In this exquisite collection, Water Rising, the sublime watercolors of Garth Evans and the lyrical meditations of Leila Philip reflect those tides that rise and course within our lives and through the natural world, in both cases tracing the indelible watermarks that have been left behind. Whether grounded in our intimate daily experience or our artistic hopes and desires, the paintings and poems of Water Rising celebrate our insistence that, in the face of much darkness, we will continue to live along the shores of light and great beauty.
-- David St. John, Study for the World's Body
The silent sound that Leila Philip's poems make on the page is reciprocated by the beautiful articulations of color and form that are Garth Evans' watercolors. Things happen, the poems and paintings both tell us. How and why are mysteries and should remain so, but the happenstance of the art forms, acknowledges a persuasive, crucial gravity -- open-minded souls at their careful work.
-- Baron Wormser, Poet Laureate of Maine, 2000-6
The paintings and poems of Garth Evans and Leila Philip “in-form” us, in the deepest sense, of what it is to live alongside, in relationship with, the structures and lives around us. In Water Rising, the ancient argument over which is superior—painting or poetry—is quieted at last. For here, whether taking form in image or in words, the zucchini rise like “zeppelins”: “the surprising weight/ of them lifting/ my basket.”
-- Angie Estes, winner of the 2015 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award
Water Rising is a marvelous collaboration between an artist and a writer, in which lines and colors and words blend and merge to celebrate a small corner of the world. Garth Evans and Leila Philip teach us how to see a place anew, “as if a secret were breaking open.” And now that we know the secret, which is that every place demands love and attention, nothing will ever be the same again.”
-- Christopher Merrill, The Trees of the Doves
Water Rising is a book whose exquisite individual voices—its poems and watercolors—harmonize like wild singers in a healthy natural landscape. These threads of color and song weave a pattern of music the likes of which has not quite been heard before, a music simultaneously wild and domesticated, cooked and raw, improvisational and carefully notated, a music to be seen as well as simply heard. Although they worked separately, these two singular artists, deeply connected as human beings, have achieved a true collaboration here: this book is larger than the sum of its parts, deeper than the visions of its individual artists. This is collaboration as the best kind of marriage is collaboration: something beyond either life is made real here, made manifest. The book itself is a work of art, not a mere collection of artifacts. As such, it is truly a small miracle, a refuge for contemplation, the real world shown as magic, full of wonder and delight, and precious beyond our mere knowing.
-- Michael Hettich, Systems of Vanishing
In their gorgeous creation, Water Rising, Leila Philip and Garth Evans present a way of working, a method of living, and an artist's model of how to shape-shift between intimacy and independence. I'm struck by the black and white power of the words (buildings and dwellings unto themselves) and the tender viscera of the paintings' extraordinary color and movement. And, too, how the poems lend shape to beloved terrain, while the paintings enact poetic knowing. Both forms move deftly between their own inner and outer dimensions and together maintain a sustained and passionately engaged conversation.
-- Lia Purpura, On Looking