I love my new studio at the Fern Crescent house for many reasons, not least of which is that I look out into the park. My immediate view is of a moss-covered tree in the yard.
The longer I look at it, the more I see—patches of white and grey in the bark, the wide range of greens in the moss that clings to the trunk and branches, the way the branches reach up into the sky as though greeting each day with joy.
Over the past few weeks I’ve started sketching the tree from various angles and at different times of day. Today’s sketch is definitely my favourite. I created it using a mix of charcoal, grey and white chalk, and green and yellow pencil crayon sticks.
Up until now, my studios have all looked out on to urban spaces: streetscapes with cars and buildings and concrete sidewalks. While I’ve loved each of those spaces, working in and from nature is soul-restoring. I never knew what I was missing!
With the arrival of cold weather, the Alouette River has been transformed into an icy landscape. While the fast moving water is still flowing, many pools along the banks in front of the Fern Crescent house have completely frozen over. I’ve been taking macro photos using my phone camera to capture the intricate and beautiful patterns and textures in and below the ice. So inspiring!
In the rainy fall and winter months here on the west coast, it’s easy to convince ourselves that everything is grey, grey, grey. Not so in the forest. This morning I took a photo walk through Maple Ridge Park to capture as many colours and textures as I could find. This small selection is inspiring my art brain today:
Thanks to everyone who stopped by my studio on Fern Crescent to help me launch my residency on Nov 15. I enjoyed meeting my neighbours, learning more about the community, and sharing my work with you. I’m also excited about working together on new art projects in the coming months!
Thanks to Keith Jardine for taking a few photos of the day, and to the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Times for writing an article about my residency.
Now that I’m settling in to my new studio on Fern Crescent, my focus is shifting to getting to know my neighbours and the local arts community. So far I’ve met a host of wonderful people, including Kat Wahamaa and Rebecca Fisher (the two other artists in residence in Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows), many members of the Maple Ridge Lapidary Club (my closest neighbours), artists and organizers of the spring Art Studio Tour, staff from the Parks and Leisure Commission of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, and the public art committee.
Next I’m looking forward to meeting you! I’m excited to be opening my studio to the public on Saturday, November 15 from 10 am – 4 pm. Please drop by to introduce yourself. I look forward to meeting you and sharing my work and ideas.