My last adventure was a trip back to Whistler, in the Cheakamus River and Lake area last Summer. Having a camper van allows me to more fully immerse myself in an area as long as I am able find an overnight spot close to where I wish to explore and draw. Luckily I found a few different spots up along the river. But its getting more difficult to find these spots as more roads are privatized and blocked, and with an almost epidemic of “no parking overnight” signs across the Province.
This area is teeming with the most luxuriously draped old growth stands that perch over one of the bluest most dramatic glacial rivers in the area. It always surprises me how quickly these forests can seduce me every time I first slip beneath their canopies. It always takes a few days to start to shed the spectacle of the city and all the mental, physical, and visual demands one deals with in that bubble. It takes time to finally understand that out here, this is the Real world. The proof of which is obvious, that if all humans disappeared, this planet would naturally, over centuries, be reclaimed by this world, reverting back to its ancient state, back to Eden. One artist I admire that has explored this theme is Canadian artist Eleanor Bond.
I’m happy with the drawing and photography I took away from this trip. I’ve never seen so many mushroom varieties in so few days. I also left with about 15 nasty souvenirs in the form of wasp stings. On my last day I happened to inadvertently step on their home. I hadn’t had such a good run in months, all the while imagining a cartoon style swarm right behind me until finally dropping to forest floor in exhaustion. Luckily I had escaped but only after finding one more angry little surprise buried in my waistband and I was given one more parting gift. I had to sit and calm myself, I was feeling every sting like tiny electric shocks and I was jumpy at any flying insect cruising by, but my brain was buzzing and wide awake and I knew I had to do one last pastel in this state, which later was turned into the painting Green.