Belonging to the Land
2020 IMAGINED AND REMEMBERED LANDSCAPES
Moments of solitary stillness in a wild and natural place have a way of making me feel more whole - of belonging to something bigger, rather than that something belonging to me. This is a feeling I remember first noticing when I was a child growing up on a grain farm in Saskatchewan, which is maybe why these moments always feel like coming home to me. The prairie is a particularly inspirational landscape for me, as reflected in this series.
My work in the subject of the landscape has been ongoing since January 2020 and is shown below from newer to later work. This is work that is somewhat a continuation of a subject I explored in 2001/02 when I was finishing my last year working towards a BFA at the University of Saskatchewan. My then-focus was on the subject of place, and more specifically place-as-home and how that home can help to define us. Beginning the new decade, remembering this earlier work, I began to dreamily construct landscapes as small "imagined" and intuitive studies on paper. Eventually, they evolved to works that were more and more often influenced by reference photos which I have collected over the past few years on the native prairie land where I spend much of my time in Mountain View County, Alberta. My study of the prairie landscape continues with a daily sketchbook practice, studying my photographs and exploring abstractions in colour and mark as I depict the land. These sketchbook studies greatly influence my larger works on canvas which are now ongoing. To watch this series continue to unfold, and to read more about my influences for this work, please visit my Instagram profile.