Water and a Sense of Place

“What is your most vivid memory of living by water, being on the water or creating art work about water?”

Diane Pinsonault, Artist, Photographer and Musician

Cranberry Lake by Diane Pinsonault

Cranberry Lake by Diane Pinsonaul

So many of my formative memories involve bodies of water.  Growing up, my family lived near woodlands and across the street from Lake Hopatcong, the largest lake in New Jersey.  Our summers were filled with swimming, hiking, hunting, fishing and boating.  Winter served up skating, hockey, and bonfires on the ice to keep us warm as we fished beneath its frozen surface. The lake – to which I return every year from my current life in Oregon – was the center of everything

We shared the lake with wildlife; afternoons spent catching and releasing untold amounts of turtles, frogs and snakes.   Ducks, geese and swans congregated on the lake like small regattas and in recent years the resurgence of the once rare Bald Eagle species has added to my own feelings of joy as I return to my memories of my childhood and the rhythm of a life on a lake.

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Linda Robertson, Artist, Author, and Teacher

Linda and her sister once upon a time

Linda and her sister once upon a time

This is Lanikai beach with the Mokulua Islands in the distance, where I spent much of my childhood in Hawaii. This photo perfectly captures my love for this place, with me and my sister playing in the sand and mom in charge of security and snacks. When I am overwhelmed I close my eyes and revisit this soothing spot as my happy place.

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Fred Swan, Artist and Author

My home town on Lake Erie

My home town on Lake Erie

I was born within walking distance of the shores of Lake Erie.  Until I was eight we lived in a neighborhood near the docks, in a place that some of the kids at school called – in a chant – the “dirty dozen houses.” This was a term which I never understood because my family and everyone I knew was really clean, and in the summer all of my friends swam and played in the waters of Lake Erie or at its inlet body of water that was bordered by a band pavilion, sweeping lawns, a ferris wheel and a public pool in which we were all – on those days when we would run back and forth between the lake and the pool and regardless of what some of the kids chanted – doubly washed, doubly happy and doubly clean.

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Karl Kaiser, Photographer and Encaustic Artist

Photograph by Karl Kaiser

Photograph by Karl Kaiser

Having been born and raised in the Portland area I have always been around water and have always enjoyed and been fascinated by it. I like to walk by the water whenever I can and it always seems to calm me.  Something that I have really been interested in the past few years is the reflections on the water. I like seeing the interpretations  made by the reflections on water of clouds, trees, blue sky, and colors reflected by boats and  buildings.

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Nadine Santos, Expatriate, Adventurer

Photograph by Nadine Santos

Photograph by Nadine Santos

My life on the water started where I grew up.  I was fortunate to live on a property that had a creek running through it.    We would wade in the creek on hot sunny days or just sit on the bank and fish.  Our rods were very sophisticated.   We made them with a stick, a piece of string and a safety pin.

I raised my boys near Portland, Oregon on the Willamette River.  What a joy it was to watch them fish, water ski, jet ski & build wooden ramps to ride their bikes down the hill and onto those ramps and into the river.   How good it felt to see all the boaters enjoying the water as is flowed past our house.

As in all  lives,  there were stressful times.  During those periods of my life the water was always my safe haven and it would bring me peace and  calmness.

Now in my retirement years, I am fortunate to live in a condo overlooking a marina.    Sometimes people ask me if I get bored but I never do. There is the constant activity of boats, and the ever changing parade of people on the malecon enjoying the view and having fun.

It is difficult to imagine me not living on the water with the solitude that it brings me.

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Joanne McCall, Publicist

Joanne McCall's hometown

Joanne McCall’s hometown

l grew up on Hardscrabble Point, Priest’s Bay, on Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota.  My mother said I could swim before I could walk.

This is a picture of Hardscrabble Point, a landform that looks like a crane. Our home was located in the middle of the crane’s back.

I was waterskiing on that bay of water at age 5. At age 10, I was slaloming, able to dip down and drag my elbow in the water, throwing water in huge waves behind me.

Many of my most vivid memories are the times I would simply lay on the dock or the raft feeling the warm sun soothing my body, listening to the tiny waves lap at the shore or on the side of the dock, gazing at the diamond sparkling water as the sunlight danced upon it, my dog Laddy lying beside me. I could see the sunfish swimming around near the shore and I would dream and dream and dream of the wonderful future I wanted to create.