“Dungeness Crab” watercolor, calligraphy by JoAnn Pari-Meuller 25×29 $950 2019
“I was in my mid-twenties when my husband and I moved to Oregon from Wisconsin. Shortly thereafter we were invited to go crabbing at the coast – I’d never seen the Pacific Ocean or a live crab before and it has been one of my favorite ocean creatures ever since. The Dungeness crab was given its name from a bay in Sequim, WA.
I was a Portland Art Museum docent for almost 20 years and gave a lot of tours of the Native American art collection. I am especially fond of the NW Coast Native American art designs and stories. Although I am not Native American, I like to honor their works in my own from time to time. In this piece I have developed my own design using the typical shapes of NW Coast art and imbedded them in my watercolor.
I also used to volunteer for the World Affair’s Council and one time hosted a linguist from India who came to Oregon to meet with a Native American tribal leader to discuss their language. I myself have studied French, German, and Swahili and was very interested in the plight of the Native American languages – many are passed along via oral tradition and therefore are difficult to record using English letters. I researched and found several tribes’ words for Dungeness crab and included them in this painting, using my calligraphy tools and uncial style lettering.
Lastly, I included a tale of Dungeness crab in small calligraphy around the perimeter of the painting – this story is from the S’Klallam tribe near Sequim, WA and tells the story of a young boy who outwits a giant crab who is threatening his village by sneaking up on him from behind, chewing him up and spitting out the little pieces which provide unlimited crab for future fishermen of the village.” JoAnn Pari-Meuller serves as a judge for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Duck Stamp contest.
*”Ode to the Tides Mandala” gouache, watercolor by Linda Dalal Sawaya 22×22 $3000
This mandala reflects upon Oregon’s estuaries and the wild and native inhabitants of our priceless bioregion where rivers meet the magnificent Pacific Ocean. Each circle in the mandala represents a particular aspect of a journey from the outer circle into the center of the mandala. The outer Ring of Fire depicts the amazing Oregon sea slug, with its fluorescent and fiery colors whose habitat are the tidepools moving around the perimeter.
- Twelve vignettes of the Ring of Life illustrate a selection of components of our Oregon coastal estuaries. Beginning at the 12 to 1 o’clock position and moving clockwise we find eelgrass; migrating sockeye at sunset; a rough-skinned newt; pickleweed; young chinook salmon living in estuary waters; a typical red alder coastal forest; an aerial view of a typical estuary; a surf scoter; a beaver; ochre sea stars; and a full grown coho salmon.
- The Wasteland, represents a place of emptiness and a world in trouble—illustrated by an oil spill, beautiful in its iridescent colors, but deadly to life along with a plethora of plastic waste poisoning our waters and coastal lands.
- Four Pathways offer movement towards the center of the mandala with tidepool sculpins taking us into the next mandala circle— the Threshold, a symbolic point of no return, where one encounters demons. Four invasive species represent the demons: a family of nutria; the European green crab; isopod sphearoma quoianum; and the American bullfrog.
- The Guardian Square symbolizes perfection on the material plane; protecting inner light in the four corners are: orca, chum salmon; Pacific octopus; and osprey, who live and thrive in our estuaries, along with so many other beautiful species.
- The circle within the Guardian Square is the Portal—an opening to the innermost domain of the spirit with green sea anemones encircling the center with their fluid gentle motion.
- The last circle is called the Place of Bliss, a symbol of perfection on the spiritual plane, inner connectivity to the whole of life, and inner peace. The central symbol, an Oregon red sea urchin shell is like a mandala welcoming us into a center of peace holding a vision of our healthy and thriving waters and planet.
A binding ring encloses and contains the entire circular mandala, which is set in a spacious and watery environs—holding its place in the Universe, for all to view, treasure, preserve, and enjoy.
Linda Dalal Sawaya asked fellow Ode to the Tides artist Roy Lowe for background information on all the estuary species to create the mandala.
Linda Dalal Sawaya, is an Arab American artist who has been painting mandalas since 2004, along with her other art forms that include ceramics, photography, abstract painting, and other spiritual traditions of thangka painting and iconography. Mandalas are a universal art form that employ sacred geometry and occur in African, Native American, Asian, Arab, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, and other traditions and cultures. The round shape of the mandala represents unity, the earth, connectivity, harmony, and wholeness. These are the healing qualities that my mandala intends to bring to its viewers, and from there to the environment and the world.
Ode to the Tides Art Show and Sale through June 30 in Seaside, Oregon
The art exhibit called Ode to the Tides Art Show and Sale finishes its run in Seaside at the end of June. The project, sponsored by The Wetlands Conservancy, is a traveling show that highlights the beauty and ecological significance of Oregon’s coastal estuaries and intertidal areas. What makes this exhibit unique is the collaboration between scientists and artists, and the degree to which the artists researched the topic in detail as part of the creative process. What emerged is a collection of about 200 delightful pieces by 84 artists. The images of the habitats at the intersection of land, saltwater and freshwater, and the fish, wildlife and invertebrates that frequent these unique areas are explored in a wide variety of media including paintings, felt sculptures, glass mobiles and mosaics, wood, paper, woolen tapestries, mixed media, floral collages, photographs, ceramics, and more. Each of the locations include special programs –lectures, tours, hands-on activities and other experiences to help visitors learn about coastal estuaries and intertidal areas. Local naturalist Neal Maine and several of the artists offered an interpretive program the Seaside Library.
Art being shown at Fairweather House and Gallery and the Art-in-the-Loft Gallery at Beach Books
For more info about the Ode to the Tides events, please contact art curator, Sara Vickerman, firstname.lastname@example.org