One of the things I love about time in the natural world is experiencing the intersection of vitality and peace. At a place like the Neilson property, this is possible in an intimate way. The current owners have taken great care to return this 700-acre parcel to its most natural state by removing the roads that were there and restoring this critical elk habitat. As a result, all that I experience on my visit is that which comes from the wind in the trees, the birds darting in and out, and the river current.

It is centering, calming, and at the same time, there is so much going on around me! The natural systems are dynamic and lively and stimulating for me as an artist. I believe it is important to experience the rhythms of nature regularly in order to tap into a deeply creative part of ourselves. At the same time, its balanced harmony is restorative, giving my own inner rhythms a renewed vision borne of serenity.

On this particular visit, I didn’t get to see the elk that were there, but I knew they were there, in the safe cover of the cottonwood forest. I did find so many other inspiring subject matter to paint. I settled on the abstracted calligraphic lines of some lupine growing among grasses. In short order, I was fully present – lost in the dance of light on the surface of the leaves.

–Kathryn Turner