20 October 2005

Cottage Country

The great thing about photographing provincial park landscapes, is that no one may question what you are doing, unlike houses. Of course, Northern Ontario is a beautiful place, even if it is lacking the mountains I was used to, having come from BC. So the camping trip was an ideal opportunity to capture landscapes that were begging to be photographed. On this trip I also sketched.

Now some artists will take all manner of painting equipment out with them and paint right out there on location. They get very good at knowing exactly what to take right down to the sun hat and the bug spray. They also manage to shrink their art materials down to a very tidy little bundle, suitable for long hikes in the bush. They call it "Plein Air" painting, after the french for fresh air. It is especially popular in the UK. I however, was not quite up for all that. A sketch book and pencils would suffice. And of course, my trusty camera.

I sat on this Pre-Cambrian Canadian Sheild rock for a very long time one evening, sketching the lake and the rock and the trees. Actually, as I found, disecting the scene I was painting, the way an artist does, while being a living part of that environment myself, was a powerful experience. I wasn't only deeply seeing what was before me, but I was breathing it and hearing it and feeling it myself. I know my backside certainly was feeling it......

The sketch was an experience, but a painting was what I wanted.

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