Today is a very special day because I get to show off a recent painting by my very own sweet sister Katie. She was always the artistic one when we were little and definitely has the technical skills to back it up, though I can definitely now hold my own with a needle and a bottle of Mod Podge! But she's a wonderful painter and, like most of us, she doesn't always have enough time to create as she'd like, but when she finds it she never fails to remind me just how talented she is. This one here is a painting on two canvases that she just did about a week ago and has hung in her living room. More from her on the story behind the image:
"The painting is based on a photo I took on Dave and my camping trip to Santa Cruz Island (part of Channel Islands National Park - off the coast of Santa Barbara). The photo was taken on the way home from a long day of hiking as we were heading towards a pebble beach on a different part of the island. I noticed the fog rolling in from the ocean, and snapped a photo which shows the mountains in the background, and the road that we had hiked up. I loved the photo and now I love the painting because I have great memories of that trip—the views of mountains and the water are gorgeous—the water has this deep turquoise color that I really wasn't expecting. The islands have a lot of interesting wildlife and plants there that aren't anywhere else like a special kind of fox that has been on it's way back from near-extinction. Plus, the trip to and from the island was exciting. We took a boat about 20 miles off the coast with all of our camping gear, food and water. At one point, we were surrounded by a huge school of dolphins.
One curious thing is that the island had a huge problem with feral pigs that were introduced first as domestic animals. The pigs became overpopulated and destroyed a lot of the native vegetation and attracted golden eagles which ended up killing most of the native island foxes. The park service has a number of programs which are working to bring back the native vegetation and wild life like the island foxes. The foxes have made a big comeback—we even saw some on the outskirts of our campsite. That's slightly off topic, but interesting I think.
I'm looking forward to having guests come over so I will have an excuse to talk about that trip and remember what a cool place it is."