come the tall and short grasses. With these come the prairies. In the time after, the salmon come home, swimming over broken dams to forests that have never forgotten the feeling of millions of fish turning their rivers black and roiling, filling the rivers so full that sunlight does not reach the bottom of even shallow streams. In the time after, the forests remember a feeling they’ve never
forgotten, of embracing these fish that are as much a part of these forests as are cedars and spruce and bobcats and bears. In the time after, the beavers come home, bringing with them caddisflies and dragonflies, bringing with them ponds and pools and wetlands, bringing home frogs, newts, and fish. Beavers build and build, and restore and restore, working hard to unmake the damage that was done, and to remake forests and rivers and streams and marshes into what they once were, into what they need to be, into what they will be again. In the time after, plants save the world.”

And so the New Paradigm that Joel Barker predicted is gaining momentum. Looking back twenty years to today it seems like a slow start but the momentum is building. I realized that what Derrick Jensen had put into words was what I was trying to say with a series of digital prints I have been working on for a number of years. The prints based on the idea of memory. Not just our memories but the memories of the universe. I know that sounds profound, maybe crazy? When you look at the work, think about what I’m going to say now.

I call the prints the Skyland series. I could just have easily called them the Big Hole series. Skyland Challenge is an area close to where I live in Northwest Montana. It is a wilderness area that is adjunct to the Bob Marshall Wilderness. In 2007 a massive forest fire burnt through the area and was named the Skyland Challenge Fire. I’ve been working in these burn areas now for several decades. For me they represent the fundamental laws of of nature and of physics. Entropy is the second law of thermal dynamics. Entropy in a nut shell is all systems loses energy. Birth, aging, death. There is no real beginning or end, but a continuous cycle dependent on each. For every beginning brings and end and every ending brings a beginning. As one system loses momentum another gains. The artist Robert Smithson based his work on these ideas and was an early influence in the development of my ideas.

 

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On August 9, 1877 the 7th Infantry attacked, gun shots shattered a chilly dawn on a sleeping camp of Nez Perce. By the time the smoke cleared on August 10, almost 90 Nez Perce were dead along with 31 soldiers and volunteers. Big Hole National Battlefield was created to honor all who were there.

I was down at the Big Hole Battlefield in southwest Montana back in 2006. I had taken a bunch of photographs of the Battlefield and the surrounding area. There are places that hold the energy of memory and Big Hole is one of those sacred places. As I was processing the photographs I had taken, for some reason I decided to try something different with one of the images. Back in the late 1970s when I was in school I had done a lot of experimenting with juxtaposition of images. Now working digitally the process is far less difficult. So I selected an images of Cows in a filed across from the battlefield and applied the process. Using 4 of the same image I stitched them together. In the clouds above the herd of cows appeared the image of 2 cows facing each other. I went on and repeated the process with other images from the Battlefield. In those images appeared, indian maidens and warriors. I thought this is curious and wondered what was happening. So I started doing some research.

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Being a Photographer I first started to investigate the process itself. So here we go leaping into quantum physics. All information, (light is considered information) once it exists it always exists. So a photograph, or your own eyes see or create images based on light particles, information, reaching your retina the film plane or digital sensor. The largest concentration of information is in the center of focus. Left over information particles may still be present everywhere? Think of it like your peripheral vision. Have you ever thought you saw something out of the corner of your eye? I think the sensor captures this information. When the photos are joined on the edges where information is the least. This residual leftover information fills in the blanks where entropy and what is described as digital overfitting is at work. Pretty crazy huh? I’m just going to call it the memory of light. Because if once created it always exists, an idea of quantum physics, it must then alway be there in some form. In the memory of the universe or time.

Another reason you see various designs, images in the prints is because of Pareidolia. Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon involving a stimulus (an image or a sound) wherein the mind perceives a familiar pattern of something where none actually exists. That is why you may see images of animals, faces and objects in my artwork. Pareidolia is the visual or auditory form of apophenia, which is the perception of patterns within random data. Because you have your own unique life experience’s you may see patterns in the work that only you see. I would go one step further and say these images you see are deeply rooted in your memory in your DNA. I have watched and listened to many people tell me what they see in the work. Each of us has I believe have our own personal deep memories connected to our historical DNA.

Another interesting thing about the prints series, is the images of animals that appear in the prints are relative or seem to have a relationship with where the images were taken. Most of us see animals native to the locations where the original photographs were taken. Bears in the woods or beavers along the rivers. While others seem to have a relationship to ancient spiritual imagery. None the less each print is full of images within images, images embedded deep in our memories.

