Summer 2016: My nomad goal is somewhat achieved this year. It began the day after the winter semester concluded in late April. The two weeks+ at our retreat in Western Canada were perfect before summer classes started. The still snow-capped mountains were the best cure! to top up, I was also rewarded with a sighting of a large Grizzly near Lake Louise area the day before my departure! Until we see wildlife in their own habitat, we do not know that feeling of how precious this earth is, how our eyesight holds the most beautiful images of life in front of us.
Despite the insane beats of summer courses, I was able to produce a couple of paintings then again boarding a flight to tour a series of cities in Europe. Added to many we have visited before were a few more in France, Italy & Spain. As I walked the town of Alicante with its unique fortress/castle atop a mountain, viewed the excessive wealth displayed in yachts lining the shore of Monaco, navigated the narrow paths in Calvi…I thought of the vast differences between the two continents. Rome was so full of ruins and relics right in the middle of the city and oh so quaint and romantic Florence with the glory of the Medicis and other great families…The remnants are what we have and hold on now. We met a few nice people in Cadiz, Malaga and the funny French taxi driver who replied “for nothing” for each of my “thank you” to him (literal translated from “de rien”) which is now a term of endearment to my Quebecois friends.
Back in Western Canada again for 3 wks before my next destination in NYC, I am embracing the landscape, taking in the fresh arid mountain air. It rains frequently this time in Aug and is substantially cooler too. But the sighting of a black bear cub reminds me of why I love this region more than anywhere else. I cannot get enough of the wildlife, how wonderful it is, that humans and animals live harmoniously in the best place on earth!
As soon as I landed I visited the local supply store and bought a 36” x 48” canvas, taped up the wall and researched the subject to paint. Despite the lack of proper easel, tools and space I was able to complete the canvas in good time and roamed the landscape afterward as my own reward. “Canadian Icons: Heaven and Earth” now proudly displayed on the wall of my home here in this Canadian Rockies region.
There were the Olympic in Rio and the raucous US election but for me at this time, the mountains and panoramic, pristine scenery here are what matter most. The beauty, tranquility and rest.