The Fern Series was inspired by the visual drama at Fort Ross, along the northern coast in Sonoma County near Jenner, California.
After a short hike through weather beaten fields and forest, followed by an exploration of the lives lived at a Russian fort, I arrive at enormous cliffs overlooking the shore, an overwhelming view. Once I’ve caught my breath, closer examination of the shore from above provides dizzying spectacles. Unexpected bright colors and movement under the water evolve into abalone hunters surfacing to their rigs while their partners, colorful beachballs from above, await on shore. Seaweed pushed and pulled by the tide, slaps enormous boulders first engulfed by surf, then quickly exposed. A short but treacherously steep hike down to the shore is rewarded with lush vegetation and a small peaceful beach.
Dried out dead thistles stand as sentinels to all the comings and goings, while a marshy area hides some horsetail ferns, a personal favorite. I am enthralled when I see horsetail ferns no matter what stage of life. Early shoots just developing or old and leggy plants ready to return to the earth, looking at them transports me to another world.
The horsetail ferns I saw that day dominated my thoughts as I began this body of digital abstract artwork.