In August 2015, I took a trip to Jasper, Alberta, Canada. This trip changed my life dramatically, but more then anything else it changed the direction of my art.
The photo above is one of the mountains on the left side of the highway, that gradually grew more majestic as we drove west. My sweet friend Sheila, who had grown up in Alberta, kept asking us if we could “see Chief yet.” When my eyes finally did perceive his presence, I was in awe: despite already having a powerful spiritual experience as we entered Jasper, having this sacred mountain greet us was so symbolic of what had become my Vision Quest.
I knew this would be my first painting.
After our two days in Jasper, we returned to Edmonton where I drew this rough sketch of what would be the first of a series of Rocky Mountain paintings. I was working a bit from memory, a bit from the photo (still on my cell phone at the time), and a bit from the feeling I had while driving through the mountains. I wanted the sensations of movement, energy and spirit.
As soon as I returned home to Ontario, I printed off all my photos and picked 7 that I wanted to start painting. I picked up 4 small canvases, 2 medium canvases and 1 large canvas. I knew this was going to be a new style and series. The first one I started was “Greeted by The Chief” on one of the small canvases.
The finished painting is my favourite of the series: in a way it inspired the rest of the work. On December 19th I hosted a private art show, and this image was the only one not for sale. If you are interested in a print or gift cards though, I have some available.
You can also check out the rest of the series in the Jasper Gallery.
This is a continuing project for me, so if you are interested in updates follow me on Facebook: Jennifer Anne Burke.