This is the Cuyahoga River near where I grew up in Ohio. It won notoriety by catching fire near Cleveland in 1969. That outrageous event sparked the passage of the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts and the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency. I am happy to say the Cuyahoga has made a come-back and is now one of 14 heritage rivers in the US.

I made a pilgrimage to find the headwaters of the Cuyahoga one spring. What I found that April morning rises as a hundred seeps, rivulets in a young wood at the edge of farmland. This journey to the source influenced many paintings, those that follow and many in the series Ceremonial Coats.

I have been gone from Ohio for decades, and yet there are things I sorely miss: the habitat of tall trees and big rivers, in particular.

a photograph of the Cuyahoga River in Ohio.