Murmurs of Generosity

We at CalPark Voices love sharing the stories of those artists who use their creative talents to help state parks in unique ways. Today we have a new artist to add to the Awesome Artist Hall of Fame.

Katherine Kean is a painter who was inspired to donate the proceeds of her newest art exhibit to CSPF.

As an environmentalist, I believe in promoting the protection of birds and other wildlife through education, art, and restoration, as well as promoting a sustainable future for California while re-connecting people to the intrinsic beauty of the environment,” said Katherine.  “My contributions to the California State Parks Foundation will continue as work from this series continues to sell.”

Her exhibit, Murmuration, is a series of paintings exploring the kinetic character of birds and nature. First exhibited at TAG Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, CA this spring, a portion of the exhibition has moved on to be a part of a group exhibition at The Modest Fly Art Studio Gallery in Tujunga, CA.

SIDENOTE: If you don’t know what a Murmuration is, watch this and this!

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To depict the beauty and sensation of the flock’s aerial choreography, Katherine paints the birds, glazes them over, then repaints. She repeats the process several times to allow the edges to blur and, when appropriate, disappear into the background. As a result, what first appears as a smudge in the evening sky gradually takes shape, forming and reforming, occasionally allowing a wing, beak, or tail to stand out from the fluctuating chaos.

Extending the idea and organization of flocking birds, many of the paintings in this exhibition also form parts of a whole. Among the paintings are two triptychs, a two-piece modular painting, and a series of small squares that can be re-arranged to form various patterns of bird flight.

“At a particular time at the end of the day birds gather in large numbers and swoop back and forth across the sky, emerging from the dusk like a dark cloud and creating elegant patterns against the fading light,” said Katherine. “How and why they do this is a mystery, but whatever the reason this behavior is compelling to observe as individual birds disappear into the whole and become part of something larger.”

Thank you to Katherine for choosing CSPF as a beneficiary of your beautiful artwork!

Read more about Katherine’s work on her website.

Kids Do the Darndest Things

We were very excited to receive a package in the mail last week from some awesome third and fourth graders at Kid Street Charter School in Santa Rosa.

The manila envelope was bursting at the seams, stuffed with several hand-painted canvases (click above to see full size), a poster that says “Save Our State Parks” in magic marker, and a letter that read:

“Dear California State Parks Foundation,

After visiting a local state park, Sugarloaf, in Sonoma County, our class decided that we wanted to help keep the parks open in our state. So, we painted some pictures of the landscape that we saw at Sugarloaf and we sold them to raise funds to support your cause! We are very happy to present you with the enclosed money. Thank you for working to preserve accessibility to the parks!


The third and fourth graders at Kid Street Charter”

How awesome is that? A big thank you to these awesome kids for caring about state parks and finding a really creative way to help! It’s good to know we have a generation of kids who will grow up to love state parks so much.