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Robin Coen

Artist: Robin Coen


Robin CoenMy love of "all things wild" emerged while growing up on a cattle ranch in the Elkhorn Mountains of Eastern Oregon. I now live in Boise Idaho but maintain our family ranch property in Eastern Oregon as a wildlife refuge, vacation rental and residence location for my Wild Blues Artist in Residence Program. I am committed to environmental conservation, serving on the board of Greater Hells Canyon Council and painting from an eco centric point of view. I hope to encourage compassion and reciprocity towards the natural world through my art and activism. Being an artist is also a great excuse to hang out with very cool people, camp, backpack and generally embrace the world with open arms.

Artist Statement

Art can reach people through their hearts, in a way that facts and figures cannot. We live in a time of environmental crises that poses an existential threat to all life on earth. We also live in a time of great opportunity, to remodel our human relationships with the living world in a way that could transform our future into something much richer and more rewarding for all the worlds beings. Our planet, this tiny blue jewel of life, is our dearest treasure and most accurate reflection of our communal spiritual wealth. I/we must act swiftly and forcefully if we are to protect it.

Robin Coen Totem of Vanishing SoulsRobin Coen: Totem of Vanishing Souls
2022 - Watercolor on Paper - 29" x 41"
Courtesy of: Refugia of the Blue Mountains Collection

 The following poem about this piece is written by nature writer Marina Richie, recent winner of the John Burrough's Medal

Totem of Vanishing Souls
Marina Richie

In silence, the animals clamber, leap
perch, teeter, and balance
one upon the other,
an act of grace.

Polar Bear on a thawing iceberg
comforts California Mountain Kingsnake
knotted in fear.
Furry paw brushes night wing of Spotted Owl
dreaming lichened mossy forests.

Wolverine weary of wandering rests
on the back of mother bear, his clawed toes
gentle on creamy fur. Joined by Lynx of golden eyes,
the two stare in twinned sorrow.

Chinook Salmon and Orca Whale
freeze in mid-leap on their way to becoming
two more stars in a constellation
of intertwining fates.

Spotted Frog places sticky toes
on Salmon, Orca, Checkerspot Butterfly,
and California Condor feathering great wings
for the last glide.

while Cascade Red Fox steadies on Condor’s back
as Rusty Patch Bumblebees hum
pollen lullabies.

Sage Grouse, umbrella bird of sagebrush sea
fans his fancy dance tail
Topped out without a lek
without a mate.

Ancient lineages convene
before wild eye
close forever

Before the word kinship
comets away
tailing only darkness.