Monday, April 19, 2010

Thoughts On Exploration: British Columbia and The Yukon

A view from the ferry, en route to Vancouver Island....

“How badly I want that nameless thing! First there must be an idea, a feeling... Maybe it was an abstract idea that you've got to find a symbol for, or maybe it was a concrete form that you have to simplify or distort to meet your ends, but that starting point must pervade the whole.” ~Emily Carr

There's nothing like waking up with the sun in your eyes, and I mean that in a good way. Waking up with the sun in your eyes in a new city is even this case it is Whitehorse in the Yukon. I am here "on assignment" for the next month and if this morning is any indication, it is going to be one heck of a beautiful month.

I arrived late last night from Vancouver, where I have spent the last week. I also ferried over to Duncan on Vancouver Island to see my friend Anne. It has been two years since we have spent time together and it was such a pleasure to see her and her family once again.

Cherry blossoms were out all over Vancouver, lining the streets in pink petals.

I'll try to keep my rhapsodizing about the Western Canada to a minimum here but each time I visit I fall more and more in love with this side of the country. Maybe it isn't the West, but the coast, as I the east coast of Canada has it's quality of unparalleled beauty.

The mountain trail that I ran/walked each day I was in Duncan..

The intent of this five week journey is multi-faceted. To reunite with friends, to paint, to write and to shoot reference for future paintings. I have three commissions lined up, and this is a lovely part of being a are creating something special for friends and clients, something they will always have and that is unique to their lives and history. It is their vision, and as creatives we are a conduit to making that happen. The best commissions are the ones where the clients give me carte blanche. They say, here is the subject, I trust your vision. Do what you do. How liberating! Nothing beats that feeling.

The view down from Mount Tzouhalem, the mountain that Anne lives on...

Looking up while on a walk through the forest...intoxicating...

The weather in Vancouver was cool and refreshing. It was wonderful to revisit the neighbourhoods that I enjoy so much: Kitsilano and the West End. I took the ferry over to Nanaimo and stayed in Duncan for three nights, each day going for a hike or run on the mountain trails behind Anne's house. I remember distinctly going into town with Anne's son and her husband, and sticking my head out the back window to smell the air. It was perfumed with the scent of flowers and spring. It was remarkable...I can see why they say that our sense of smell is most strongly tied to memory.

Nefertiti, one of Ian's lovely cats whose company I will
enjoy very much over the next month..

Now I am in Whitehorse, arriving late last night. I can hardly wait to explore this part of the country...waking up to snow-capped mountains, fresh coffee and the promise of the unknown drives many a person, many an artist, many an explorer. My main objective is to take care of my three feline charges, Nefertiti, Sneggy and Pumpkin. That, along with painting and working on the book about Christopher McCandless will make the four weeks fly by. I am thrilled to be underway in the North... :)

Some of the changing faces of the landscape behind Anne's house in Duncan, BC....

"The only people for me are the mad ones,the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars..." -Jack Kerouac

1 comment:

jamenta said...

Wondeful pictures and unique experiences for you. I'm happy for you Heather. You are so blessed whether you know it or not!