Today I returned to my Montreal studio after spending a week wandering along La Rivière du Diable in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. I have painted this lively river for over twenty years and feel a strong kinship. Having moved away from her presence to live in the city I didn't realize how much I carry this river's presence and soul deep inside me. When I returned to spend a week exploring her wintery shores I felt a reverence for the river that verged on mystical. I could feel her silvery song filling up the neglected places within my own soul that cried out to her. I felt fed and nourished just being close to the river's presence. A new vitality seemed to seep into my bones as I listened to her frozen stillness reverberate through the forest and snow which surrounds her. When I entered the studio today, I started to play with some sketches but I had forgotten the many reference photos of the river at home and had decided to start a painting of something else entirely. Only once the brush touched the board, everything changed. I was not painting, the river was. I just let the memories of her sounds, textures, colors and forms flow through me and this delightful painting appeared all by itself. The river painted a self portrait while I stood by and watched in fascination. I am not so sure who is painting whom anymore.
River Reverence 16" x 20" acrylic and collage on panel board