The Rock Where Everything’s a Little Off-Kilter

The Rock Where Everything’s a Little Off-Kilter

I’ve never been so charmed by a people as of those from Newfoundland and Labrador. How can you find them anything but endearing?

Oh the arts, the culture, the storytelling, the landscapes, ocean creatures, land and sky, the whole of it so rich, it beckons to the writer in me to want to escape into and create my own stories. Fantastical stories, sweet stories, whimsical stories, romantic ones too, for I do believe they see all of it, all of the life of it through their heart’s making.

The colour, the stunning beauty, the quaint and quirky, the off-the-beaten-path of living. Their tales with language of their own making. Can I just peak away and live in an imaginative world upon The Rock, just for a little while at least?

Painting The Rock Stands Out didn’t come all at once, no it took some effort, trying this here and that there, adding and pulling back. I nearly gave up on it because I couldn’t see it, then suddenly there it was.

I had colourful inspiration to gaze upon, but ultimately this photo became my muse that I landed on…

In between the strokes, I delighted in watching videos… listening to their lyrical voices, and their living close in that is their paradise. Here are a few to enjoy…

Can you tell I’m a poetic and romantic at heart, swooned by stories?

I’ve done my share of traveling in North America, the Caribbean Islands, Europe, Africa, and until I began this virtual painting journey across Canada I didn’t realize how much magnificence there was across this nation. Places I discovered would be so cool to visit, but the one that captured my heart the most is Newfoundland-it’s become THE  place that I want to put on a bucket list. So, BW if you read this, whether my man is keen or not, we’re coming to visit!

Brunswick by the Sea: My Photographic Challenge

Brunswick by the Sea: My Photographic Challenge

Ah… Brunswick by the Sea, it had to have been the most challenging, most difficult painting to photograph, and one which after numerous attempts under different lighting situations, I have been unsuccessful in capturing just right.

The glare, the greens and yellows against… beside… the blacks. Just. Never. Quite. Right.

Down to my last three provinces, and after many months, long past my goal of completing the Canada Legacy Series by September, suddenly, with the new year, some forward movement and success in my artistic endeavours.

Writing, having become a desperate need, took over all my thoughts and took up all the space in my heart for expression for a good portion of 2017. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but honestly, I wondered if my ability and desire to paint had left me, in the empty, perhaps for good.

But this series haunted me. I was so close to finishing the first and most effort and time consuming phase. A part of me was so close to saying it was done, there was nothing left in me to give, to bring… to painting. But, this so close, wouldn’t let it go. Wouldn’t let me go.

It was the longest and hardest artist block I had experienced to date. Despite wanting, longing, needing to write, I often found myself unable to do either.

I’ve disappeared into something, out of sight, away from social media. That’s my way, when there’s nothing coming from inside, I need the abyss, the quiet, the away from everything. I’ve been that way since I was a young girl. When there’s too much stimulation, too much noise, too much of just about everything, including what I love, a tension builds inside that replaces everything and blinds me… and binds me.

When there’s too much, and my too much doesn’t take a lot to get there, my throat aches with the empty. I literally and physically have no words that my vocal chords can produce, not even in whispers. Everything inside me is simply empty, my breath heavy, my body weighted down.  My heart and my soul just wants to be held… in the stillness… in the arms of God… in the arms of my beloved.

This is my greatest life challenge, when the living of and in the world becomes too loud. This is my darkness.

Somehow, in the midst of all this empty, there is a swirling of creation, of life becoming something new, yet again. My last three paintings come out of this nothing, and my book idea redefines itself, a vision emerging within a new form.

Movement begins out of the void. I may find it challenging to be in the world, right now… still…  but creation itself stirs and this has to be where I am.

In the midst of winter, darkness, emptiness, love is deeply alive, even and maybe most especially because it breathes into existence in this place. There is a holiness here.

In the home stretch, long in the coming…Brunswick by the Sea emerges out of this desert.

Over the Causeway (and almost down the rabbit hole)

Over the Causeway (and almost down the rabbit hole)

I had thought that working on this painting would be among the easiest ones I would do because Nova Scotia, and particularly Cape Breton, have always held special meaning to me.

Boy was I wrong on that! This piece has ended up taking me months to do, with several stops and starts and scraping over to begin again.

I’ll also admit that while doing some further research once the piece was finally done, I got distracted while stumbling onto a Cape Breton website that listed our family name in the geneology section.

I had done a geneology search a couple of years ago and traced my father’s side back from Cape Breton to the early 1700’s in Normandy, France, but here I was again… get further information.

Then I also got so absorbed in the great information that’s become available on Cape Breton and the even smaller island my dad is from, Isle Madame. Photos and videos… so cool.

Anyway, come on over and check out my Over the Causeway Canada Series painting page to see more about this piece.

Here’s a sweet video about Isle Madame…

 

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