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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.


On the Subject of Why


Lately I've chatted with a few fine ladies about the love I've developed for painting on the sea stones I gather, and it occurred to me that the reasons really should be shared aloud.


I have long held the belief that we can chose to permeate out lives with art, from what we choose to hang on our walls to what we choose to hang around our necks, from the books we read to the music we hear, from the way we arrange our homes to the people we invite in.  Nearly every element we choose to surround ourselves has the capability to be a source of inspiration, of beauty, of joy, or just pure, simple pleasure.


I create art because not creating has never been an option; it is as vital to me as water and bread.  I have always made things with my hands, always seen images in my mind, always heard the call to translate that which I experience into that which can be seen.  But over the last couple years, it has become increasingly important to me that my art does not hang on a cold and distant wall, roped off, please stay three feet back and hold all photography.  With every passing day it become more vital that my art finds an element of intimacy, a breaking down of the barriers of traditional painting and what is considered "Art" by the gallery system.
There is something primal about creating small work, work that invites the touch and asks to be held.  That through the sense of feel we are able to gather a deeper, fuller understanding than we would ever be able to gather from sight alone.  I am a highly tactile person, a kinesthetic learner, I need to touch in order to unravel the puzzle that is my own life.  I need to feel in order to create a connection, to trigger that place in my soul which opens to the possibility of what learning may come.  It is this contact that grounds my feet and elates my heart, allowing me to focus and dream simultaneously.

Which brings me to the sea stones.


I have stones arranged in trays, stacked on windowsills, tumbled in messenger bags, each awaiting their specific imagery.  When I begin a new stone, I choose it carefully, rubbing it with my thumb and weighing it in my palm, turning it this way and that.  Waiting to see what image it calls forth, or if I have begun with an image I know I must paint, waiting to see what stone was meant to hold it.  When I paint, I hold the stone, rotating it with my forefinger while the brush slides over it's surface.  My mind settles into the rhythm of work and my body sways along to the music playing.  Somedays I choose a stone to hold while I meditate before filling the water jars and squeezing the paint tubes, allowing the weight of the earth to quiet my body in order to clear my head of the jumble of the day (I become particularly attached to those ones).  Sometimes it's as serious as can be, other times lighthearted to the point of silliness, but it is never random.
All that to say, it is my JOY to send these small pieces of art to the four corners of the world.  To send them knowing that you will hold them, run a finger over their smoothed surfaces, feel their heft and the residual cold of the northern Pacific Ocean, that they will sit close as the kind of art one is always allowed to touch.
Joy, I tell you, joy.

It is exactly the direction I wish to travel.
Stone Fern No3
Stone Elk Antlers
Golden Feather

These stones, plus a few others (including one Barn Owl!!) are ready for your consideration, no reservations this time.  I'll be listing them in the shop of wonders tomorrow, Wednesday November 10th at 11:00 am PST.

Additionally, I've been contacted by a slew of wonderful birds about offering custom orders.  After careful consideration, I've decided to follow in the footsteps of some wise friends and will be placing FOUR CUSTOM ORDER LISTINGS in the shop during the update.  The listings will give us a framework to discuss YOUR piece of art, be it your totem animal, flora or fauna.  I'm jazzed like a jumble of honey bees to work on these!  There is a very real sense of magic to give life to an image so specifically intended and I can't wait to hear from you!

Steady rain, steamy tea and loads of white gouache to each of you!