Colourful Muskoka Chairs sitting along the shoreline of a summer lakeview. In Canada, few things are as iconic. These chairs have the ability to provide an escape from the cares of the world. When sitting quietly, we can be immersed into the natural landscape surrounding us.
A Muskoka Chair signifies:
"Sitting by the water, Worries seem smaller
Waves and wind, Take it all in,
Beautiful sunsets, As close as one gets
Beneath the starry skies, Hearing the crickets' cries
In both daytime and night, The universe seems right
In our Muskoka Chair, We escape a world of care."
Often I worry about my art like most artists. "Is it good enough?" I have a sense of anxiety as I start a new piece.
Nicholas Wilton reminded me once again that "art is a personal journey, a process of discovering what brings you alive." I find that when I have completed a piece that I'm happy with, I regain a bit of confidence and have a sense of satisfaction. Making art brings me joy and delight as I have proven to myself, yet again, that I can still make art.
At Sunset Cove Resort, where I recently spent a week of vacation, I wanted to give a gift to the owners, my uncle and aunt, to convey a sense of my appreciation for the week away. So I created this piece.
Pictured here is a scene from the Resort, some fishing boats dotted along the shoreline of Rice Lake as well as a cleaning shed for the numerous fishers that frequent the lake. This beautiful lake is 28 km long and 5 km wide and is recognized for its recreational and sports fisheries. The fish that are in these waters include panfish, walleye, muskellunge, and bass. With its beautiful sunsets and peaceful waters, the week spent at Sunset Cove gave me many memories that reflect my personal journey through life. The time away reminded me of what it is to live and love life. The time away gave me moments to reflect and moments to learn.
Everyone has their own personal journey. I'd love to hear about yours and am grateful that you are joining me as I journey, through the eyes of this blog.
The sounds of tiny baby birds echo through the leaves. The air is filled with the smells of spring. The green and golds painted in the scene give the eyes a fresh sense of newness. The long days of winter vanish into the memory ushering in the innocence of spring. A child gazes in awe at the tiny creatures whose upturned heads and open beaks beg for some nourishment.
We can only imagine what thoughts fleet through the child's mind as the birds beckon their needs be fulfilled. Is there a sense of wonder that we see in her eyes? Is she puzzling over what those feathered friends are trying to tell her? They shout out, with constant chirping. Mouths open they reach toward where they anticipate their next meal.
The child has a sense of wonder. The birds display their neediness and dependence, their vulnerability. Many of us, as adults, have lost these qualities. As time goes on, we want to be independent and wish to rely on no one but ourselves. This painting reminds me to find my sense of wonder, as well as my sense of vulnerability in life. Finding these will give a deep richness in life, one that will never be regretted.
The lyrics from Lee Ann Womack fill my mind as I finish this blog...
"I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty-handed
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance...
I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin' might mean takin' chances but they're worth takin'
Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth makin'
Don't let some hell-bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to sellin' out reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance..."
There is an obvious connection between the two in this painting. The girls cling to each other, gathering strength & courage, the older protecting the younger.
What is she protecting her from? We cannot see what it is, but the older keeps a watchful eye, while the younger appears to be engaging the viewer, begging for help with her young, distraught gaze.
The viewer is pulled into this painting. The older is a picture of concern, while there is a yearning in the younger. Is the younger seeking protection or comfort or both? What circumstances precipitated this embrace?
The background is blank allowing the viewer to put their own circumstance into the painting. Who do you see yourself as, in this painting?
There are times in our lives when we are in both of these positions. Sometimes we are the one giving the comfort, the one who protects and shelters someone else. We hold someone and keep a watchful eye to guard as we can. Other times we are the ones who need the shelter and comfort. We call out for help and rest in the comfort provided to us, just as the young girl does in this painting.
Our lives are filled with giving and taking. May we always give with fervor and receive with thankfulness. Life is better together!
My paintings are little bits of me, moving from within me and out onto the canvas. Each painting comes from an emotional connection I feel with the painting’s inspiration.
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