At a trail’s end in the Chisos Mountains, the ravine narrows and a creek flows over smooth grey rocks. The West Texas cliffs span upwards into a geometric frame, projecting steep ridges on one side, and the Chihuahuan Desert flats to the other. When we arrived at the spectacular view in mid March, the clouds were low, and the window’s view was shrouded in fog. The contour of the cliffs stood out, majestic and indifferent to the mystery beyond.
The country was just on the brink of shutting down. Having family in Hong Kong, we had already spent months on edge about the pandemic. As we walked, I received a phone call that a friend’s father had contracted the virus. The predictable world was crumbling.
But here, in the middle of ancient rocks, our anxiety suspended, if only for a moment. Being in nature felt like stepping out of time. The mountains would outlast the virus. Six months, a year, a million years, the earth here would remain.
The shapes of the mountains stayed with me in quarantine, as did the small crystalline shapes from a nearby cavern, and the undulating waves on the coast.
The patterns revealed in nature are reassuring in a way. They signal endurance and evolution. And by seeing and noticing them, we awaken to small moments of optimism.
“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ― Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
At home in my studio, my sketches for the Terrae collection focused on soft geometric forms, abstracting earth's vast and tiny shapes into drawings with movement and color.
Muted natural greens, warm yellows, desert hues, and rich teals and blues created an earthy palette. Inspired by the outdoors, the colors bring our indoor spaces a reminder of nature – our respite from quarantine and a solace in these tumultuous times.