As I re enter the white panel with the last layers of glaze and iridescents I revisit my starting places.
The four directions are part of a larger series, so far the abstract phase. The larger series thus far includes seven paintings, each quite strong in scale. I imagine approximately 20 frames to tell this particular story. I am four months into what I assume will be a year long project.
As I paint this series, based on my time living in the heart of Shuswap Land, bordered by Reserve on two sides I think of many different people who have shaped my view. I think most often of a grandmother presence who told me stories of her childhood before residential school, the time of being taken, and her time away. The life that followed and the amazing things she did with that life. I do not pretend to understand. As a witness, I have my response and that is all I can offer.
I have been reading articles in the lost sisters series, and some days I have read the public comments which for the most part overwhelm me. The gulf of callousness and misunderstanding in Canada is growing faster than the bridges it seems and I feel deeply sorry. It is strange to think of these somber and serious things in the process of painting a series that is largely a celebration but maybe contrasts must be included in presenting balance. To paint the panel white, I needed to borrow contrast and highlight tones, and a good deal of texture. To know only one side of any story is at best a surface cover. I am hoping for something with greater depth. Today I paint, and share a bit of the thoughts guiding me. When the paintings are finished, they will have to tell their own story. In the process these months to date, and looking forward, I have found many questions. I stop to turn my face to the sky, breathe deep belly breaths and some days – dance.