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TURQUOISE 12

Spring Bay at Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

More and more, my work is informed by water- sea water and rain. (It's fitting that I was born under the Pisces sign.) A fascination with this element has been a constant throughout my life. As a child, I was fearful. Much to my father's dismay (although he was a patient teacher), it took years to learn to swim.

As a young adult, I lived in swampy south Louisiana; I endured a few floods- one which caused extensive damage to home and property. I've waded through those murky flood waters, fearful of what I'd find lurking where water wasn't supposed to go. I'll never forget the smell left behind by standing water inside our house. For months afterward, every thunderstorm caused anxiety, as I checked for rising water, prepared for another deluge.

A few years later, we moved to the Caribbean, where I've swam and scuba-dived in clear aquamarine waters. I've been sailing offshore many times, out of sight of land for days, where the navy blue sea is thousands of feet deep. I've experienced frightening sea conditions as my husband and I anxiously sailed into port as a hurricane approached.

And now as we plan to leave our little island, moving to another coastal area, I find that water themes appear more prominently in my work than ever.