Being open to seeing

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes”  — Marcel Proust

The other morning I was walking through a field near my home. The air was warm and still and scented with earth and wet leaves, comforting and promising. An ordinary field in November, almost colourless at first glance, it slowly unveiled it’s subtle beauty. The textures of grass, seed pods, Queen Anne’s lace, spikey sticks and rounded shrubs, flat gray rocks and splashes of lichen and moss, subtle hues of slate, sepia, sap green and graphite, all held me captive. This is what makes me  paint, to translate this, interpret it as art. The quietest moments are worthy.

Years ago, walking the same path, I was startled when a young deer lifted her head from the grass and stared at me. It was a spring evening and she was  back lit with a setting sun, the soft hair on her ears glowing, we locked eyes. In an instant she was off , graceful arcs disappearing into twilight. This simple thrilling moment is fixed like a photograph in my brain waiting to be recalled.

Being in nature, open to the present moment and memory feeds my soul and my art practice.

Travelling in a wonderful land

I love to see new landscapes, so traveling is a great inspiration for me. It doesn’t matter what the season is because I’ll usually find something worthwhile. It’s all about ‘seeing’ things with fresh eyes.

This is a painting from a hike through the woods in the Laurentians. My family has had a chalet in the Laurentians for generations and I have a deep connection to the area, especially around St. Sauveur. It’s changed a lot over the decades (very busy!) but the woods are still quite magical.

I often take quick photos to remind me of certain places. The photo’s are really just a reminder of a mood that I experience, to jog my memory when I’m back in my studio. The long straight trunks of this particular stand of trees, and the way the soft overcast light seeped through to the snowy ground… it was so still. I love that feeling in the woods.

Trail Blazing