Selkies of Salt Spring Island
Foggy mystery days are lite up in my snug studio. My fire lit, new electric base heater cranked, stereo pumped I settle into choosing delicious colour to squeeze onto my palette. Today I begin to complete a painting that in my mind is making waves to be finished. Diddle and fiddle I dab some more, feel it’s just not quite right. And then I have it! Yes! Selkies, harbour seals I can feel their presence popping up by resting skiffs, grouping together in a moment their indigo coat shiny, as shiny as their coal black eyes spying me into a watery world that for them is clearly pure delight. Remembering many years ago a show of epic proportions unfolded. Dozens of Seals with smooth greyed black camouflaged fur cavort about the inner docks right by my gallery. My gigantic luck! though as I savour my good fortune I take a moment to garner mutual admiration from passerby’s. Weird without comment they hardly give a glance! How is it that with magic all about, a grand natural water show no aquarium conjuring and I am clearly the only witness?
A private joke for me and the Selkies as I gurgle up a laugh hardly believing my good fortune, it’s undeniable I was the star audience as they played me with all they had.
Deep into these rememberings seals take shape on my canvas as a Payne grey paint blob with opaque inky eyes not a blink stared back. In an instant I knew they to remembered me at that long ago gathering in the inner harbour.
Is it my Celtic lineage, its magic stories encoded in watery crystals whispering to me, those painted beckoning Selkies could have been my ancestors from across the seas. Distance, time knows no boundary. Over the 40plus years living by our Pacific Ocean I have some pretty magical experiences with seals, their lure and fascination with me is mutual. Like a kayak paddle, with an entourage of more than 40seals surface about me for most of a day, even follow me from their sea world about the tiny island I visit. From every view I see the Selkies below staring up at me calling me to the sea.