Number 50 in the Turtle Tracks Art series
Number 39 in my Turtle Tracks Art series
I've been in love with color since I got my first box of 64 crayons, little waxen soldiers standing at attention, representing infinite possibilities.
Originally from the Cincinnati, Ohio area, we migrated to Tampa Bay almost 30 years ago. After raising our daughters and my 60th birthday, I started my second act of painting with acrylics on canvas in January, 2018. I’m enjoying the process as much as the conceptualization.
I'm proof that it is never too late to truly see, create, and find your passion. My artwork has now become the way I tell my story. It is my way of exploring questions, and expressing gratitude. That includes donating paintings to be auctioned for charitable fundraisers, particularly organizations that spark advocacy in ocean/sea turtle conservation and child welfare.
It was an honor to be asked to speak about using creativity to create awareness and protect the environment for the Imagining The Future Forum 2021. This forum is in conjunction with the 81 other countries celebrating World Creativity & Innovation Week, which aligns with the United Nations 2030 Goals for sustainability.
Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Cottrill Photography
Making the world a better place through creative and innovative thinking.
My talk addressed Goal 14 -ocean and sea turtle conservation.
It took a primordial experience on Melbourne Beach in 2017 to deepen my sense of interconnectedness with the universe. I had an epiphany while witnessing a mama sea turtle return to her birthplace to nest. So began my connection with these creatures and their incredible, primordial journey. It’s a story I’ve expressed through a series of acrylic abstracts titled Turtle Tracks Art.
I often visit my daughter and her family on the Atlantic Coast of Florida. We take midnight strolls along the sands of Melbourne Beach, which are marked by sea turtle nests. In 2017, more than 25,000 nests lay within the 20-mile stretch between Melbourne Beach and the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. The night of my transcendence began quietly, blanked by inky darkness. Slowly, a mama loggerhead turtle began her ascent from the water. We stood motionless—three generations—as she propelled her flippers forward. Lumbering, then stopping to rest every few feet, the mama answered the call to lay her eggs exactly where she was born. Just as generations of sea turtles have done for more than one hundred million years. In those moments I felt the most profound connection to this mama turtle and every living thing throughout time. The miracle of creating life, and the energy that cascades from nature, has left me deeply and profoundly moved.
The next morning, we found the perfect, sandy swirls of her journey. I was overwhelmed by the need to document she was there. The tracks would be gone in a few hours, buffeted by wind, water and man. I photographed the unique patterns and decided I would learn to paint to capture the fragility of life and its resilient interconnectedness.
Art and music seem to strike a chord with many people, connecting the viewer to something bigger than themselves. I decided that painting these tracks on canvas would be a lasting tribute to this mama. By following and filling in the flipper patterns with abstract colors and textures-and noting the day and time of each track-I want to capture the sea turtle's struggle to survive to adulthood and perpetuate her ancient species.
Paintings in this series will be marked with * in the title.
Number 5 in the Turtle Tracks Art series