Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Brief Respite From The Orcas

A Belated Happy Thanksgiving to all!  The southern residents have actually been around over the holiday- they passed by the Lime Kiln Lighthouse headed south yesterday morning MILES offshore, apparently headed west towards the open ocean. We've also been hearing them at the Port Townsend hydrophones...and that's about all the whale new I can share.

Life on an Island this time of year can be inspirational in its solitude- the visitors have returned to their off island homes and the Islanders begin to prepare for winter. The fog often rolls in off the Haro Straits and blankets the town in a salty sea scented mist, the eagle cries wafting overhead and out of sight temporarily.  The Trumpeter Swans have returned for the winter- their passes overhead making a brightly outlined juxtaposition against the grey of the waters beneath their flight. Grebes and loons as well as Harlequins dot the waterfront, their calls echoing up the hillsides.  There is a certain beauty to the solitude of this season which the Islanders embrace, even if the throngs of tourists do not.

One of the wonderful aspects of life devoid of shopping malls (or even McDonalds for that matter) is avoiding the potential for isolation by huddling together with some of the closest friends I have ever had the joy of knowing.  Friendships have a new meaning here- the relationships are meaningful and enlightening- each adding a nuance of beauty into your life for whatever reason. The people here are truly genuine- no goals other than to enjoy life to the fullest and embrace the beauty offered by not only the landscape and wildlife but one another. 

I have been inspired by some of these very kind souls to look introspectively, approach the world with a different outlook and embrace the beauty of art. Yup, drawing. Oh well- it had to happen someday, right? We started out a couple of years ago making jewelry (how addictive that can become!), moved on to pencil sketches and watercolors. The girls in the studio are all accomplished artists, some nationally recognized- and yet they are unfailingly encouraging and generous with their instruction. Every Sunday and most Thursdays we gather together to collaborate and accomplish, share inspirations and dreams and most importantly, create. Honestly, I cannot have ever imagined this spirited camaraderie back in Maryland- then again, maybe I was simply not looking.

So, not to bore you with the details, thought I would post my first colored pencil sketch just for fun. I know it's not a whale photo- but artistic license is the word of the day...smiles.  I think I overcompensated the colors subconsciously because of our currently grey landscapes- but if the color fits.... Happy Sunday!

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