These two watercolors will be published as notecards soon by Pomegranate Communications. Each image appears in the 2013 Nature's Peace calendar, also published by Pomegranate, which pairs my watercolors with quotations from John Muir. Like many of my paintings and prints, these were inspired by real-world encounters in wild nature. I saw the raccoon at Union Bay Natural Area, also known as the Montlake Fill, an urban wildlife oasis in Seattle. I have seen countless beautiful birds there in all seasons and I've painted many of them. I saw the trillium in the forests of North Cascades National Park. Sometimes I sketch on location and use my sketches to create studio paintings. At other times I try to get good photographs and then work from them in my studio. For the raccoon I used a photo. With the trillium I employed a combination of photos and a live trillium plant that I bought at a local garden center. It gives me alot of joy to celebrate my favorite moments in nature, seeing beauty that brings me up short, or encountering wildlife that gives me a feeling of deep surprise. This raccoon sat up and looked at me and my friend, quite fearless, and I used my brand-new camera to capture that steady gaze. In my painting I tried to show the luxuriant fur and glossy eyes, with their intelligence. In painting the trillium my aim was to express the glow of this flower of the dark forest floor.