This is the first watercolor of its kind upon which a whole series has been built. In May of 1995, after a week painting on Galiano Island, one of the Gulf Islands near Vancouver, British Columbia, I found myself frustrated from having done what I felt was pedantic, uninspired work for the entire week. This painting occurred on my last day on this light-filled island. I set up the easel on the edge of a small yellow grassy clearing amongst a forest of Gary Oaks. The light of the sea and the blue of the sky behind the oaks danced and the whole of the place seemed alive and a healthy place to be. This was enough to shake me from my lethargy. I recall consciously saying out loud to myself, "Alright Dan, this will be a painting first and foremost. Not some direct outer image of what you see before you. Just let your brush go!" This breakthrough has carried me since, a breakthrough towards finding my own symbols or signs for the things of the forest.

10"x12"   1995
watercolor on japanese paper