Rivermen who died or were drowned... were given riverside burials by their fellow mates... often marked along rapid driven rivers such as the Opeongo, the Petawawa, the Madawaska by humble crosses and their hob nailed boots nailed to a nearby tree. Today... many of these crosses have melted and mouldered into the moss and lichen... leaving no visual record of the tragedy of yesteryear.
Woodland "Found" Sculpture
A young winter-ravaged bull moose... less his rack.
The beaver dam..... a natural work of pure engineering.
Good Painting to ALL!!
I felt it only fitting to follow up my last blog post with a pictorial overview of my trip and my visit to the Logging Museum Exhibit prior to my demo. Algonquin is much more than a place to "Me". Along with the St Lawrence River... these special locations are natural sites of tranquility and peace... refuges from the din of humanity... true edifices... cathedrals in their own right in which to worship and commune with our Creator.
These wild spaces retain the ambiance of a natural beauty... and shards from a time when settlement and encroachment had not yet disturbed the Natural Order of Creation. To find oneself alone with this pristine landscape... save the presence of its wild creatures humbles one and clearly defines one's place and importance in the world we are blessed to live in.
I always come away from these experiences... enriched and infused with renewed excitement to paint. As well... I come back to my everyday existence less jaded and less critical of my own circumstances. In simple words... I return grateful to have been given my life and the freedom that I have enjoyed... to live my life with the fullest degree of freedom of choice and opportunity.
I hope that my sharing of these Algonquin Moments... that you too might be encouraged to seek out wild places in your own region and to infuse them into your own work. Perhaps together... our united images... thoughts and work will inspire others to visit and support the maintenance of these wild and sacred spaces for future generations to enjoy. Tolkien says it best through Gandalf in Return of the King (Lord of the Rings-Book 3):
"The rule of no realm is mine. But all worthy things are in peril as the world now stands, those are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail on my task if anything that passes through this night can still grow fairer and bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I too am a steward. Did you not know?"
Each of us does indeed bear the responsibility to carry forward stewardship of this beautiful planet and each of us can contribute a meaningful single voice... that together and in unison can form a choir to be heard and coalesce a feeling that can change the current squandering and disregard for our common home.
My life ... my paintings and my words are my contribution to this cause. And yours... Are you not a steward too?
In closing... I will share a poem/word thought that I composed on that morning visit to the Logging Museum site... when the world was quiet... and seemingly mine alone.
In Memoriam (To the Logger, River Man)
Death was all around you
In a land that we can scarcely know,
You lived... and died in quiet places
Where we will never go.
You toiled and struggled
Through frigid nights... plugged through till early dawn,
You kept your path... no matter what,
Where others couldn't carry on.
I think of you this morning
As I sketch... and try to picture "Then",
My mind drifts back to those long lost days
When men were really men.
Though Time and Progress have moved along
Your legacy endures,
For as long as fir and rock exist
My respect and gratitude... are yours.
Good Painting to ALL!!