The sacred landscape is complete. This is the final piece of the Jasper Series, the largest as well, and perhaps the most special. The first piece I did was a sketch of “Greeted by the Chief” and the final piece is this painting “Vision Quest.”
I knew I would paint a large landscape once I mastered some some smaller paintings. The first painting from the original sketch was a small detail of “The Chief.” Why are these three so special to me?
Well it all started before we drove into Jasper. I had been playing with an oracle deck “Earth Magic” at my friends house in Edmonton. Before anyone else woke up, the day we were doing our road trip, I decided to pull three cards. I received “Full Moon/completion” (which it was the full moon), “Desert/Vision Quest” (which I felt I was on during my week in Alberta), and “Lightening/power” (and we drove home from Jasper through a wicked storm- both sheet lightening and fork lightening danced over our heads). All three cards resonated.
So what is a vision quest? As defined in the oracle card booklet: It is a time of travelling into wilderness alone, usually with only water and some sacred items. You spend the time praying or meditating. It is a powerful and life-altering experience with vivid and profound realizations.
My experience was not a genuine vision quest (I wasn’t alone, I had more than water and sacred items, and although I wasn’t praying or meditating I was shaking to my bones in awe). However, it was a powerful, spiritual experience that 100% altered the direction and meaning of my life and work. The clearest vision was the one of this mountain, nicknamed Chief. As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be a painting (upon returning to Edmonton I borrowed my friends sketch book to draw out the first vision).
As the Jasper Series come to a close, and I reflect back on the trip and how it propelled me forward in my art, I feel most excited that the new home for this piece is going to be in a Women’s Shelter. When art has been such a healing journey for me, it is very special for it to be in safe space where others can heal or are healing. It gives the piece even more meaning, more sacredness, and I hope it can be a beacon of hope or inspiration for others on their journey’s.
Each of us have turning points in our lives (whether it’s a vision quest or not) a time of clear vision and sometimes fast or forced change. It can leave one reeling out of control. This image is one of meditation and surrender. When you look deep within, and find that calm that exists within the chaos. It does exist. But sometimes we need to stop to see it.
MEANING AND SYMBOLISM
Vision Quest summarizes my spiritual experience of driving through the Rocky Mountains. As soon as I saw the mountains, I was overcome in emotion. I spent the drive into Jasper sobbing uncontrollably, while trying to snap pictures of every mountain. Two things were happening simultaneously: old energy was leaving me with brute force, while new energy was flushing me with clarity. It was like I was dying (grieving) while at the same time being reborn (celebrating). Overwhelm at it’s greatest!
When I look at this painting I feel joyful, hopeful. I wanted it to be a summary of opposites uniting, dancing, and reflecting one another: Light and Dark, Stillness and Movement, Calm and Chaos, Feminine and Masculine, Life and Death. I wanted the earth to be reflected in the sky, and vice versa. Spirit and energy reflected in the physical. Everything in existence and time, blending into one universal moment. Unending (notice the blue of sky and water create an infinity symbol?).
This final work of the Jasper Series is not only special, it is Sacred. I release it with Love and Light and immense gratitude.