It was the last morning on the Salmon. James and Jack were making one final hike looking for wolves, and Dad was up Gun Barrel Creek. I stayed back at the tents and felt content letting the small fire warm my legs while I boiled water for my oatmeal. As I watched the first small bubbles form at the the bottom of the Billy Can I reveled in the fact that we only had two more miles to hike until we made it back to Corn Creek and the truck.
Then, all of a sudden, the sun broke into the canyon. The flat light hitting the mountains changed into dynamic ranges of color and value. Detail and nuance of the landscape took on new drama.
Currently disapointed with all the plein air paintings completed in the days previous I grabbed my paper, brushes, and other supplies and set up quickly to record this last day on the Salmon.
The early April air was still chilly as I swiftly laid down paint only taking breaks to run back to the fire to dry the fresh watercolor. The paper steamed as I watched my subject matter, intent on getting back to my painting spot as soon as possible.
Time passed quickly and as I was finishing up, Dad, James, and Jack arrived back at camp. We ate, packed up, and hiked out. Jack didn't find a wolf, but I found my painting.
Seperate experiences of the same places inform one another and the seperations are dificult to distinguish; like slides or images printed on transperancies stacked on top of each other.
Memory hits in an instant. A flash of spring recollected in winter. A strike of emotion attached to loved ones now far away. These are the realest ghosts I've encountered. Spirits composed of recollection and fabrication.
I could find myself chasing these ghosts, trying to grab what I've lost. Trying to regain what I can only remember I remember. Then I snap back. I release my grip. I go on my way and the ghosts follow.
In modern history the wild places of the United States have always been under threat. Constant human encroachment, pollution, and decimation of other species has been the reality. Now, in late 2016 with the president elect's cabinet coming into formation, the pace of distruction will increase. He is surrounding himself with climate change deniers, oil barons, overt racists, and war hawks. Direct action will be needed even more. I look to the events at Standing Rock and the efforts of the Oceti Sakowen; still in the middle of a fight against big oil interests on treaty land. These events will grow in number, and the big money being confonted will lash out even harder. No time for passive disagreement. Stand up and stand out for the protection, preservation, and rehabilitaion of Wild America.
currently looking for trees to chain myself to,
-Seth "Emrynt" Spencer
The Idaho State flag is bad. It breaks major rules of flag design, and falls into the background when compared with other state flags.
I remember walking through a street fair last September in Hyde Park, Boise. Several booths had pieces of wood cut into the shape of Idaho for sale. painted onto the miniature Idaho's were different flag designs. There was a little wooden Idaho with Califonia's flag, Colorado's and the USA's... but not a single wooden state of Idaho had Idaho's flag painted onto it.
That's how bad it is. Even a street fair vendor wouldn't put Idaho's flag onto the shape of Idaho!
The Idaho flag has the Seal of Idaho smack dab in the center. I am not bad mouthing the seal, but seals do not belong on a design which needs to be easily recognisable from relatively far distances.
Last spring I began sketching thumbnails of alternative flags which represent Idaho much better. I did not want to make a flag which purposefully faded away in comparison with the country's or felllow states' flags; I did not want to use the colors of the USA's flag because other color harmonies more clearly communicate an Idahoan Identity.
I listed iconic aspects of the state. Idaho's gemstones, lava rock/ volcanic formations, rivers, vast expanses of secluded wilderness, endemic animal species, and specific emotional reactions to Idaho's landscape.
One successful sketch was Emrynt Flag. Taking design cues from one of my watcolors, Presiding over the River Bottoms, Emrynt Flag nods to some of the iconic landscape of the southern part of the state. The blue represents the rivers which flow from the high country and sustain aggriculture in the south and the lakes which speckle Idaho's central region and panhandle. The black represents the raw rugged elements of Idaho's landscape. . . Craters of The Moon, Hell's Canyon, The Sawtooths, the Snake River Canyon. . . etc. The yellow represents the warm life giving summer sun sending down its rays upon the state.
The hexagonal elements and angles reference the mormon heritage of many of Idaho's residents (deseret), as well as the geometric gem and mineral structures of the "Gem State"
The vibration of black and yellow appear in nature to warn prospective predators of danger if engaged. Black and yellow together once again reference the honey bee as well as the stark sublime landscape where human significance pales in comparison to natural forces.
Even with the black and yellow's warning, the white sections proclaim a desire for peace and non agression towards all.
Sage Grouse Tale, another flag design uses only the tale of the Sage Grouse rooster. Isolated from the rest of the bird with a mirror image. The Tale can be appreciated for its iconic visual quality. Not necessarily representitive of the whole state, Sage Grouse Tale would be more suitible as a city or county flag for the Snake River Plain region of Idaho, where the Sage Grouse live.
Like Sage Grouse Tale, Pronghorn Skull Takes many of the same design cues and conceptual backings. A representation of the top of a Pronghorn buck's skull mirror imaged along the eye sockets Pronghorn Skull isolates striking visual elements of another endemic species of Idaho and gives it to the viewer as a logo for the land which the animal inhabits. This design began as a desire to completely remake Idaho State University's mascot and logos from a tired over-used Bengal Tiger to a species native to the area of the school, the Pronghorn.
It is a goal to have one of my flag designs adopted as Idaho's, as well as city flags across the state and region. This requires a lot of time and effort which isn't designing or art making. Lobbying, garnering political and public support, and partnering with actual vexillogical groups would be necessary. I see this as a goal still in the early stages of realization.