As a young city girl living in the midst of noise, I became aware of something very special—in the stillness, there exists a voice that cuts through the darkness and touches the soul. Maybe it tells a story of the places we live, why we’re there, why it feels like home, and what we’re meant to do.
At the family cottage, or visiting family in the East Coast, the sun, the moon, the stars, the land; the rivers and creeks I walked and listened to, the lakes and oceans I would swim in or watch the ripples and tides, the trees and leaves that whispered in their steadfast existence… everything would connect and fill me somehow with God’s presence.
In this Canada Legacy Series, I’m using both imagination, real life experience, and prayers to tap into the beauty of the land and peoples to paint and write the impressions that come. To simply be an interpreter… bringing forth the beauty, power, wisdom, love and grace of the LAND-SEA-SKY and the ever-present, ever-loving Creator of all.
In the Land of the Lakes—an abstract representation of the province of Ontario; home to the nation’s capital, glorified by over 250,000 lakes, with lakes within lakes. Forests within forests. Land, so vast and varied; from prickly pear cactus in the south to polar bears in the north. Rich in gold, copper, platinum, silver, nickel, and amethyst our provincial gemstone. Abundant in the arts, energy, people, and cultures; nine million of us living in the ‘Greater Golden Horseshoe’. Caves and gorges, islands and mines and tundra, still waters to roaring celebratory waterfalls. From the wilds and nature to city life, Ontario my home, comes alive in me and in this piece.
This painting came out nothing like I expected. That shouldn’t come as a surprise I imagine. Considering all that Ontario encompasses or all that I’ve been experiencing in life, perhaps it couldn’t be distilled down into a simple expression.
It had been a few weeks since I had done my research on this province to when the piece was actually painted. For the past few months I’ve been undergoing a massive shake up in everything I’ve believed in for decades, affecting every aspect of my life. With it, brought miraculous healing and transformation, but it also brought other things, like my creative projects to a standstill while I processed it all.
From new age spirituality to Christianity—tundra, rocks and wilderness to cross. Suddenly everything I thought was one thing, was becoming another. A way of living in the world that’s turning out to be more solid and liberating than I could possibly have imagined.
Why do I mention it? Because it’s so grand that it had to impact this project. It had to beg questions about my purpose as an artist and my intentions. It had to give me pause to spend time in prayer; to figure out if the creative life would even continue to be part of my future. I wanted to give to the world in such a way I wasn’t sure if it included the brush and the word.
The spirit of God whispered, and I came to realize that both are gifts to me to use, to share, to glorify—now through the brush and the Word.
I’m excited now as to how that might look going forward and how it might impact this project, the latter will be a work-in-progress.
“God called the dry ground ‘land,’ and the gathered waters he called ‘seas.’ And God saw that it was good.”
~ Genesis 1:10
There is such beauty across this nation. Each territory and province unique, abundant with resources and ways of life for every kind of yen.
My father, born in Nova Scotia, moved to Ontario after serving in World War II. Though I’ve traveled, it’s the only place I’ve lived, and it is my home.
There’s so much to explore and enjoy here, much I haven’t experienced actually. So much beauty, but where I wandered virtually and landed upon initially for this piece was Tobermory.
There was a beauty compelling. This harbour village on the Bruce Peninsula known for the Bruce Trail Footpath on the Niagara Escarpment, doesn’t that sound magical? Then, there is the famous Grotto… more magical delights… And, Flowerpot Island… lighthouses, and multiple shipwreak dive sites. Takes the breath away.
It was Tobermory that I wanted to depict, but it couldn’t be contained to just that, as much as I tried. The painting wanted more. I needed to bring in the Light, I needed purples and yellows when my eyes set upon this evening photo of Niagara Falls.
And, even though I’ve already done a painting for Toronto, the city lights needed to be represented… they needed to be expressed…
In the Land of the Lakes—a land of contrasts, of ruggedness and beauty, of the past and the future, simplicity and opportunity. Anywhere you set upon, hearts afire, minds alive, eyes lit up, life abounds and unfolds with the rise and fall of the sun.