Have you ever had a close encounter with a wild animal? Fortunately, because of my parents’ enthusiasm for camping and hiking, I was raised with a strong desire to spend time out of doors which has not abated with age. So understandably the number of interactions between myself and wild animals has accumulated over the years. But there is one experience which stands out more sharply than the rest, bringing a smile to my face and a renewed sense of wonder each time I think back on it.
It has been one of those weeks. I am scattered, my thoughts jumping around, my artistic endeavours littered around my studio in various stages of completion. As soon as I decide to put something down on paper another idea takes up residence in my periphery and, before I know it, crowds out the details of what I had decided to focus on only moments before.
I prefer painting from real life over a photograph, it feels more authentic and less like plagiarism even when the pictures are ones I captured myself. This is why I spent the better part of a week visiting the botanical gardens here in Montreal. Oh, and because I love plants and gardens and wild spaces.
I recognize how important it is as an artist to keep on pushing and trying new techniques, materials, tools, new approaches. Just as important as doing what I am already good at, refining, reiterating, reinventing. This becomes the stuff I feel confident enough about to sell, to make a living. It is also what builds towards the creation and recognition of an artist’s style.