THE MAGIC MUD MANIFESTO
Having spent most of my adult life in or near a tourist town, I am interested in what it is we seek in our travels, in places other than home. Is there something inherently special about certain geographies, or is all land sacred in some way? What constitutes a valuable “view”, and what does not?
I explore relationship to place in my paintings, and a concept I call “Yondering”, a human mental activity somewhere between wondering and wandering.
There’s a prominent feature in my view from home called Ika Island. It’s a large, unpeopled dark form that is visible from many places in Skagit Valley. Though I could easily explore this place, as humans are wont to do, I have made a pledge to not set foot there. I “yonder” instead, appreciating its companionship in a diffuse mental & visual focus. It’s a kind of courtship that does not end in occupying or conquering the love object, or even gaining knowledge of it, in the traditional sense. In this relationship, there’s a renewed interest, then, in what’s underfoot. In my case, that’s a lot of mud!
The mud where I live is clay and thousands of years of fish bodies decaying. It’s stinky and makes things grow like nobody’s business. It’s what has made Skagit Valley the lush valley it is, and it’s sacred. Isn’t it?