Sunday, November 2, 2008

Arctic Memory

I received an email from a friend who owns this painting. She was kind to send a picture of it to me. It holds a very special connection to me. It was done when I was still and advisor to the Inuit printmakers in what is now Nunavik (arctic Quebec).

I decided to post it because it takes me back to a time when the arctic was my passion and my muse. This painting is of the rocks that covered Fat Island which seemed to float in the Povungnituk River just outside my door. In the summer and fall it would seem like a lichen covered whale lazily floating up river. When the river froze, it too froze into place and became my haven to walk to when politics in the printshop became just too much. I would walk over these rocks, marveling at the infinite patterns between primordial rock and paterns of drifted or driven snow. At times I felt I could feel the forces of the earth push from below and drive these patterns up through the crust.

I did many sketches on and around Fat Island, and one of them later became this painting when I returned south. The sketch from this one, done on a large sheet of BFK outside in India Ink, and now in New Zealand, still carries the smear of drops of blood when I cut my numb fingers sharpening my pencil. It made a lovely addition. I must admit, I miss those days. Since returning from the north, nothing has captured my senses as did the arctic.

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