H is for Helen and Hurricane Ridge

I am blogging A to Z about artists, particularly women artists and mostly about my mother, Helen Burling Ottaway.

H is for Helen and Hurricane Ridge. Here is one of her water colors.

My mother loved water colors. I think she loved them best of all the art techniques she did. Etchings and water colors were the two most important.

She wanted to move to the Pacific Northwest for years, but she and my father were worried about moving my grandmother, Katherine White Burling. Katy B. died while I was in residency at OHSU in Family Practice, in 1994. My parents then spent at least a year dealing with the will and two houses and stuff and also looking for the right place. They drove all over the northwest. My mother liked the rain and gardening and art. My father wanted sailboats and singing and music. At last they called me and my sister: Chimacum, Washington. “We found a house in Chimacum.”

My sister Chris and I both replied, “WHERE?”

We said to each other that we were mildly horrified that they were selling “our” house in Alexandria, Virginia, though we really had only lived there from when I was 14 and she was 11. My sister had worked for the US Forest Service and lived in Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula, so she knew the area much better than I did. I finished residency in Portland in 1996 and moved to Colorado. Shortly after that my parents moved to Chimacum, Washington.

My mother lived four years after they moved. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1997 and died on May 15, 2000. This is one of her northwest watercolors. I am glad that she had time to do some, though I wish that she had more time.

Here is the Hurricane Ridge park information: https://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/visiting-hurricane-ridge.htm. Be careful, though, because the park is big and wild and it can be dangerously wet and cold. People are more likely to die of exposure if they get lost than from a cougar or bear. Take some emergency gear if you hike, because the park is very big and wild. My sister wrote about duncehead expeditions, where people camp with inadequate gear. She mostly worked trail crew for the US Forest Service, but they did search and rescue as well. My sister died of cancer as well. Her blog is here: http://e2grundoon.blogspot.com/ .

ATOZBLOGGINGCHALLENGE2022 #art #Women artists #Helen Burling Ottaway #ATOZCHALLENGE

Hurricane Ridge

This is my mother’s biggest watercolor painting. I have it hanging in my guest room. It is huge and gorgeous, nearly the width of the double bed.

I miss her. Helen Burling Ottaway. I will put more of her artwork up. She died in 2000, but I still have the art.

Hurricane Ridge

This is one of the watercolors in the Mother Daughter Show III by Helen Burling Ottaway, titled Hurricane Ridge. My parents moved from Alexandria, Virginia in 1996 to Chimacum, Washington. My mother loved the northwest and traveled out to paint, but they did not move to the northwest until my maternal grandmother died. My grandmother lived into her 90s. My mother was diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer in 1997, one year after the move. She did not get to paint the northwest nearly as much as she and we hoped. She died in May of 2000.

Still, I do have some of her gorgeous northwestern watercolors. I have more to frame, but this show will have some of the ones that she framed.