'Water is living and water is life' - Anishinabek wisdom
I've been painting landscapes ever since I began painting. Sometimes they have been abstract, sometimes not. Some have figures but most do not. If there is a figure it is represented by nature or animal but I rarely paint a human figure. I will expand more on that in another post.
I don't just paint landscapes though. Each of these landscapes has an underlying theme or message that I send into that painting. These themes are central to each new series that I create. I've always told stories in my art work and it used to frustrate me as a child when people (teachers) wouldn't understand my symbolism and story telling.
Almost all of my paintings have water in them. Not all, but most.
In Anishinabek culture, water is sacred and women are the caretakers of the water.
In my last series, Hiraeth, you will see in each piece that I have painted GutchiGumi (Lake Superior) which translates to Great Water or Great Lake. I have tried to show you the spirit of the land of my ancestors. I have also woven themes such as climate change, conservation, feminine uprising and power, spirituality, and human connectedness to Mother Earth into these paintings. When in doubt, the titles usually offer a clue. Most of my titles are snippets taken from song lyrics, story or poetry.
I suppose I should write a separate blog post for each painting in the series to give you a little insight as to where it's located and what I was trying to say. It's a fine line with art. In one way I think art should speak for itself and you as a viewer should interpret it as you wish. On the other hand, maybe some of you would like to know more about the my underlying themes and what I was thinking about when I made my paintings.
Let me know! Mystery or Story?
I've also had some Collectors inquire about my Indigenous heritage and that is another blog post that I am planning in depth (so many blogs so little time!). For now, just know that I am from Alderville First Nation in Ontario and have an interesting and artistic family history which I am looking forward to sharing with you soon.
I will keep you updated on my latest work and perhaps some insight into my creative process.