STUDIO IN THE WOODS
"Nature co-authors my art. Sun, when it comes to paint in the afternoon with its dappling, interfering ways, adds an insight. Puddling, the rain subtly suggests that I mirror the sky or the trees in this or that crotch of a nest in the canvas that I had left on the ground. I often comply, although I’ve been known to grumble. Particularly against the spruce trees who, when I don’t let them do major gestures with their boughs, pay me back by adding the texture of their needles when I’m not looking."
Cape Breton is a very special place. On my land it’s a place where an investment of $60 in plants and 150 hours of back-breaking work will bring $20 worth of vegetables--every time. It’s a spot where you dig a 1 cubic foot hole and get 3 cubic feet of rock. (The early inhabitants must have noticed this phenomenon for they named two villages down the equivalent of “rock”. The next is “more rock”. They named my spot, which sits out into the bay, for that aspect calling it Long Point--otherwise I’m certain it would have been "All Rock."
It is a spot that, jest though I may of the hardships, is truly one of the most special places in the world, at least the world I know. It’s energy is truly remarkable. My daughter found a spot to hike that attracted her by it’s sense of “correctness.” Turns out this spot has been labeled by Feng Shui experts as one of the most formidable places. I know that when I sit in the forest, I have a sense of reverence. It’s as if it’s a shrine. (That’s why I paint there.) And how do you write of happiness? The heft of that firm, warm tomato, the taste of my currant or rhubarb jam is not to be counted in dollars and cents.