Monday, December 27, 2010

Thoughts on An Extraordinary Year..

"North on I-29", oil on panel, 16"x16"

This past year has been ridiculously full of travel and exploration. From hiking over mossy trails on Vancouver Island, jogging along the Yukon River in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, standing in sun looking out at the splendour of Cappadocia in Turkey, peering over the shoulders of gargoyles at Notre Dame in Paris, witnessing the impossibly blue Mediterranean Sea, touching the spines of Saguaro Cacti in the south of Arizona, standing beneath the quiet hush of giant sequoias in California's Yosemite National Park, and seeing Mt. McKinley in the heart of Denali National Park in its full glory, I would not trade a moment of it for anything. 

A flicker surveys the surrounding desert landscape from atop a saguaro cactus, Arizona..

It has been a year of reference-collecting extraordinaire. But it is not distance nor quantity of places that matter. It is what you glean and distill from each day that has meaning and builds upon the fibres of your being. Whether you live in a cave (like one woman I met in Turkey) or rub shoulders with arctic tundra on daily is what we choose to store inside our minds and hearts that counts. 

The sublime drive into Delta Junction, Yukon Territory

As Francis Bacon once said: "The job of the artist is to deepen the mystery." 

This is an exciting and challenging task. I am trying my best to do this with my artwork, blogs, photos and other creative projects. Or course one has to venture inwards as much as outwards to fully express how you feel with regards to you work. I hope you have enjoyed these posts this past year, and just imagine what the future holds! 2012 sees another voyage to Alaska, a 200 km hiking adventure above the Arctic Circle in Greenland, and lots and lots of time in the studio getting back to painting the figure. I can't wait!

Cave dwellings thousands of years old in Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey

The year has also seen "Back To The Wild: The Photographs And Writings Of Christopher McCandless" grow and evolve. We expect to publish the DVD and book in the early part of 2011. You can read more about the project here. It has been an incredible journey helping to bring the photographs and experiences of Chris McCandless to light for the world to see.

"The Big Blue": The Mediterranean in the South Of France

While a good number of paintings have come out of the studio, even more will be produced next year as I let the experiences of 2010 ferment and turn into fuel for future works. I have painted three landscapes recently, one of which is at the top of this post. I love painting these pieces yet I yearn to re-embrace portraiture and figurative work.This is at the top of my list of goals for 2011.

"Uzes Kitchen", oil on canvas, 24"x18", 2010
Private Collection

Magnificent Mount McKinley in Alaska, the highest peak in North America

So thank-you for coming along on these journeys with me over the past year. Many of you have been following my work for years already! I appreciate your support and belief in what I do. If you are interested in the painting "North On I-29", at the top of this blog, please contact Abbozzo Gallery.

Also I have set up an online ordering system for prints of my paintings and photographs! Here is the link to purchase prints.  I will add more paintings and photographs to the list of available pieces soon. You can purchase fine art prints, photo prints, mugs, magnets and more! 

May 2012 be your best year yet!

Sincerely, Heather

"Moving Forward" by Rainer Maria Rilke

The deep parts of my life pour onward,
as if the river shores were opening out.
It seems that things are more like me now,
that I can see farther into paintings.
I feel closer to what language can't reach.
With my senses, as with birds, I climb
into the windy heaven, out of the oak, 
in the ponds broken off from the sky
my falling sinks, as if standing on fishes.


Peter Brown said...

Heather, I always enjoy your (sometimes infrequent!) blog posts and greatly admire your paintings. I hope the year ahead is a happy and productive one for you.

Heather Horton said...

Good evening Peter and thanks for your kind comment. I know...traveling makes blogging difficult to do on a regular basis! Thus I have merged my two blogs to help with the frequency of entries! I will continue posting new paintings and do my best to keep up with regular writing!

Happy New Year Peter and thanks for your support!


jamenta said...

Thank you so much for sharing your artist's journey with us Heather. You are one lucky soul to have had the opportunity to travel and experience so many different extraordinary places in the world. And you seem to bring away from your journeys amazing photographs and inspiration of the great mystery of things. ;)

Anonymous said...

It is so wonderful that you are able to, and choose to, share your adventures with us armchair travelers. I love the photos, stories and of course your paintings - keep living the dream!

Vern Schwarz said...

Heather, I always love seeing your work, and really look forward to the results of the goals you have set for yourself. Being partial to your figurative and portrait pieces, I know you will have some inspiring projects in mind after all of those wonderful trips.

Best wishes for the new year.

Heather Horton said...

Thanks everyone for your comments! I am excited to see what unfolds from my mind, the easel and onto canvas this year...stay tuned and Happy New Year!