If you listen, you can Become Ocean 

If you wait, you will see a wolf hunting for its prey on the far side of the creek 

If you sit and immerse yourself in your surroundings and drink in with your senses, you will create a life long memory 

And if you continue to pay attention and absorb, you will carry with you this special place as its fingerprint is placed on your heart. 

And repeat 

And repeat 

And repeat 

Each time your senses will add to the meaning of this place, this time, and the richness the experience has on your life.  Not merely a snapshot or a sound byte, it becomes a place of being. 

So be it. 

Anytime an artist is open to receive a heart memory in a form to be seen or heard by others, it requires permission for the heart memory to guide the artist’s eyes and hands.  This is how Tundra emerged. 

A distillation of memories. 

Start with the memories of color, texture, the coolness of autumn and use a medium that allows minuscule attention as the vision reveals itself in real time. 

I started curating a palette of color and texture in spun fibers that drilled down through all the layers of heart memory to create Tundra.  Components include: Wool, Silk, Cotton, Linen, hand-spun yarns, hand dyed yarns, chunky boucle and yarn as thin as a thread.

And so it began –literally a stitch at a time – selecting the specific yarn, the stitch, the tension to create rhythm with different plys, Taking a breath and selecting the next layer, the next influence of color and texture that creates this Tundra. 

Thousand of stitches completed, I see the culmination of a lifetime of experiencing fall in the tundra at elevation 2973 feet in the Alaska Range over the course of the last 50 years. 

There are times as an artist that you use a cue-usually a visual reminder to assist in color, scale, pattern, light, and texture.  After completing Tundra, I looked through my photos to see what a picture would possibly provide in my preparation for a project of this scale.   

What I discovered seemed a one-dimensional Flat Stanley; a depiction of a place stopped in time that was merely pixels on the screen-very linear in representation and limiting in personal involvement.  I am glad that I did not use pictorial cues in this particular project. 

I leaned heavily on what I have gathered over time that has been imprinted in my heart.  And over the course of time the richness of experience has added many layers to the initial sensory image-a compilation that requires pause, reflection, and honor.  

This was my challenge to delve into the layers and discover Tundra in all its glory and construct a representation for others to see and experience.  

The rhythm of knitting gives time to think and reflect.  Before I start work on a project like this, I select a specific palette of yarns and display them in a shallow rectangular basket so I have them in my visual field at all times during the process of creating.  This basket feeds me and guides my hands where they work best.  What will come next?  When my heart speaks, I become the tool as yarns twist, needles click and thousands of stitches emerge and become this special place I hold inside of me – Tundra.