Living in the Northwest Territories, I realized that there were three seasons more closely related to winter, than to summer. Some years the seasons of fall and spring seemed to be so short, that one had to pay close attention to those days, to capture the transition. Fall is treasured for the calm change from greens and blues to yellow golds and deep reds. Spring opens our doors, allowing long days to enjoy the new sun on frozen lakes, savouring light energy.
‘Outcrop Trees aged grey
Cambium bark ripped
Snow receding Revealing lichens
Hidden rock gardens
Myriad patterns drawn
In silvery green, Burnt ochre,
Heather brown and
Burnished gold needles
Crystal snow patchwork
There are times in my life when I have realized that I am living completely in the moment. Our journey to Caribou Bay at Peterson’s Point Lake Lodge was an entire week of being absorbed minute by minute, on the land.
All the everyday distractions were eliminated; I felt only the peace of walking on the warm carpet of tundra, searching the horizon for wildlife, and being captivated by the miniature colour world of each lichen and flora patch. As I painted Caribou Bay back in my studio in Yellowknife, I realized how the image in my memory came together so effortlessly.
The caribou appeared watching us as we landed on the shore, the caribou engulfed by gold, orange and red bushes, and as the caribou headed towards the hills, I became a small being alone on the land.
Emergence is the connecting theme in this selection of my paintings
The return of daylight early
in the year
The slow movement of a glacier
The regeneration of the land
after a forest fire
The land emerging from the blanket of snow and ice
watching a lily opening
slowly and serenely
a loon emerging
in the morning mist
and in the process of painting, thoughts and images emerge as undercurrents
to become surprise
elements in the painting.
In the arctic, the water transforms into snow and ice, which in turn transforms everything into abstract and fluid shapes. As a river meanders, it carves a ribbon across the landscape, as a glacier moves it carves and shapes valleys and mountains, and as the ocean pummels the shoreline the rock faces are hollowed and etched. My pen follows the virtual journey to experience the land forms, the paths and rivers.
The series for Arctic Winter Dreams began in response to a commission to design a mural on a 12 ft circumference column, for Northern House during the Winter Olympics 2010 in Vancouver.
Northern youth participate in Arctic Winter Games gathering in cities across the circumpolar north. The Arctic Winter Games were held in Yellowknife in 2008. As an arts volunteer, I was inspired by the youth as they competed in numerous winter sports around the city. There are northern stories about the games played in the aurora. I chose the energy of the aurora to illustrate the dreams of youth becoming athletes, traveling by plane, to compete around the north.
I am currently working on completing this series of paintings, see Shows on this website for upcoming shows. The next Arctic Winter Games will be held in Whitehorse in 2012. For more information on the Arctic Winter Games www.awg2012.org