Schwartz Lake is one of the camp sites on our extended camping trips to the Chilcotins. It is in a deep narrow valley with grassy fields separated by a series of small lakes created by beaver dams. It has the essential feature of all my campsites in that it is remote and we rarely see anybody else there. This is one of a series of moonlit landscapes of the lake. At night, even without the moon, it is not as dark as you would expect. Your eyes adjust, different parts of the spectrum seem to be visible, and what you can’t see, your imagination fills in.
I have always anthropomorphized things I see in the woods. When alone in nature, imagination takes over from education and provides the information needed to make sense of things. To me this was not a fallen tree, but a great rib cage and spinal column of an immense beast picked clean by the forest.
Painted from sketches and photos taken in Joshua Tree National Park, near Palm Springs, California. The park takes it’s name from the ‘joshua’ trees native that small part of the Mojave Desert. The trees where said to have reminded early settlers of Joshua standing with upraised arms praying to God. I have a fascination in general with the desert having been born and raised here in ‘Raincouver’. The desert offers a completely different eco system with sparse, tough vegetation, scratching out a living in an inhospitable lunar like landscape. The spot this painting was based on had the alien-like joshua trees in the foreground with a glaringly bright band of mountains in the background. These mountains reinforced the strangeness of the place by reminding me of pictures I have seen of sun catching the rim of a crater on the moon.
A bitterly cold walk, just before sunset, on a winter camping trip, in the mountains above the Squamish River is the setting for this painting. I saw this shimmering isn the forest which eventually resolved into a frozen pond. The pond was completely frozen over with clumps of snow on top. I was initially drawn to the abstract quality of the floating Miro – like blobs amongst all the branches. Warm and cold, as well as textual contrasts, became important as the image emerged. I did’t realize it was a beaver pond until working on the sketches back in my studio. It is the pile of branches covered in snow, on the left side, upper middle of the painting.
Mt. Tatlow , has been returned back to it’s original name Mt. Ts’yl?os. In the past, when I painted and named this picture, I knew it as Tsilos, which is one of the many attempts to spell it correctly. Mt. Ts’yl?os is culturaly and spiritually significant to the Xeni Gwet’lin who believe the mountain watches over them. This view of the mountain is from the bluffs overlooking Chilco Lake. Glacier fed, it has an almost turquoise blue colour that contrasts magnificently with the mountain, bathed in the setting sun.
The term “reach” refers to the upper extent of Princess Louisa Inlet which is branch of Jervis inlet. Basically it is as far as you can go up the inlet at Chatterbox Falls, which is the subject of my waterfall series of paintings. “Sunny Reach” was developed from sketches done from my boat anchored there on a cold spring morning. There was still snow on the mountains represented by the white patch in the upper right corner of the painting. It had poured rain the night before so it was a welcome surprise when the sun rose and the trees in the foreground exploded into a warm cheerful light.
The Salton Sea is one of my favourite places in the Colorado Desert. It has an ugly post apocalyptic beauty that suggests the end of the world. The lake is shrinking through evaporation and lack of fresh water. It is in the process of being sterilized with the increasing concentration of salts and washed out farm chemicals. Dead tilapia and colourful algae add a rotting smell to the razor sharp barnacle shell beach.This painting is of a putrefying puddle that reflects the bleached sky and the acid yellow of new life, an algae bloom. To me it represents a start over, perhaps better luck next time.
I was pleased to be included in the recent Art Vancouver 2015 exhibition. Bill Frampton and Yoshi Yamamoto showcased some of my work along with their own beautiful art in their gallery’s offering – The English Bay Gallery. The gallery is located on Granville Island below the Sand Bar Restaurant at #105 – 1551 Johnston Street and may be contacted at (604) 688-3006.
Two states, sea and sky, are connected with a veil like rain squall. The sky is all fuzziness with unclear elements obscuring each other. The sea is full of squirming symbols, a flashing language. In the middle of the painting, the farthest mountain de-materializes as it is passed over by the squall. The squall represents the tension between different mind states. In the analytical state everything depends on symbols and labels. Things are seen through language. Where as in ‘the here and now’ the world is seen as much as more primitively felt.
After quite a few changes I finally like this one. This is the painting shown on the blog “Purgatory”. It survived the ultimate test of being approved of by my mother-in- law. This painting depicts water coming from the light into the shrouded forest. The lurid dark green pool at the bottom suggests a beginning not an end to the story.