I have always held great admiration for those of you out there who have the talent to draw or paint living in your fingers and mind. It is such an amazing gift being able to visually represent the images you can conjure in your head. This is a talent I don’t personally possess. Though that doesn’t mean at some time I won’t give it a shot anyway. We’ll see what the future holds.
There are some artists who speak to me in there works. The one artist’s works I absolutely adore is Van Gogh. I love the simplicity of them and their deep complexity. The vibrant colours and his choice of subjects. The man created some of the greatest beauty in this world all the while fighting the demons in his head. I also love his self portraits, what a skill to be able to create a representation of yourself. I would highly recommend reading “Lust for Life” by Irving Stone which tells his life story. The man led a pretty tragic existence, especially in his early years as when he was a preacher in Belgium. Though what a time to live in Paris and spend time in the group of his contemporaries at the time. This was a man who was consumed by his work. Whenever I have had the pleasure to view his works I have stood in awe of them. Here is a man who couldn’t sell more than one work in his lifetime that the entire world is still revering 300 years later. I also have reverence for Picasso and Dali.
On a more contemporary scale I do like the work of some local and Canadian artists. I love the work of Joe Average. I again love the very bold colours and his whimsical subjects. Some of my favourites are “Unconditional Love”, “Bee Line”, “Blue Moon”and “La Boheme” of which I own a print. There are some more I will pick up over time. I used to love when his stuff was in that little gallery on Denman. I also like the work on the Group of Seven in general, I love the Canadian outdoors represented in their works. I also like their contemporary Emily Carr. Within the last few years I also became aware of the works of E J Hughes. I just love his representations of the West Coast.
Since I do not have this talent I instead take photographs. I am so inspired by the beauty of this part of the world we live in. I have had the fortune to travel all over the province of British Columbia through work and there is some absolutely breathtaking scenery in this province. I would recommend you travel it if you haven’t. Vancouver Island has some incredible places especially in the mid and north island areas. The north is fantastic too, up and around Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat, the Haida Gwaii, and Bella Coola. I would also recommend visiting the Yukon, it is incredible too. I miss travelling those places for work. Then of course there is the Okanagan, the Kootenays and Rockies and so much more. There are so many mountain ranges it is mind-blowing. Look at BC from a satellite map, there are so few places comparable in the world for being covered in mountains.
So the camera is the way I capture the world. I am far more interested in taking pictures of landscapes and flora and fauna. Something about the marriage of the mountains and water that speaks to me. It is what appeals to me in art, so that is what appeals to me in photography. I tend to shoot like I write, I rarely edit or touch up my photos. I like them just the way they are. I just wish the camera could always capture exactly what I see. I will be putting up many more photos over time as I have rediscovered that passion. I will also be updating my camera at some point in the near future. One of my goals this year is to start snowshoeing so I can get some incredible back country snow shots. To be in the absolute peace of nature taking shots of pristine wilderness really speaks to me. Don’t get me wrong I like pictures of people as well. Though I am more for the candid shot myself. I also like shots of gatherings of friends mostly.
My other outlet is poetry. I don’t read a great deal of poetry but I do appreciate it. Two poets really touched me and influenced me deeply. The first is EE Cummings. I first came across him in English during school and I’m pretty sure it was the work “anyone lived in a pretty how town”. The work of his that really spoke to me was “somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond”. It is the pinnacle of poetry to me, the imagery is incomparable. They are some of my very favourite lines in verse and this was my inspiration to write. That such beauty could be captured by words was incredible to me. The last stanza is amazing. I also really admire his “i carry your heart with me(i carry it in”. The other poet who really influenced me was James Douglas Morrison, yes the one and same of the Doors. He wrote some fantastic verse and I would highly recommend picking up “Wilderness”. My personal favourite is “I am Troubled Immeasurably”.
I was watching CBC NewsWorld last night and they were talking about this Canadian violin virtuoso Susanne Hou who got to play this 300 year old violin. It was a great story but the thing that struck me the most was how she said as soon as she picked it up she felt a deep connection to the violin. She knew she would have it for a finite period and with that connection it must have been tough to play her last concert. The other side of it is that you had an honour to play an instrument that is 300 years old, one that very few people in this world will share. So the tradition passes along to the next person. I would highly recommend watching the story.
I will talk more about art and artists over time. I do admire any artisan who puts themselves totally into their craft. Not everything they produce touches or speaks to me, but I will always appreciate their passion and vision. I think everyone should find a creative outlet. It is an invaluable way to find and express yourself. You don’t have to be an expert, just find your voice and develop it. You will never be sorry.