These paintings are mostly from 2015, with some starting from 2013. I have loved otters since I was a child, and I am fortunate to have a husband with a quick eye and a good camera who has taken most of the photos these are painted from. These are primarily the river otters are the Minnesota Zoo in Eagan, MN.
Otters have intrigued me since I was a child at the New Minnesota Zoo watching them perform their acrobatics through the glass wall of their tank. There is an approachable connection in their joy in their bodies, a familiarity I feel and seek to explore by painting their bodies’ movement through that alien element of water. Motion and response, flow and surrounding self with bubbles… seems a great way to spend a life.
We often need intermediaries to act for us, to speak on our behalf or guide us safely into unfamiliar territory.
Otters are intercessors between water and air, passing between the two elements seamlessly, automatically, without worry or concern. They are guides for me in my life, teaching me how to play and roll and live in this world of fear and pain, letting it all wash over and carry me rather than be tangled and caught. These otters are portal keepers, piloting us through those rough passages of life to the safe waters where we float free and true.