Sunday, August 12, 2012

Landscapes #1

Time to step away from the shoreline a bit and go into the woods.  Landscape is where it all started for me and is my first love.  I was a child of the woods having spent my formative years in the thick forests of Canada.  I had a simple but fabulous tree house, just a crude platform really, in an immense and embracing tree.  It was my tree of life and I'd sit on the platform for hours where I learned if you were quiet you'd see all sorts of life emerge in the forest:  deer, rabbits, an occasional bear headed for the berry patch.  I was surrounded by food...berries of every sort and there was a fresh water spring nearby that was so cold and sweet as it emerged from the rocks.  All my fondest memories have been of the forest and it's embrace but life is full of adventures. 

Jewel Weed   30 x 22"  watercolor

I also love the Sea and have been thinking of landscape & seascape in terms of concept...for me to look out over the ocean is about limitless space, the forest is the opposite.  For many the forest is even a fearful place.  I've been reading interesting articles about The Woods, first in "Letters From An American Farmer" by  J. Hector St. John De Crevecoeur in 1782 ...all Europeans would rejoice with him in replacing "wild, woody, and uncultivated nature with fair cities, substantial villages..."  Where I live they certainly have done that in spades. Nature is either non-existant or beat into submissive tidy little parklets.  
October   30 x 22"  watercolor

In my landscape paintings and drawings I am exploring the question:  How do you face the forest?  Is it a wilderness, a blockade?  Would you create your own path or look for a way in?  

Saplings  26 x 20"  charcoal

Silver Birch   30 x 22"   watercolor

Thicket    26 x 20"  charcoal

Winter Woods   22 x 30"   watercolor