Tuesday, February 23, 2010


"Chuckanut Series" 20.5x20" oil pastel Kathleen Faulkner

There is a place where the mountains kiss the sea.  

It is one of my favorite spots and it starts a twenty minute journey north.   Chuckanut Drive is spectacular, when it's open.  There are slides regularly so, quite often, the road is closed.  It is a narrow, winding road that can be dangerous at times but worth the effort.

It begins at Blanchard, a very small town that, at one time, prospered through timber but now is almost a ghost.  It lies at the base of Blanchard Mountain.   This area is a destination for many with it's excellent trails, vistas and bat caves.  Down at the water, one can buy shellfish and celebrate every July at the Bivalve Bash. There is still some old growth left, as well.  

A movement to save this mountain from logging has been underway for awhile.  Unfortunately, the southern tip of it is getting the ax.  

How does one explain the importance of wilderness to those who only see the money to be made by destroying it?   

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Magic Skagit

"Skagit Fields"  9x11" oil pastel  Kathleen Faulkner

I live in the Magic Skagit.  It is called this for many reasons but the richness and fertility of the dirt is part of it.  The earth here is special.  It feeds people, literally and figuratively.  

It collects artistic talent.

I moved here to be able to disappear into a forest within a matter of minutes rather than hours.  Although my world revolves around art, I wasn't thinking about the artistic history here when I settled.  I was thinking about the trees and I was struck by the vast areas of farmland in between.. and the colors:  grey sky and green earth.

I was also thinking about the sense of community one gets when not living in a city.
Life just seemed easier and it still does.  I'm grateful everyday.

This area has been considered home to such artists as Morris Graves, Guy Anderson, Richard Gilkey and Clayton James*, who, by the way, is still alive at the tender age of 91 and still painting.  This is where Tom Robbins lives, the place where Fishtown became famous and our old friend, Robert Sund, wrote a lot of his poetry.  Now,  new generations of artists are sprouting, growing and thriving.

Food, art and poetry in a magic spot on the Salish Sea.   Who could ask for more?

Monday, February 8, 2010



One day, hiking around in Mazama, Washington,  I found myself in the midst of a "forest" of Aspen.  It was an odd feeling, as if I were intruding upon someone's personal space.  It so struck me that I came home and did these three pieces.

Aspen is considered to be an Indicator of Ancient Woodlands.

*Clonal Colony is a group of genetically identical individuals that have grown in a given location,  all originating from a single ancestor.

*A group of 47,000 Quaking Aspen clones in the Wasatch Mountains, Utah, is sometimes considered the world's largest organism by mass, covering 110 acres.

I think that qualifies this tree to have some magic, at least.

*from Widipedia, the free encyclopedia

** "Aspen", "Aspen II", "Aspen III", oil pastels, each 23x21" Kathleen Faulkner

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


"Madrone" 30x22" oil pastel;
Kathleen Faulkner

Sometimes, in this part of the world, green can become overwhelming. The job of madrone is visual relief.
Aloof and mysterious, madrone is not interested in being domesticated.  It does as it pleases, is messy yet beautiful, tossing it's paper thin bark and bright red berries all over the place.  

I love that bark.