Monday, April 22, 2013


so i started drawing again recently. there's something about being in a state of flux - on your way to somewhere, but not just yet - that brings out the need to create. maybe it's a way to let out all the emotions shaken to the surface. a way to stabilize, deal with the uncertainty of what you're heading into. for me creativity is this narrow window of time, like a wormhole in a sci-fi movie. coming and going as it pleases.

this current transition comes from the shift of seasons, from passionately ridding myself of all excess belongings in preparation for the big move, and from a whole lot of new perspective and values. shedding as much north american culture as possible to take on a new one.

recently i spent an evening with the patrick watson album 'adventures in your own backyard'. perhaps it triggered the nostalgia of being a child, the happiest moments spent sprawled on the floor with paper and crayon, oblivious to the world around. so i picked up a pen and started sketching a scene from home.

it's an old wharf, constructed of rough logs stacked one on top of the other, and filled with large stones. behind, the dark mountains fall into the lake. this was the place to swim and dive in the summer (avoiding the waterweeds) when the normally glacial water had warmed. sometimes i would go alone to have some peace - walk the dog, or just sit looking out on the lake. we would have picnics there or lie in the sand. if there was an escaped log washed up on shore i would paddle it out, pretending it was a boat. would never go very far though, the lake was deep and green and i was always a little leery of what might be living in it...
at a point further back on the beach, i remember my parents skating on a sliver of ice after dark, one of the rare winters when the lake partially froze. this place is so familiar i could probably trace it's geography with my eyes closed.

now i have no pretensions about being a talented artist. i have always been more comfortable creating pictures with words.
however, there's something so engrossing about drawing a landscape. you have to pay close attention. it's lines and details pull you in as you try to place them on paper, and in that moment you are completely connected to it.

this happened a couple years ago as well, i was in the middle of another transition - moving back to montreal from scotland, finishing my 4th month of couch-surfing. visiting BC was the last stop before finally getting settled in an apartment.
it had been a long time since i'd been home, maybe 3 years. it was so surreal so come back, see who and what had changed, friends getting married, having children, structures being torn down and built, but the one thing that hadn't changed were the main features of the landscape. the shapes of the mountains, the curve of the shoreline. so one afternoon i found myself at a lookout point over the town, replicating the scene below.

i am wondering if this is where the urge to draw home comes from... in the midst of chaos, feeling the strong need to be connected for a moment with something deeply familiar and unchanging. we're funny that way, humans.
we cannot live without movement and change, but deep down, we all have a need to be rooted to something. a feeling of security. for me part of that is my mountains and water.

thankfully there's a lot of that happening in ecuador. maybe one of the reasons why i feel like it`s going to be ok to live there.

(and if you want to see real art, check out some of these incredible paintings from the 2009 BP Portrait Award!!!)

1 comment:

  1. love reading your creativity in it's many forms... xx