Thursday, September 2, 2010


I have a stash of essential supplies that go along with me whenever I get the chance to spend the day at the beach or the river. Of course, I have sun screen an a swim suit, a water bottle and Big's Dill Pickle Sunflower seeds. I take a towel and a pair of river sandals, and my favorite book of the moment, burt I never go without my camera and a bundle of sharpies.You know that early people were big on leaving their stories behind, on the walls of stone canyons and in caves. These pictographs capture our imagination, and link us in a very human way to our ancestors. Now, considered historical treasures, in some ways they served the same purpose as graffiti does today. They were a creative expression, a way to record the fact that someone had been here, a way to communicate a thought or idea to someone who would come later.

Once I was walking in the forest by Oregon Caves, and i found a circle of painted stones. each bore a blue sky, one or two yellow suns and the white silhouette of an animal. It made me stop in delight and I smile still at the memory.

The strange thing though, was years later, on the coast of Gold Beach, I found more of the same in another circle. By then, I realized that I wanted to make people smile and wonder too. So when I am watching my family swim, or when my book does not hold my interest, I grab the sharpies and doodle whatever comes to my mind. I never sign my name and sometimes after I have scattered the drawings, I see someone else discover them, and listen to the comments and say not a word.
In some cases I find one that has been left behind, and the picture will be almost faded away, like a ghost of a former self. And once or twice, I have been caught in the act by children, who, with their parents permission, eagerly share my markers and create their own rock art.

Now that I look at stones all the time, I realize some of them already have their own pictures, and it is those I most enjoy discovering. See the couple up above? She's waving at you.


  1. How wonderful it would be to live near a beach/the ocean.

  2. These are pretty cool. I love your doodles. I agree with Sue, you live in the best of all worlds: you have the ocean, the mountains and the trees all around you. Awesome!

  3. What a clever idea to be creative and to leave behind for someone someday to find what you found. So cool and creative.