One of the things that distresses me when visiting the National Parks is that is seems that more and more people find it necessary to leave their name inside the National Parks. I’m not sure why people feel the need to deface these natural wonders — what is it that makes people think that it’s a good idea to spray paint or carve their name into the rocks at National Parks? It saddens me to no end that signs like this actually need to be posted these days in National Parks (this one was found at Capitol Reef National Park):
I remember hiking in Arches National Park well away from the most visited places and running into a ranger that was cleaning up marks that people had left on some of the remote arches. He said it was a constant battle because if people see that one person has done it, they feel it’s OK for them to do it as well. Sharpie markers, along with gum, were the bane of his existence.
If you ever see park rangers out and about cleaning the natural wonders that we visit, be sure to thank them — and don’t be shy in discouraging anyone from marking natural wonders in the National Parks…
The national Parks want to wish you a very happy holiday season and are coming out with a series of holiday videos which started yesterday and will continue with a new video each day through the rest of December on their Youtube Channel. Todays happens to be a bunch of excited dog sled puppies at Denali National Park and Preserve — how can you go wrong with that? Watch and enjoy:
This is the national parks holiday video schedule for the rest of the month:
December 13 – Yosemite National Park
December 14 – Denali National Park and Preserve
December 15 – Vicksburg National Military Park
December 16 – Biscayne National Park
December 17 – Grand Canyon National Park (Sign Language)
December 18 – Glacier National Park
December 19 – Big Cypress National Preserve
December 20 – Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
December 21 – Everglades National Park
December 22 – Grand Canyon National Park (Spanish)
December 23 – Biscayne National Park
December 24 – Arches National Park
December 25 – San Juan National Historic Site
December 26 – Virgin Islands National Park
December 27 – Cape Lookout National Seashore
December 28 – Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
December 29 – Biscayne National Park
December 30 – Denali National Park and Preserve
December 31 – Andrew Johnson National Historic Site
As I have mentioned previously, I love the way that National Parks are able to inspire those that visit them. While each person takes something special away when they visit a National park, artists sometimes use the inspriation to create works that can be shared with all of us.
In 2007, I spent 2 weeks living as resident artist at Petrified Forest National Park, examining desert landscapes, where the combination of aridity and erosion exposed the earth’s composition, structure, and layers, the relationships between them, and the deep time they represent. After visiting extinct volcanoes in New Mexico, particularly Capulin Volcano National Monument, I longed to see active volcanoes.
As a result, I embarked on a residency at Red Cinder Creativity Center in 2008, located between the active and accessible volcanoes Kilauea and Mauna Loa, on the Big Island of Hawaii. I experienced and studied the various landscapes and dynamic geology of the island, particularly at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. I had the unique opportunities of watching landscape being created by lava flowing into the ocean. I am fascinated by the process of lava hardening into rock, which, in time, will transform into soil where plants will sprout and grow. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park continues to inform and influence my work, including my current series of paintings.
The following four wonderful mix media art pieces were inspired by Hawaii Volcanoes National Park:
South: Mixed media, green olivine sand and acrylic on canvas
Lake: Mixed media, encaustic and olivine on canvas