Monday, December 17, 2007
Ft St James artist Pat Gauthier and her painting "Beetle Kill".
You can take a web tour of the show, around the two rooms, if you start at the bottom post "Red & Blue in Ft St James" and work up to this post.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Acrylic on canvas
My partner and I live at a wilderness meadow with mixed forest surround in British Columbia’s Central Interior region. Our home was constructed using logs from this natural resource. Seasonally we have selectively harvest trees from the forest to split and stack in readiness for use as firewood: to stave off the winter’s lessening chill. The once living forest is now a mixed palette of red pine skeletons whose stark remains may well provide fuel for an unprecedented blaze. I wonder if recollections of the forest and all the birds, insects, mammals that once inhabited its living presence are imbedded in the firewood. Will these memories be released in the flames of our hearth-fire/the landscape/human memory or will they smolder among the dying embers?
The Beetles have hit our forests hard as shown in the background of this painting and even the trees in the park area are dead. The old tree fort, my children built years ago, depict the happiness and innocence of another healthier time. I love the play of light at dawn and dawn itself radiates hope for a better day. Always the optimist, I see new pine trees regenerating everywhere and I wanted to communicate this.
Barry made the frame out of bug-wood.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Mixed media on canvas
We do a lot of camping and hiking throughout the Cariboo/Chilcotin area. In all our favorite places we see endless stands of dead burgundy pine trees which touch me with their fiery beauty and leave me with an impending dread as to the eventual impact not only on the economy of the region but to the land and the waterways.
As a painter, I find it necessary to document and comment on these drastic changes. Several years ago I began the Guardian Series to remind viewers that we must be the guardians and not just the developers of our natural resources.
In my painting The Fibonacci Sequences I begin with the underlying mathematical sequences that inform the structure of pine cones, their spiral patterns hold the ancient secrets rediscovered by Renaissance mathematician Leonardo of Pisa also known as Fibonacci who studied these patterns as mathematical sequences. These patterns inform the way the limbs grow from the core and even the texture of the bark; how a tiny seed released from them can create species like pines. He discovered that nature endlessly weaves these formulas into this elegant expression. Artists and architects then and now often design work based on these principles.
One of my prized possessions is a little wooden abstract sculpture carved and given to me by my son. One day while looking at the trees in my winter garden, I happened to notice my sculpture in the window guarding the sleeping scene which reminded me of the Madonnas illuminated in Gothic cathedrals. This started me on the Guardian series. The statue with its spiral whorls and patterns exemplifies not only the wood’s myriad functional uses, but its beauty.
Now that we are in the midst of the pine beetle infestation, the thought of pines threatened in the overwhelming spiral of global changes, makes these trees more precious to me than ever. In the painting I indicate pines may only be preserved as amber remnants that may be blue from the bacteria spread by the pine beetle, but it is my fervent hope they will prevail just as they have survived countless challenges for millions of years.
cast handmade paper, pine beetle sawdust, wood pulp
The death of the pine forest due to the proliferation of the mountain pine beetle has produced a profound change throughout the interior of British Columbia. My response to the intense sadness created by the increasing spread of red in my small corner of the world is to try to recreate the forest in my own way. It is ironic to use pulp which contains fiber from healthy pine trees and combine it with sawdust from dead pine trees to produce these twenty-four cylinders reminiscent of pine trees.
What will remain?
Ft St James
Sowchea Elementary School, Grade 7
Ft St James
I have lately been informed of global warming, and how the world is getting warmer and warmer and how there are hotter summers and warm winters. Pine beetles live in cycles, they die off in the winter when it is extremely cold and repopulate in the summer, spring and fall. But since it hasn’t really been cold in the winters, the pine beetles live through the winter. The forests are turning from green to red. It has already devastated many towns, cities and communities like Fort St. James. The trees are like matches, giant matches waiting to be struck. Waiting to destroy families, both animal and human. It doesn’t completely look ugly, it is almost like a sign, a sign that says, This is what will happen to us, if you don’t help stop it. Just think of what will happen if the whole landscape, the whole world is red. We don’t want our planet earth to look like a second Mars do we? At least I don’t. We need to protect the trees, and by protecting the trees we also protect the animals and the ecosystems and we also protect ourselves.
ink & embossing on aluminum
When we hike or wander through the bush around our home near Smithers, we often see the aluminum markers left by prospectors, forest companies, and consultants. Whether half-hidden under a fallen claim stake in the alpine or trailing bright flagging tape in an apparently random line through thick bush, they signal our shifting interests in what the land can give us. Only rarely can we predict what will result. The pine beetle is only one threat to our much loved valley. These three poems explore the uncertainty about that threat, one that has become reality for many of you, a reality you are already living with, adapting to.
Ft St James
My piece has a close relationship with the theme of the” Red and Blue Beetle Exhibition.”
I have painted a scene from our own Woodlot. I’m showing you my personal feelings of how I look at the Mt Pine Beetle devastation on our Woodlot.
I have a conflict of feeling as there is contrasting of colors.
This piece shows a road and red dying trees. But what I see is a road that I helped build with our cat with skill and planning. I see the shadows lying across the contours of the winding twisting road that was built on steep terrain. I see the bright red trees dying with a last stage of blazing beauty. Set against a hopeful optimistic blue sky. I have a sadness that all will gone soon and anger of the vast waste. Knowing that in my generation the pine will be consumed. Yet I can’t help admire the beauty that caught my attention that day.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Acrylic Painting and Collage on Metal
Vulnerable to your attack
You emblazon your mark upon our skin
Summon the frozen sword!
And seek this enemy within
Lightening, fire and blaze once more!
To drop our ash upon nature’s floor
Our steely knives can’t kill this beast
While ravenous upon their feast
Will this frenzied foray end
Before we’re free to rise again?