We currently live in the Southwest, where the weather is increasingly hot and the rainy seasons growing shorter and less frequent. Local estuaries, ponds, rivers and wildlife watering holes are drying out. A few summers ago, while out painting my backyard in northern Utah, the land was scorched—I knew by September the elk and deer would have to search hard to find watering holes big enough to gather, drink and keep cool.
That evening, Dan and I watched a remarkable documentary about the rainforests of the Amazon. An Amazon shaman/chief described how the frogs of the rivers gather together and sing for days and nights to bring forth the rains and control the weather. Spring and summer are their power times when their voices are strongest. Frogs are sacred in the Amazon.
The next day in my studio, I began painting "Calling Forth the Rain." I imbued every brushstroke with the feeling of wetness, coming from the rain. I kept asking the Universe to gift our beautiful lands with rain. I worked with photos of frogs I had taken throughout the years. I kept a focus on the image in my head and did not worry about outcome, it was all about the process. I can't say that this painting brought much rain that summer, but it still holds a lot of magic for me. It's the experience that taught me how to work completely in the present, and I strive to paint this way each day.