Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Natural World

Golden Ears Park, B.C.

I casually titled this photo "What Emily Carr Saw". Of course the woods she encountered were wholly different from these. The trees she saw were giants, as big around as 10 men standing with arms outstretched, some of them were close to a thousand years old.  I can't say what she saw there but the resulting paintings are mysterious, sometimes dark, gnarled and smoothed, deep and cavernous forest-scapes. I read recently she was never accepted by the darling, Canadian, Group of Seven. They were easterners, she was out west. They were in different worlds geographically, she was a woman.

Interestingly or strangely I have little interest in painting the natural world. I prefer to walk in it, listen to it, absorb it and carry it away with me, let it nourish me. Today a friend and I walked up near the site of the 2010 winter Olympics at Cypress Bowl above Vancouver. My friend is a Parks Volunteer and I went along with her to help observe a particular trail. She took notes and photographed trouble spots, we noted birds and flora and fauna and I felt profoundly content. It felt useful to make honest observations and to clear a few branches away from the path and to consider how we could, in simple ways make the destination of the trail a better experience for those who trek up there. I forgot my camera and was a bit worried about my feet as I had neglected to bring socks (stupido!). The hike was fantastic and I decided, as it combined my two greatest interests; walking and pruning things, that I want this as my new job.

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