Original Blog Post: January 24, 2018

On my way to work yesterday I was listening to a guest on CBC's "Q" share her enthusiasm for the upcoming 2018 royal weddings( -yes there is more than one!) The segment ended with a recording of Lorde's hit called "Royals".  It put a big smile on my face as I drove down the freeway in the pouring rain towards a 12-hour shift in emerg, and that is saying something. 

My favorite line in the song is "We crave a different kind of buzz ..."  All the wished for things in the song, like Grey Goose, diamonds, and Cadillacs are nothing compared to the things that I crave.  In my teens, I daydreamed of a log home ranch like the one Walt Longmire lives in on the Netflix series "Longmire".  Peter and I binge-watched the 6 seasons to a very satisfying ending.  It's worth watching if only to check-out Longmire's fictional ranch.    It reminded me that I used to collect log home design books in my youth.  That dream disappeared when I realized that I am afraid of horses, or more to the point, falling off of horses, getting knocked by flailing horse head, or stepped on by a horse hoof.  Also, I'm not very good at feeding animals on a regular basis.  Which probably explains our cat's indifference towards me.

I also went through a phase of wishing I lived on a tugboat, but that one faded with the bone chills of damp air and the cost of moorage.  And knowing nothing of boat engines. 

Nowadays, I crave my tent on a beach, the smell of wood smoke, my hands wrapped around a cup of coffee, leaning back in my beach chair with my feet propped up on a log, watching the waves roll in on a rocky shoreline.  My buzz is paddling.  On the wintery rainy days or my long working days, I daydream of sitting in my boat and waking up all my senses with the rise and fall of the tide and the breeze and visions of whales. 

I've seen many whales while paddling the west coast; my first time was near Hand Island in the Broken Group.  We came upon a pod of humpbacks in the late afternoon.  Each encounter is a thrill.  I can't imagine being complacent about these amazing creatures.  When I'm on the ocean I am always aware and searching for the plume of mist and listening for that puff of exhalation of whale breath.  I am always hoping for a glimpse of the nobbly scarred spine curving as it dives and the tail flip, like a wave good-bye.  The rare occasions that I have seen a humpback breach are etched in my memory. 

I have a few reference books of citations in my library.  Today's painting is a compilation from several photos and my imagination.  It's on Arches 140# hot-pressed paper, 9"x12".

You might have noticed that I was a day late posting this week, but if I had been on time then I wouldn't have had the chance to wish my friend Nicole Nelson a Happy Birthday!  You should check out her amazing photography on Instagram at Ninny1616.  Her hummingbirds are a wonderful contrast to my humpbacks. See you next Tuesday!