acrylic on panel
If you are an artist, have you ever felt like you were "in the zone" and everything was just clicking? You were on fire, so to speak? That's how I felt on August 8 when I was painting at Spruce River. I drove up to Waskesiu, Prince Albert National Park the night before so that I was that much closer to the Kenderdine Campus. I was by myself and I spent my first evening alone priming my new boards, taking reference photos around the lake and then I went for an evening swim. The water was as calm as glass and very warm. It was peaceful, relaxing and just what I needed to shift gears and get ready for a week of painting. I got up early on Aug. 8 and took the old road (more scenic) to Emma Lake which took about half an hour. Along the way, I saw 7 deer and one fox which put me into an even better mood. I swear I get more excited than the kids whenever we see wildlife. Anyway, I checked in at the campus, found my cabin and quickly set up a spot in the studio. Then I was off to paint. I decided that since I still had a valid park pass I may as well use it, so I went back the way I came on the old road and found one of my favorite spots about 15 minutes later at a picnic area by Spruce River. Here the river winds away from the forest and comes into a meadow, and immediately turns back into the forest again.
Everything felt right. I grabbed a board I had gessoed and painted with black latex then settled into a great little spot under the cover of tall pines. The above is the first painting I did that day and the three previous reflections I posted came after. I think this is my favorite. I really love how it turned out. It is the most zoomed in I have ever painted a reflection and therefore it is likely the most abstract. When I painted it there was this little patch of the river near the bank that was glowing orange. I was spectacular. It must be the way the sun was shining and illuminating the dead leaves and debris on the river floor. I love the shots of orange with the blues. Hours later as I was packing up I glanced at the river and it seriously looked like it could have been on fire! What I saw was spectacular and absolutely messed with my head. I am including a few photos to give you an idea.
Anyway, that first day of painting was, as it turned out, the most content I ended up feeling all week. The paintings from that day may or may not be the best I produced, but the feeling of peace and happiness was there with me and it felt so good.
Now a small bit on another topic unrelated to art. It is the morning and both my boys are at school! It is so hard! When I walked away from the school all I could think of was, "Now what?". I know most people are thinking, "GO PAINT SILLY!" but somehow I didn't want to head to the studio. My life for the last eight odd years has been so entirely about these little loves of my life that I don't really know what I will do with myself now that they are both in school full time. Maybe part of the problem is that there are so many things I could do with myself that I don't know where to begin: go back to school, find another career, get a thousand odd jobs done that have been put on the back burner, work a few more hours at my part-time job, paint with more focus, the list goes on. For this morning, however, I decided to write on my blog and have a good cleansing cry! ...Now I have to come up with something to do this afternoon when the kids go back to school after lunch.