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A Golden Day

I’ve been struggling with trying to understand just what it is that motivates me to paint a particular painting. What inspired me? What caught my attention?

This is so difficult for me and it boils down to feeling. But how to put that into words? It’s not just the light or the colour – often quoted by artists as their inspiration – but something much deeper than that.

I have always hoped that when someone views one of my paintings it evokes in them the same sorts of feelings that I had when I was inspired to paint it and use colour subjectively to try to capture that feeling.

I love the Canadian landscape, and although I also lean toward abstraction, painting is usually inspired by that landscape experience.

I like the changing seasons, particularly the shoulder ones (you know – the yucky ones that everyone loves to hate). The darkness of November with the subtle colour but glowing mosses, soft, mild days and the crisp, bright, windy ones. Surprise snowfalls followed by balmy, warm days that melt it all again. March and April tease with their promise of things to come and then revert to winter in a flash.

Contrast. Warm vs. cool. Bright vs. dark. Soft vs. hard. Clear vs. hazy. Summer is OK, but too hot for me and much too green and buggy. Winter is lovely to look at and I love the quiet after a huge snowfall. But – just when I want to travel and have the time to do things, the weather prohibits me, so I struggle with that.

This painting celebrates that sort of late fall day where the sun soaks into your back, the leaves still rustle in the woods with just the hint of a breeze, streams freeze up then open again. There is that contrast of the warmth of the bare ground in the sunlit woods against the cold snow and shadows, and the freezing, open water. You feel the change when walking from sun to shadow and into the welcome warmth again. Did you notice the track of the deer that came for a drink? Did you hear the distant drumming of the woodpecker? Just listen to the squirrels chattering and the water gurgling. The snow crackles and pops as it melts. Could you find a tree to lean against, stretch out with your thermos, and bask in that last heat? I hope so.

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