My goodness I have been blessed by Northern Ontario this year; Blessed by good friends who share their passion of this land with me. Without them I would never know these places existed!
Since my last trip to the French River was rushed, I had to return to enjoy the company and inspiring view. When I woke up to a vibrant pink sunrise, I had to get up and sip some tea on the deck and watch the skies magically transform to full daylight.
Naturally the tranquility inspired me to pull out the sketch book and do some rough sketches in charcoal and colourful oil pastels. I had a few tearful moments sitting there, full of gratitude for these peaceful experiences and opportunity to capture them and re-create them; and this was just the beginning of the day! I had no idea what else was coming.
Back track to Jasper: my mind blowing spiritual experience of Mother Earth and her mountains. I seem to have these spontaneous moments that nature triggers- it’s like a sense of awe that knocks the wind out of me. So that happened again. This time at Killarney. Funny thing about Killarney was I didn’t realize it was Georgian Bay territory.
So the beginning of our “little” hike, I’m totally unaware exactly where we are, it’s just these beautiful rolling pink rocks. Pretty easy to walk over, you can hear the river in the distance as you walk through the trees. It’s nice. Then you reach the river, and there’s some cliffs on other side, and I can see more clearly the landscape- Big Jack Pines. I start to get “that feeling”… Like my heart is welling up inside me. We keep walking, and the landscape gets rougher, and more and more beautiful. Then we see this island, with it’s majestic trees with bent branches and energy straight out of Tom Thompson painting, or any Group of Seven Painting. At this point, I’m starting to wonder what body of water we are on- Georgian Bay?!! Whoa, suddenly it all made sense. Then I’m crying again. It’s such a strange experience, and not at all bad, but just strange how I have no control over it. Something just hits me and boom, my heart breaks open. Nature doing it’s healing work.
In all my years of travels, this is a close second to my Jasper experience (Lake Superior was pretty darn great too). There’s going to be a lot more painting happening. The December show is going to have work all inspired by Northern Ontario: Lake Superior, Georgian Bay and French River.
Here’s a sneak peak of what I have started from Superior:
“Silver Sun, Lake Superior” not complete. 12″x 18″ Acrylic on Gallery Canvas.
“Morning Skies, Lake Superior” not complete. 24″x 36″ Acrylic on Gallery Canvas.
There are 5 other canvases I’m working on from Superior alone. I’m guessing there will be another 3 or 4 coming from French River and Georgian Bay. 2016 has turned into a busy year of travel inspired art!
Jennifer Anne Burke.