Obi Kaufmann, author of the bestselling California Field Atlas, returns to Point Reyes to discuss his new book, The State of Water: Understanding California's Most Precious Resource.
About The State of Water:
Obi Kaufmann, author of the best-selling California Field Atlas, turns his artful yet analytical attention to the Golden State's single most complex and controversial resource: water. In this new book, full-color maps unravel the braided knot of California's water infrastructure and ecosystems, exposing a history of unlimited growth in spite of finite natural resources--a history that has led to its current precarious circumstances. Yet this built world depends upon the biosphere, and in The State of Water Kaufmann argues that environmental conservation and restoration efforts are necessary not only for ethical reasons but also as a matter of human survival. Offering nine perspectives to illustrate the most pressing challenges facing California's water infrastructure, from dams to species revitalization, Kaufmann reveals pragmatic yet inspiring solutions to how water in the West can continue to support agriculture, municipalities, and the environment. Interspersed throughout with trail paintings of animals that might yet survive under a caring and careful water ethic, Kaufmann shows how California can usher in a new era of responsible water conservation, and--perhaps most importantly--how we may do so together.
About Obi Kaufmann:
For Poet, painter and naturalist Obi Kaufmann, California is a magic network of living systems that connect in a grand, quilted array of ecology and beauty. The lavishly illustrated, 550-page California Field Atlas takes readers off the beaten path and outside normal conceptions of California, revealing its myriad ecologies, topographies, and histories with hundreds of exquisite hand-painted maps and trail paintings. Obi Kaufmann blends science and art to illuminate the multifaceted array of the natural world, forming a uniquely elemental narrative based on the shaping forces of earth, air, fire, and water, connecting systems like no other book has done before.
Kaufmann depicts layer after layer of the natural world, delighting in the grand scale and details alike. The effect is staggeringly beautiful: presented alongside California divvied into its fifty-eight counties, for example, we consider California made up of dancing tectonic plates, of watersheds, of wildflower gardens. Maps are enhanced by spirited illustrations of wildlife, keys that explain natural phenomena, and a clear-sighted but reverential text. Full of character and color, The California Field Atlas is the ultimate road trip companion and love letter to a place.
An avid conservationist, Obi Kaufmann regularly travels around the state, speaking on issues of ecological restoration and preservation to such groups as the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildland center, the Mojave Desert Land Trust, The Anza Borrego Foundation, The Mono Lake Committee, the Peninsula Open Space Trust and Friends of the River in Coloma. He is an illustrator for Bay Nature Magazine, the Berkeley Times and Premium Arts, as well as a long-term collaborator with the men’s apparel brand Indigofera. A life-long resident of California, Obi Kaufmann makes his home base in Oakland and is currently working on Field Atlases to come.
The California Field Atlas is published by heydaybooks.com. Obi Kaufmann posts daily work on Instagram @coyotethunder and publishes essays at http://www.coyoteandthunder.com.