Growing up in California gave me the opportunity to discover the State’s diverse landscape by visiting the State and National Parks. I fondly recall camping in the forests, swimming in the rivers and building sandcastles on the beaches. When I moved to Sacramento I fell in love with the Delta, the beating heart of the state’s water system. Flying in and out of the Capital, I became enamored by the aerial views of the farmlands and delta. Ever since my first flight in a small plane to take photos, I have endeavored to capture the magic and beauty of this landscape in my paintings. I’ve had many exciting flights, including some in older restored planes. My most memorable flight was in a 1940’s Piper Cub, shooting photos with the doors open, and taking off and landing in a farm field!
In this show, “Delta Reflections,” I depart slightly from the aerial views to focus on the jewels of the delta, many only seen from the river banks and levees. Various iconic and historical treasures are hidden from view, tucked beneath the trees or around the bend in the waterway. The reflections in the river of a water tower or wind mill drew me in, challenged my skills as a watercolor artist and gave me a different perspective. As I looked more closely I discovered little gems like a ladybug on a thistle or the California foothills on a cloudy day as viewed out the window of the train. On one outing I traversed a muddy irrigation ditch to find myself enveloped in sunflowers.
These are the jewels of the delta that I hope my art helps to preserve and protect. The Delta is a living ecosystem whose biodiversity is vulnerable, home to three endangered fish species, a flyway for migratory birds, and farmland for fruits and vegetables. In painting the Delta I realize how interconnected we are to the water and the land. It is a treasure chest of wonders and beauty from any perspective, one we must endeavor to preserve.
On March 12, 2019 the Federal Government designated the Sacramento Delta as California’s first National Heritage Area (NHA), celebrating the unique history of the area including culture, use, resources, and recreation. The bill was introduced by Congressman John Garamendi and will provide $10 million over 15 years to fund community-based efforts to conserve the Delta’s cultural heritage, historical landmarks, environment and natural beauty.
I invite you to help protect our Delta and take time to visit some of the Wildlife Preserves!