Wednesday, July 27, 2016

From word to image.

In the purity of the morning, I understand how much more there is to the world than meets the eye, I see that the world fails to dissolve into myth and dream only because one wills it not to. Now I begin to understand the meaning of that vision, Now I see the truth of it.”
'The perfection of the Morning' Sharon Butala

First published in 1994, I found this paperback at home and decided to re-read it. In the years that it sat on our bookshelf my own life experiences have brought me closer to understanding these final words of a thoughtful book. Sharon writes of things that we all at least vaguely intuit but she finds the words to express them - the role of the writer and of the arts in general. So easy to read, and, I would think, so challenging to express in words.

She writes of her life on a ranch near Eastend, Saskatchewan, a dry, wide open landscape, and of her struggles to grasp its true reality. A reality that for her is wider and deeper than its surface appearance of rocks and grasses.

The paintings I include were a co-operative effort between myself and two of my grandchildren ( 7and 4) and which were surely influenced by my reading of 'The Perfection of the Morning'. When they asked if I would 'teach them watercolours' I decided that I would do just that rather than take the easy way and simply let them mess around. It was tricky to guide their brush strokes and other technical matters but satisfying for all concerned. In a visual medium we were learning to conjure up a landscape that Sharon had written about so sensitively.

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