"I can walk the ocean floor and never have to breathe" from the book "Life Doesn't Frighten Me At All" by Maya Angelou has been a meaningful verse to me for decades. I didn't expect it would seep into my art while in the middle of Death Valley during a global pandemic. I have never given the act of breathing so much thought as I have this year. It wasn't until my first night home that it all made sense to me in a lucid dream. When I was 12 the ocean took me and tossed me like a ragdoll hitting my body on the ocean floor. When I finally emerged, in awe the ocean let me go, I was scratched up from the sand and stunned. I worked my way to the shore and just sat there in shock. The images below feature model and artist Rayla Ray in what was once an ocean floor. I just went on a whim guided by my subconscious. Unknowing at the time I was working through this and other traumas. This is why there is a sense of abandonment in the images. Not an abandonment of weakness, rather of empowerment and strength like the enduring beauty in boulders and elements that surround. Like traumas; haunting, potential portals. We don't rid of our traumas, but we can face them head on and possess them rather then the other way around...and nature heals because it is us and we are nature..
Animal prints through Death Valley
Zion, Utah with inner image of Sedona, Arizona. The Narrows, Zion, Utah
Escalante Grand Staircase
The Narrows, Utah, flipped
Joshua Trees, Mojave and Death Valley, California. Project over 6 years and ongoing
Mojave Joshua Trees IV
Joshua Tree under half moon, Mojave