"I love reading your email newsletters. I always enjoy them, finding them grounding as well as innovative." J.H.
Every time I visit the place I grew up – Pt. Holmes on the windy tip of the Comox Peninsula – I still feel very connected to the smells, sounds and sights. It feels like visiting an old friend or relative.
Sketches aren’t about making a perfect picture, it’s the act of looking that is important. By completely stopping to look and draw (a flower, a tree, person, building..) you start to notice things you didn’t before.
Over the years I’ve had a few dreams about fire. Sometimes I see the licking flames in sharp detail and other times something is burning more in the distance. A couple times there was a more scary explosion or almost explosion (usually when I’m mad about something – ha). I’ve also connected dreaming about fire to major transition points in my life, such as moving or when I started dating my husband!
Fire in a controlled sense denotes security. It is always needing to be fed or stoked and invites interaction – it is alive. Every year when my family goes to Tofino we enjoy fires on the beach – sometimes playing music as well.
This painting called “Monarch Mountain” is inspired by a hike with a friend in Atlin, B.C. (near Whitehorse) last summer. Due to this being a south facing slope in a northern latitude in June, I witnessed the most wildflowers I had ever seen in one spot. We were surrounded by colour!
Daydreaming is a way of making connections in our life, finding meaning and coming up with new ideas. People value busyness and the resulting rewards of a productive life but I believe that time to just let our minds completely wander is underrated.
One thing I’ve learned about being an artist is that no one else will tell you that you must create. An artist needs to have their own belief in what they have been most equipped to do. This takes an incredible amount of courage and also: self-love. And not in a pumped up ego kind of way, but in a way that you truly believe that you are a worthy person and it is right to trust your inner voice.
While reading all her books in succession I started to feel like Emily Carr was becoming a friend which I looked forward to hanging out with at the end of the day. Maybe it is the frank, direct way in which she wrote – believing you shouldn’t “use a big word if a little one will suffice” or the humour she found in everyday life, which made her feel so real.
I really enjoyed this recommendation by a visitor on the studio tour. The main lesson in this book is that creativity shouldn’t be thought of as strictly the realm of artists or inventors but that all humans are hard wired to be creative – “creativity is a catchall term for a variety of distinct thought processes”.