Tuesday, December 1, 2020

The Wisdom Tree

I love old trees, I love knowing they have lived longer than me and that their majestic beauty and strength is available for all who stop to behold them. More recently I have noticed that if you sit with them long enough you start to feel more present and grounded in your own being. Trees are wise and good teachers. 

In honour of these beings I decided to do a give away of one of my paintings in exchange for a story. I put a call out on all my social media platforms and received many beautiful stories about The Wisdom Tree. I read stories of heartbreaking tenderness, childhood memories, bleak beauty, sadness and so much more. 

I read every single word and was deeply touched by each writer's contribution. Some stories were short, some were longer, some were poems and others just a simple anecdote. Each one spoke of your heart connection to trees though and it was a joy to read them ALL. I have selected one winner but there are several honourable mentions as well. Thank-you for all your contributions.

The winning piece is a poem by Montreal writer Adriana Palanca

Honorable Mentions: (their stories/poems follow below)

Bram Levinson, Montreal, QC, Canada

Carole Reese, The Adirondacks, NY, USA

Dominique Normand, La Malbaie, QC, Canada

Adriana touched on the spiritual aspect of trees in a way that brought a sense of the sacred to small, everyday moments including the monk-like squirrels which made me smile. While we often think of trees as static beings her words brought life and movement to The Wisdom Tree. Congratulations Adriana, The Wisdom Tree painting can now accompany your poem!

On Sunday mornings,
I take my communion in nature's cathedral.
The branches of the trees like flying 
buttresses, arching upwards to create a
vaulted ceiling of leaf and sky. The light-
dappled canopy glinting like stained glass. The
squirrels on their fat haunches, standing in for 
monks. The insects, chirruping and humming, 
our choir. A peace settles over me as soon as I
step into this sacred place, the solemnity of 
the trees inspiring a reverence not of an 
uncertain, unknowable God, but of the divine in 
each of our bodies, tree or human. A spark felt 
in the vibrating fibers of our throats when we 
speak, and in the rippling sinews of our limbs 
when we move. There is no need to kneel here, 
no missal to peruse or hymn to intone. 
Our shared presence is prayer enough. In the 
embrace of the green cathedral, surrounded 
by my woody cousins, I am able to move past 
the rumbling and raging of thought. I am able, 
finally, to see that spark, orange and hot, and 
hear the answers that were inside me all along. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Standing by the River

Standing by the River (Autumn in Algonquin)  / 16" x 20"
“I want to stand by the river in my finest dress. I want to sing, strong and hard, and stomp my feet with a hundred others so that the waters hum with our happiness. I want to dance for the renewal of the world.”

-Robin Wall Kimmerer

This piece was inspired by a remarkable afternoon sitting beside the sparkling flow of the Oxtongue River last Sept during my residency in the park.
The painting will be exhibited as part of a group exhibition at the Algonquin Art Centre entitled "The Spirit of the Group of Seven" which will include original paintings from the Group of Seven in celebration of the 100th anniversary of their first exhibition at OAC. It is such an honour to be part of this show which will be on exhibit from June to October in Algonquin Park.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Algonquin Artist in Residency

Algonquin Provincial Park 2019

I was fortunate enough to recently be selected for a week long residency in Algonquin Park.
The Park that is iconic to landscape painting in Canada and even more so in the transitional blaze of Autumn.

I wasn't sure what to expect but upon arrival at the Algonquin Art Center I was greeted by two friendly gallery managers and given a bag full of treats! I was then led to my accommodations which was a simple room attached to a building full of seasoned and young naturalists who work and study in the park. This staff housing is located on Found picturesque Lake Found. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019


The National Parks of Utah have long been on my bucket list so I was overjoyed when I finally reached the park entrance to Zion! 

I knew the landscape would be exceptional and awe inspiring but I truly had no idea how it would take my breath away. Once again, the diversity of this planet's land formations is astounding to behold.

"...the geology that underlies lusher landscapes is exposed to the eye, and this gives it a skeletal elegance, just as its harsh conditions - the vast distances between water, the many dangers, the extremes of heat and cold - keep you in mind of your mortality." 
~Rebecca Solnit

Monday, June 10, 2019

James Rauchman ~ Studio Visit

Part of what keeps me inspired as an artist is to spend time with other artists. Artists who have devoted their lives to their work. This week-end I had the great pleasure of visiting two such artists in their studios. The first of these studio visits was with James Rauchman a NYC painter recently moved to upstate Vermont. 

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