What motivates me? The Persistence Of Memory.

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Copal 2

More about the process I use.

The process I use to make my images is based on the Cartesian coordinate system, used in mathematics. However because I am using digital technology the traditional system is described as the Cartesian Cube because digital space is multi dimensional. The law of entropy also plays an important role. When you take a photograph the lens concentrates the most information, light in the center of the film plane or digital sensor. As you move towards the edge of the film plane less information is collected or captured. Using the Cartesian math theory. Joining images on the edge, forces the void to fill with information captured at the time the photographs were was taken. However the additional, extra information isn’t really visible to the naked eye because it is noise. This can be described as Overfitting.

In machine learning apophenia is an example of what is known as overfitting. Apophenia is the, “unmotivated seeing of connections” accompanied by a “specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness”, Klaus Conrad. Apophenia has come to imply a universal human tendency to seek patterns in random information. Overfitting occurs when a statistical model fits the noise rather than the signal. The model overfits the particular data or observations rather than fitting a generalizable pattern in a general population. The process I use is similar to making a panoramic photograph. Except I use images that are not related to one another like you would use if you were making a panoramic landscape. This forces the images to overfit and fill the void with noise.The Per

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We got he small house bug. For the last 20 years I’ve worked in one bedroom or any other room I could occupy. This spring we decided to turn our old shed into a painting studio. The dining room is still my digital studio but who knows?

So we had a lot of fun. Most of the remodel was accomplished with salvaged materials. The new frame lumber was fire kill, the ceiling was salvaged cedar that at one time would have been a waste product. The folks at RBM Lumber are some very creative and innovative Montana responsible sustainable timber harvesters. They take other wise waste timber and turn it into the most amazing products. We did spring for a new steel roof and eco insulation. It does get hot and really cold in Montana. It feels good to be moved in now.Barbara painted a great sign and named the studio. Stop by and visit if you are in town. Dancing Bones Ink Inc and the Frisky Dragon Studio. 

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LMCD04012016

Lake McDonald 36 x 48

Meet Me at the Columbia Falls Community Market and experience Art Montana style.

Every Thursday May 19 thru September 22, 2016 5:00pm to 7:30pm

“The Locals’ Market” ~ 830 1st Avenue West ~ Columbia Falls, Montana.

The Columbia Falls Community Market is a must visit if you are in the neighborhood. Columbia Falls is a gateway town close to the west entrance of Glacier National Park.

The market is a plethora of some of the Flathead Montana’s finest Farmers, Chefs, Craftsman, Artists, Musicians, Micro Brewers, Micro Distillers and people you will want to meet. The Columbia Falls Market is our premier weekly event all summer long.

Live Music Schedule. Come listen and dance to some of Montana’s finest musicians.

Oh man if your still hungry and thirsty after the market. The market is within walking distance to some good food and drink. Check out The Three Forks Grill or for Ribs and more The Backroom  even more Backslope Brewing or Need a good Breakfast and a Fresh Brew Montana Coffee Traders or Base Camp Cafe.

Of course if you need some art for you wall or see Barbara for art “on you” stop by Dancing Bones Ink inc Art Gallery and my Frisky Dragon studio. Yes we do ship art. You will have to transport yourself. Open Wednesday thru Sunday Noon to 6pm.

See ya when we see ya.

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Skyland

Skyland is a new body of work that is based on my earlier work experimenting with Fractals, Juxtaposition and Entropy. The new work combines these essential elements with collage, creating new and unexpected imagery. I think of the work as painting with images, using multiple images to create each new and unique Artwork. Look closely and you will see that I am mixing up the various elements of the traditional landscape that create a new representation of what touches our feet and transitions to the sky. Entropy is not only an element of the process of making these images, it is a natural law of the world and of the universe we live in. Great change in our natural environment is all around us. Skyland is a body of work about that never ending change of Life, Death and Rebirth.

Mars Imagined

Coming Spring 2014 A New Series of Prints by David Lee Eubank

Skyland Update

My journey into the Skyland Project has been one of unexpected results. As I began this process I really had no idea I would be developing an entirely new way of creating digital images. These prints are really collages of multiple photographs that are randomly processed through several different software applications. Using the principles of fractal image generation I have found a way to describe the landscape in its natural complexity. I invite you to take some time and study these images.

David Lee Eubank

 

Skyland

Skyland

 

Chico Tree

Chico Tree

 

Copal 2

Copal 2