30.000 x 15.000 inches
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San Juan Islands
Painting - Oil On Canvas
Ancient sunlight glitters on the primordial island sea. Some say that this land was the location of lost island of Atlantis.
An archipelago in the northwest corner of the United States mainland and Vancouver Island in British Columbia, these islands were named San Juan by Francisco de Eliza, a Spanish explorer. He charted the islands in 1791. The waters surrounding the San Juan Islands are collectively known as the Salish Sea and are comprised of Puget Sound, the Straits of Georgia and the Straits of Juan de Fuca. The US and Canada recognized the Salish Sea in 2009 and 2010 respectively, honoring the peoples of the Coast Salish ethno linguistic group. The Coast Salish includes the Nooksack, the Lummi, Klallam, Saanich, Samish and Songhee.
Of the more than 400 islands above water at high tide, only 128 of them are named. Most islands are quite hilly with rocky beaches, both shallow and deep harbors and some reef-studded bays
Heavily logged in the nineteenth century, the islands have rebounded with an extensive forest of second-growth Coast Douglas Fir, Pacific Madrone, Red Alder and Big leaf Maple and, at higher elevation, Grand Fir and Western Hemlock. There are still some stands of old-growth Douglas fir and Western Hemlock.
Wildlife is abundant on the San Juan Islands, including the largest concentration of Bald Eagles in the continental United States. Many other shore birds are found here or winter here such as Great Blue herons, Black Oystercatchers, Trumpeter swans, Canadian geese, Peregrine falcons, Northern harriers, Barred owls and several endangered bird species like the Marbled Murrelet and the Western Bluebird. The three resident pods of Orcas are very popular. The residents feast on salmon in the waters around the islands. Transient Orcas, Steller sea lions, river otters, common Minke whales and Dallís porpoise are common here.
The largest mammal on the islands is the Columbia Black-tailed Deer. Historically, elk and many beaver populated the island. The beaver were eliminated before 1850 by the overzealous fur traders.
Travel from the mainland to the islands is either by boat or by small plane, as there are no bridges. This limited access protects the natural beauty of this lovely land.
Creating portals of light, love, joy, beauty, compassion, hope and gratitude is my lifelong passion and gift for the earth, hence the name of my art business, For the Earth. My mother painted in oils when I was young and encouraged my own drawing, painting and handcrafting in all forms. My father, the photographer, gave me my first camera at age 8. As a result of these loving influences, I am a lifelong student of both mediums. I am grateful to my wonderful Pacific NW painter teachers, Stan Capon and Edi Olson, for training my eye and technique. I hope you will enjoy this image as much as I enjoyed its creation. More gifts for the earth can be found at these websites: jeanette-french.artistwebsites.com and jeanette-french.pixels.com.
December 17th, 2012
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