Monday, February 20, 2012

Heart of Darkness

As I visited Full Circle Farm last fall to paint outdoor studies my strongest emotional impression of the farm was of sunshiny peace and shady chaos.

Farms need sunshine and cleared land for crops to grow. But Full Circle and many of the organic farms of the Snoqualmie Valley have protected and restored forested areas too. This painting shows Griffin Creek which is the restored salmon stream that runs through the farm. Unlike vegetables, salmon need shade and the overhanging trees, dead snags and tangle of underbush provide cool hiding places. It is quite wonderful.

And yet I am personally drawn to the sunny cultivated fields more than the wild and shady woodland. I wonder why. As I painted this I thought about the things this landscape symbolizes in my life. I thought about civilization vs wilderness. Culture vs savagery. And control vs surrender. I love the gentleness and peace of a managed environment. But I appreciate that my character also needs the unbridled - just as the earth needs its wilderness.

I might call this piece "Wild at Heart" though it isn't quite right. "Full Circle Farm" might be best. It is oil on canvas and measures 24x48 inches.


  1. Amazing details and beautiful combination of colors! Great work Jean! I Love it

  2. Lovely, Jean. We are so fortunate to have been able to obtain several of your Full Circle studies last year. Tho' I have to say, this one really captures the feeling of the farm and mother nature's path through it.

    Do you have a show coming up soon? I would love to see more of your work - and if this one is available for purchase.

    Wonderful work!

    Best regards,
    joie moring - full circle

  3. Hi Joie,
    I have a show of farm paintings, including this one, coming up at Millers in Carnation. Probably in February. I'll email you. So glad that you like the paintings. Working on them at Full Circle was a dream for me.