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I am UmberDove.

And by that, I mean an artist.  One who hears stories in the wind, who paints because it is what her soul tells her to do, who smiths because the muse moves through her fingertips, who loves nothing more than the promise of an unexplored trail, the sound of the ocean in her ears, and scent of a serious cup of coffee.


Californicus and the results of a 22 hour drive


Californicus: a native species to California

It's funny.
Sometimes you have to leave a place to realize just how much you love that place. Certain landscapes imprint themselves in the lines of your palm, they become tied up in your locks and branded on your skin in a thousand tiny moles. In my very marrow resides the grit of California and in my blood flows the current of the Golden State. Whenever I cross the state line my heart gives a little flutter and jolt and something deep in my gut recognizes that land as home.
I have the heart of a redwood
I sing the song of the raven


Weeks ago as I slid wet brushes over canvas while nodding my head to the beat, working tirelessly to finish preparations for "Venation," I spent a long day in contemplation. I was terribly distracted from my work, and completely wrapped up in a job offer that had landed on my desk of my BC. I hosted a debate in my studio, conversing with all my painted creatures, asking their opinions and trying my hardest to remain impartial (but that was never possible). As I debated I worked on one particular piece, studying an assortment of images of jackrabbits. And then I saw it. The images I had gathered, for no other reason than technical research, were carefully labeled with the genus rather than the common name.

And they were all "Califonicus." Native Californians. As their ancestors were, as they were born and raised.


Fast forward to this last week's trip to California:

We've made a very official decision, BC and I. We've decided to open the next chapter of our lives, to move forward, to move on. To move South, to California. And soon. We have four short weeks to pack and tidy up business and ready ourselves for the move and soak up as much Seattleness (and Morris-ness) as we can.

I intend to eat a lot this month. There are far too many fabulous restaurants still on our list.

We'll be moving to a small town in Northern California (just North of Eureka if you know the area). We've already found a home with a huge backyard (hello my new garden), plenty of studio space (natural light is my best friend), and a less-than-five-minute-drive to the beach (be still my salt water heart). Like you may have guessed, it's been a busy week. I've been living off the adrenaline thrill of moving home.

I think I'll cry when I cross that borderland, just for the sheer knowledge that it feels so right. I've loved Washington deeply, I've adored it's mountain ranges full of thick trees and cities full of cherry blossoms. It will always be dear to my heart, I will always treasure these last years.

But the time is now.

California, here I come.