Blast From the Past
Quote: No man ever steps in the same river twice, because it’s not the same river, and he is not the same man. Heraclitus
I recently acquired two paintings I did 20 years ago that had been sold to a local art collector. It was a bit of a surprise to see them, it was like I just painted them yesterday I remembered them so well.
Each painting is from a different series. Comox Dam (above) was painted at Comox Lake and was part of about six or seven paintings I painted en plein air along the Puntledge River. While painting these, I enjoyed the challenges of working outside and directly from the landscape. It taught me how to work loosely and quickly as well as to mix accurate colours.
Aspire (below), is an abstract painting I did after taking a three week course called “Idea and the Creative Process” at the Atlin Arts Centre, Atlin, B.C. in 1998. During this time I was focussed on ridding myself of any mental constructions or baggage I was carrying, in order to move forward and grow into the person I really am. At this time I was very inspired by B.C. painter, Jack Shadbolt, who worked in acrylics and often painted about self-transformation (see part of his Butterfly Transformations series in the Audain Art Museum, Whistler).
Comox Dam and Aspire contrast each other but are both equally mine and I distinctly remember the process in painting each. I find it interesting that at the time I felt uncertainty about what I was going to paint or where it was going to lead or whether they were any good. However, I felt no uncertainty that I should be painting – the process felt like a big adventure (and still does). I am learning that the work I did in the past has shaped who I am today and what I am creating now will in turn shape my future.
Images: (above) “Comox Dam”, acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 24″, 1997 and (below) “Aspire”, acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 30″, 1999