Considering Landscape Painting in Canada

Wow, the idea of landscape painting as something to consider baffles the mind. No matter what the weather or time of year some would say don't waste your time thinking about it let alone painting from or about it. But, hold on a minute there is new information.
Recently The film, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Humanity's Lost Masterpiece by Werner Herzog, 2010 was given to me as a gift. I watched with great interest as the filmmaker explored the recently discovered Chauvet Cave in what is now France. He notes the cave holds paintings far older than any others in the world changing our understanding of people in time.
Before seeing this film, images from a time about twenty five thousand years ago seemed to illustrate people and animals. Although images were painted on rock there seemed to be no mention in the drawing of the environment. Hold on to your hat because at one point in the film, as the camera pans to the side past stunning images of lions and hippos and bears, out of the shadows I noticed a tree.
So, thanks to the film for recording a roots moment on the subject. I understand that one tree does not make a landscape but it is interesting that a landscape element was important enough in the scheme of things to be included in the artists record. 
In Canada with its rich history of landscape driven imagery this new information makes the consideration of landscape painting all the easier. Now I know it was there all the time.

Small World Gets Smaller

Walking down a path that includes making art is a heart pounding no holds barred experience that can shift as quick as the wind or the tide. 
It is impossible to predict what might come around any corner or over the next hill at any moment. I was taught a long time ago the most important thing on any given day is to continue along the path. Today is a case in point as already this morning my world has shifted three times each time making things more interesting for sure.
Let me back up a bit to earlier today before the sun made an appearance. Our day begins early on Saturday and I had begun listening to a favourite musical recording as a background to my activities. The songs began to remind me about my hometown, Toronto, and as I listened my mind drifted back to the downtown area we recently frequented while visiting the city. A bittersweet experience that warmed the soul on a cold winter morning.
Listening to the recording I noticed one particular voice rising up projecting a quality of quiet optimism. The morning continued and the record changed with no real planning on my part so imagine my surprise when the same voice is on the second recording as well. I had never put two and two together before today even though each recording had been played many times for years. Things had shifted again I went on with the morning
until now. As I sat down to write about songs and artists in a small world the phone rang. While the phone ringing is not surprising the message the caller brought was completely surprising and right out of left field. Such good news about my painting I will only believe it when it happens. 
A meeting has been scheduled for later this week and once again I see that while the world is a very small and beautiful place the sky really is the limit. Hold on tight.

Random Residuals

A few years ago I began a series of works that moved away from representation and into spaces around the figures. They introduced themselves to me as Random Residuals
Random Residuals began as a recycling project ancillary to the "real work". Responding to the paint at hand in the moment became an empowering practice creating new relationships between, myself, the artist and the paint. From the beginning I determined that no paint brushes would be used so the paint had to move in unfamiliar ways.
The Random Residual process brought a new discovery every day beginning at the end of the day when all the paint that remained on the palette would be used on a new work that began and ended as the paint dried. 
As snow piles up in the frozen landscape outside the door the experimentation that was a large part of the project seems ready to reappear.

Car Studio

If it's January and I am working in the car studio it must be freezing outside.
The port and harbour area is a bottomless pit of imagery for drawing and painting. The exciting part of the adventure is that everything changes from day to day and sometimes from minute to minute. 
On more than one occasion work has started only to be cut short when the subject was moved out of the drawing plane. This is completely out of my control and a little frustrating at times but hasn't slowed me down.

Nova Scotia Winter

Looking out the window onto a frozen lake with freshly fallen snow piled and drifted over the land. It is the driveway and walkways that are my concern today. So in beginning to think about clearing the path, I refer to other artists to provide some insight. 
One has suggested a flame thrower as a melting technology for clearing driveways which would work but we don't own a flame thrower. Marcel Duchamp displayed a snow shovel, In Advance of a Broken Arm, 1915, so we know what he thought about shovelling snow. Unfortunately, that won't move much snow. 
I could just sit and dream of the work of Canadian painters from Cornelius Krieghoff to Group of Seven artists who have painted romantic visions of a snow covered land. I myself have painted a number of winter landscapes and would gladly start another one now but I think moving the pile before it freezes solid is a better idea. Shovel now, paint later.

Cold Winter Day Dreaming

A very exciting week, the first full week of the new year, brought to mind the Day Lilies in our summer garden. Of course the lilies are well frozen and doing what lilies do in winter but the memory of their abundance keeps me warm like a fire during these cold days of January. The painting, a record of sorts of the joyful peek of summer days and nights, is a reminder of days gone by and of those to come. It is interesting that the past, present and future can all be represented in one image. The power art holds is truly amazing.

Paint Poetry

Poetry is somehow seeping through the cracks.
Last summer as we travelled around the country roadsigns placed to aide our transit seemed useless. It seemed that the existing signs only served to confuse even if we were familiar with the area and felt we knew the road. Poor placement maybe, but it happened over and over again.
Lucky for us time was the least of our concerns but in the moment I voiced the idea that the roadsigns may as well be erased and overwritten with lines of poetry.  
If we need words on posts poetry might actually be more valuable in the moment.