Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Rafting, Rivers and Art

Rivers create funny alliances. There are aggro-amped paddlers; young guns who crash and burn through rapids, rocks and over waterfalls, and then there are river lovers who just want to enjoy a bouncing river ride and to write or create beautiful art. Jocks and artists together enjoying the same thing. Right-brain vs left-brain. Weird. Rivers do this to you. Everyone is strangely attracted to rivers...

The whole blog thing is a creative activity, or it's just diarrhea of the fingers tapping on keyboards everywhere. River blogs inspire just like rivers. Great and beautiful artwork is created from inspiration from great rivers and streams. Painters, photographers, sculpturers and writers have created works with the sole purpose to pay homage to rivers. In the Coloma/Lotus area, a place of serene beauty adjacent to the venerable South Fork American River, many artists have congregated there, so inspired by this river, that they have come to live there forever.

Photographer/artist - Betty Sederquist, painter - Robyn Magnuson Center, photographer - Paul Ratcliff and others create works so stunningly beautiful that you know the river gods had a hand in their work. Another Northern California artist, Phil Evans creates metal scuptures with river rocks. The sculptures are so fluid and modern and yet organic with smooth river rock precariously hanging from thin threads of metal as it flows gracefully into an unknown wave. These artists inspire me. A small art gallery in Lotus features many local artists and some who are very well-known, like Andie Thram, a graphic designer known for her beautiful flower illustrations. All have their inspiration from rivers and nature itself.

Northern California's public television recently had their 25th Silver Anniversary for the 2006 KVIE Art Auction. So many pieces were inspired by Northern California rivers and streams. Bebe McLeod's "Crystal Springs" watercolor; Margot Roessle-Best's "American River" watercolor, a juror selection; Simon Jean Lam's "Surprise Garden," a giclee print depicting a whimisical interpretation; Marjan Kluepfel's "Cobblestone Creek," a fiber wall hanging; Megan Bucko's "Fall in the Foothills," watercolor juror selection; Helen Plenert's "American River at Sailor Bar," acrylic on canvas; Barbara Beaudreau's "September Slough II", juror selection pastel; Marie Therese Brown's "American River," oil on canvas; Adrienne Hostetter's "Pond at Sailor Bar I," oil on canvas; Irene Lester's "Old Fair Oaks Bridge," giclee print depicting the urban American River; Jill Stewart's "American River, Discovery Park," oil on canvas; Elaine Bowe's "Life on the River," first place for watercolors; Gregory Kondos' "River Life," signed limited edition print; Jian Wang's "Dawn on the American River," oil on canvas; Larry Weldon's "River Home," digital print; and Beverly DeJarnett's "Serenity," acrylic on canvas; all artworks inspired by rivers.

Art and rivers connect everything. It is the soulful pursuit for something greater than oneself. Artists must create. Their inspiration causes them to stop everything so that they can "make" it happen. Their need to create surpasses all other needs. Be inspired when you enjoy their works and get on the river when you can!

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