As a culture, we are following false gods, and our rivers and wildlife are paying the price.
While hiking once in the North Cascades, I emerged from the woods to the banks of the Skagit River and found myself on a beach covered in the most beautiful river stones. Studying the shore, I realized that even the stones of a river have a story, a moment suspended in time at the mercy of the ever changing river. The Skagit is the largest and most biologically important river draining into the Puget Sound, vital to the survival of precious Pacific Northwest wildlife such as the American Bald Eagle, Chinook Salmon and through the salmon, the Puget Sound Orcas. This series is my personal response to environmental degradation.
Each of these original oil paintings within this series takes its title from poetry that chooses to celebrate the truth in nature, and the misguidance in following the wrong gods home.
Following The Wrong Gods Home, oil on linen on panel, 16″ x 20″ SOLD
Tell All the Truth But Tell It Slant, oil on linen on panel, 30″ x 30″ $3,500 (Also available as a print)
All the Little Lives, oil on linen on panel, 11″x 14″ SOLD
Living In The Layers, oil on linen on panel, 30″ x 30″ SOLD
Guidepost, oil on linen on panel, 18″ x 24″ SOLD
Sermons In Stones, oil on linen on panel, 30” x 40” SOLD
The Great Story Weaves Closer and Closer, oil on linen on panel, 14″x 11″ SOLD
Our Life Exempt From Public Haunt, oil on linen on panel, 36″ x 48″ SOLD
Point and Counterpoint, oil on linen on panel, 30″ x 40″ $3,500
In The Running Brooks, oil on linen on panel, 10″ x 10″ $800
The Brook That Brawls Along This Wood, oil on linen on panel, 18″x 24″ SOLD (Available as a print)
We Are Standing By The Water Thanking It, oil on linen on panel, 36″ x 48″ $6,000
With The Night Falling We Are Saying Thank You, oil on linen on panel, 20″x 30″ $2,500
A Thread You Follow, oil on linen on panel, 11” x 14” SOLD
For A Coming Extinction, oil on linen on panel, 30” x 40” SOLD
See a painting you love but is already sold? Specific paintings Are available as archival giclee prints on acid-free, 100% cotton rag paper, 18″ x 24″ (limited edition of 25)- $200
“If you don’t know the kind of person I am, and I don’t know the kind of person you are, a pattern that others made may prevail in the world, and following the wrong gods home we may miss our star.” – William Stafford
Progression comes not only from doing, but from reflecting upon what we do, and adjusting for the next step forward. As creatures of habit, living in a society that values structure, routine, and efficiency, it is often easy to overlook or ignore the importance of consideration, and walk along the same path. Repetition, though the path itself is stemmed with avenues of opportunity for change, can render one complacent or stagnant, destined only to follow a predetermined sequence.
“Following the Wrong Gods Home”, a series of oil paintings by Patricia Halsell, depicts intimate studies of river stone beds that line the banks of the Skagit River in the North Cascades. Conceptually, her meticulous observations stand more as reflective commentary on the impact human industrial growth has had on the surrounding environment, and the push to re-evaluate our interactions with nature in all of its simplicities and complexities. From my perspective, the carefully curated selection created space for a cathartic, cogitative experience. It felt almost as if I was crawling along the ground, exploring the miniature pockets of life that stir within the hollows between rocks, wood and soil. Sitting alone in the silent gallery, immersed in naturally soothing applications of color and layers of stone, I found myself re-visiting walks I would take along the rocky shores of Ireland, or explorations along the stream beds of rural Connecticut; places I call home, that harbor natural safe havens for me to sit alone with my internal narratives and reverberations. Spaces where I could digest my own human experience, and follow in toe the gods that would guide me along my own path to self-progression.