The Story of "Water Mark"

The Thompson River flows through Loveland and down from Estes Park through a beautiful canyon. When I created this piece, I was inspired by the sounds of the water and how it reminded me of music. I was also inspired by the playfulness of the water as it moved and flowed around rocks and logs. This river has a very complex story of its own. It feeds our town with life-giving water, but it also laid waste to many properties and lives in 1976 and 2013 when it grew beyond its banks and tore through the canyon and towns. As I think about the river, I'm reminded of how our own behavior and words can be life-giving at time and then in a split second, change to deadly and soul-wounding.

This wasn't part of the story when I created this piece. I knew about the sorbid past of this river, but decided to focus on the joy it brings. Certainly not a bad thing at all, but I love how added experiences and layers to our own stories changes the narrative of the places around us and the art around us. This is quite true for this piece. I connect more closely to this river than I did before because I've been more open to my own complex story and I've been sharing it more openly. I find connection in the playfulness of it and also the danger of it. Simply acknowledging and choosing to bravely look at both parts of the river and both parts of myself, both sustained and formed by the Creator himself, has been a very healing and fulfilling process and has changed the way I interact with this painting.

When I original took the photos of this scene, I had the boys and my husband with me. I was all about getting the job done and making sure the kids didn't get their shoes too wet. Now, if I were to go back, I think that in knowing myself better and in knowing the river better, I would have spent the afternoon there, taken my shoes off, stuck my toes in the cool water and watch the boys play. I'm learning from the river and other things that life isn't always about being proficient and on-task, but about being in the moment and taking the chances I have to enjoy and play and truly live. "Water Mark" and I have come a long way since the conception of this piece. What a joy.

If "Water Mark" speaks to you, you can explore more pictures of it and purchase info right here. You are also welcome to schedule a studio visit to see the piece in person. Just get in touch via email (

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