When did you last escape from the city lights and experience the night sky in all it’s glory? I think we humans are meant to wonder at the vastness and shimmering, stunning, beauty of space….it helps to keep our egos in check. Obviously, by the state of the world, we haven’t been doing enough of that lately. When people lived in tipis and yurts, igloos and hogans, they were in touch with that magnificence in a much more intimate way, enriching their lives in ways that we may have lost.
Winter has settled in here, though it’s warmed up considerably today, after a week of frigid -20’s. I visited Polly today and this is our beautiful S. Saskatchewan River valley blanketed in snow. The river cliffs here have bands of brilliant vermillion (thus the name of the town of Redcliff) and when that contrasts with the cool blue shadows we get in late afternoon, the effect can be stunning.
There’s a pretty barn and ranch yard on the way to Elkwater, and I’ve stopped often to admire it, either with canola fields in bloom, with heavy rain clouds in the west, or like this day, with full-on winter. This was one of those days with ice crystals in the air and the weak winter sun attempting to do something about it Ah, winter. May as well like the weather you have, right?!
This blog has introduced you before to our gem of a Regional Park here at Medicine Hat, “Echodale”. It is a restored farm with all kinds of recreational advantages for us all. Summer time is great there with the poultry and animals in residence, the garden growing and the cooks in the kitchen baking bread in the old wood stove. But winter is fun too, with hay rides and wiener roasts. Here it is, the beautiful old log house garlanded up for Christmas.
Doing these latest paintings is gradually getting me in the mood for the Season, and today I had some really great young friends drop by with their various beautiful kids in tow. Now that REALLY made my day! Hope your Christmas joy meter is ticking up a notch or 2 every day as well, remembering that it really is all about relationships.
We recently had another fabulous full moon, and I simultaneously came across a photo I’d taken of the tipis at our annual Aboriginal Days celebration. I woke up this morning with the notion of combining the 2 ideas….probably partly inspired by the long dark nights and the attraction that brings to fire and heavenly bodies.
Today’s painting is a commission for a friend, so it’s larger, and the first landscape I’ve done in quite awhile. When I remember how I used to cry and tantrum while attempting to paint all the nuances of light on coulees, well, lets just say that I’m truly grateful that I can now approach it with a smidge of confidence. Having been raised with this very landscape I can truly say that I can feel it in my bones. It is such a joy, FINaLLY, to be able to paint it.