"In the Buddhist tradition, a water deva is a water spirit, connected to all liquids but felt more powerfully in association with streams, rivers, lakes, and the sea. Friends have long called ma a "water goddess", and truth be told, I've always felt like one. As a child, I spent untold hours perched on the granite outcrops of New England's coastline, absorbing the nuances of the sea: the way the color of water shifts towards gray with an oncoming storm; how flotsam gathers on eddy seams; the repetition in wave forms from the largest surges to the tiniest of ripples. I imagined myself a mermaid. The sea compelled me: my education was filled with logarithmic equations describing the arc of a beach form and first order kinetics equations describing microbial transformations of chemicals in water. Fittingly, I was born an Aquarian, and my nature shows all the characteristics--fiercely independent, individualistic, artistically and scientifically oriented."
~ Wendy Pabich, Taking on Water: How One Water Expert Challenged Her Inner Hypocrite, Reduced Her Water Footprint (without Sacrificing a Toasty Shower), and Found Nirvana
Wendy J. Pabich is a scientist, educator, speaker, adventurer, yogi, and artist. She is president of Water Futures, which helps organizations ensure water security. She has taught for Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Sierra Institute, and has taken students to the wilds of places like Patagonia, the Himalaya, and Alaska. Her passion is finding new ways to communicate about water--using not just science, but installation art, painting, writing, and more recently, the mind-body-spirit connection.
She is the author of Taking on Water: How One Water Expert Challenged Her Inner Hypocrite, Reduced Her Water Footprint (without Sacrificing a Toasty Shower), and Found Nirvana; was a science advisor for the film Patagonia Rising; and shows her contemporary artwork regularly. She holds a Ph.D. in Water Resources and an M.S. in Environmental Planning from MIT, an M.S. in Geology from Duke University, a B.S. from Dartmouth College, and received a 40-hour certificate in Dispute Mediation from Harvard Law School and her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training certificate from School Yoga Institute in the Sacred Valley of Peru. Wendy is a member of the international Women's Forum, and Advisor to the Sun Valley Institute for Resilience, and served on the board of directors for High Country News and Blaine County Land, Water, and Wildlife Fund. She has been making art since she could hold a pencil.
EXHIBITS AND ACTIVITIES
Wood River Valley Studio Tour, ID, 2013, 2014, and 2016.
Poor Yorick Open Studios, Salt Lake City, UT, Spring and Fall, 2015.
St. Luke's Hospital, Natural World—Patterns in Nature, Ketchum, ID, 2014.
Green Antelope Gallery, Bellevue, ID, 2007 though 2013.
Peabody Essex Museum, Collaborative Art, Water Footprinting in The Ripple Effect, Salem, MA, April 2012.
Colorado Art Ranch, Artist and Scientist-in-Residence, Land and Water, Carpenter Ranch, Hayden, CO, September 2012.
Colorado Art Ranch, Artist and Scientist-in-Residence, Wade in the Water, Salida, CO, May 2010.
Science Advisor, Patagonia Rising (documentary film), 2009.
Ketchum Arts Festival, Hailey Artists' Market, various years.
I explore the interconnectedness of science and art. Allowing materials to shape the outcome of my work is a way to explore the rules of nature. By layering acrylic paint, pumice, plaster, and various mediums, I seek to emulate earth patterns, where form and function are intertwined. My mixtures on canvas create organic images that speak of weathering, dripping water, tangled reeds--providing a continuous reminder of the complexity and wonder of the natural world.
Often, however, emotion and energy guide my art. I may feel compelled by a particular color, a certain medium, or the sense of a texture. When operating in this space, the finished product is always a surprise. Some of these more abstract pieces are the ones I cherish most.
Making art allows me to reach deep within. Increasingly embracing the physical act and process of painting --rather than focusing on predetermined outcomes--helps me move beyond the analytical to tap into a place of inexplicable energy, life force, and emotion. When I am able to access this well, art works flow forth in mystical pulses. On occasion, the strength of this energy surprises me. This is when painting = bliss.