Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ordinariness and Inspiration

I took a snap as we were passing by mostly because something about the features drew my eye. The dull grey sky flattens the light and the ethereal quality of this image is enhanced by drawn and heavy clouds suspended over twin humps of forest in the distance. Railway lines, phone and hydro lines trace the boundaries of wilderness and act as familiar markers delineating the flatness of prairie.

Robert Kroetsch writes in Seed Catalogue of the indelible imagery of the Canadian landscape. His prairies are spare dry and dusty boned; the seeds of growth and the patterns of prairie life are unearthed touching upon a place that dominates as it nurtures. His poetry recalls the plainness of the prairies much like the place in this photograph. To me Kroetsch's poems drum a message of Canadian prairie and prairie living that inspires a host of familiar memories and images from the countryside I grew up in.  When you look at something that is so familiar its familiarity makes it ordinary you have to make an effort to appreciate the beauty.  To really see what makes a place remarkable you need to recognize its power, its ability to unite us and invoke a sense of the sacred.  This is what inspires me to paint.

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