Featured Artist Denise Erickson

Recently I realized my life has mirrored the rule of thirds, a method to create a pleasing piece of art. A third of my years has been lived in Arizona, a third in Texas, and a third divided by our time in Japan and many states. I was eight when I first saw the rain-washed blue skies of Washington State and I knew I wanted to return… and so I did in 2002. I am grateful for the easy beauty of this place that inspires my life and my art every day. While I enjoyed our many assignments, living in sight of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca is an extraordinary gift.

My interest in Japanese gardens came from living in Japan, Washington, Oregon—and in Belleville, Illinois, across the river from the exquisite tea house in St. Louis, Missouri. Japanese gardens traditionally use natural materials, respect old designs, and often have a specific function such as the site for a tea house. These gardens resemble each other in their basic elements, but are unique because of location, the artists who created the garden and the artists who tend it.

When I heard there was a Japanese garden in Sequim, of course I was determined to see it. The garden at Carrie Blake Park honors the friendship between the people of Sequim and their sister city, Yamasaki, Japan. As every Japanese garden, this sankei-en respects tradition with its trees and plants, garden lantern, and welcoming gate. It is uniquely lovely in its design and because it is dedicated to peace and friendship. My biggest challenge was to choose only one photo for the art contest!

Thank you, Soroptimists of Sequim, for this wonderful opportunity. This is an honor, and I am grateful that you chose my art that will benefit your community concerns. See you all at the Gala Garden Show in March, 2018!