July 7, 2005

img_2706.jpgPainting No. 6 End of the Line, Lake Kioshkokwi

Hot!  It was thirty degrees with hardly a cloud in the sky.  We paddled down to the creek leading to Lauder Lake.  The water was lucent, revealing in startling clarity the minutia of life that exists mere inches under the surface.

I spotted a bald eagle perched regally upon a dead pine.  I felt it was a good omen and became inspired.  We paddled back to the old railway trestle.  Then we met a man heading into the interior.  He stopped long enough to catch a few of the plentiful bass to take along for dinner.  This happy encounter inspired me to explore the top of the rail bed under the sizzling sun.

Here I observed the rail bed completely overtaken by the grass and surrounding growth.  This gradual encroachment of the natural world over what men have built, gave me a good subject to paint.  I like the metaphor.  Some believe man battles the elements.  How foolish!  To see the decay of stone and steel returning to the womb of Mother Earth is the definitive example of why one should curry the favour of our Mother, not battle Her.

I set up on top of the rail bed, facing the morass of vegetation reaching from the forest to the spit of rock and steel.  The dark bed contrasted with the shimmering greens of the fresh foliage.  As I painted under this piercing sun, I realized the battle is within; one has to stifle the urge to escape the heat, the unrelenting heat.  Yet, the will slowly exerts itself over the body.  The desire to put paint to canvas obliterates all else.  This heartfelt desire is what impels and leads the artist to feel every minute brushstroke of his creation.

It has been a good start to the trip.

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