So… Here’s another painting, please excuse the blurry parts, I haven’t flattened it out yet.

I’ve been playing with trying to find natural world imagery that is local to me – looking outside my window for leaf and branch shapes, and looking to my thoughts for memories of the shapes that have surrounded me for most of my life.

Although I love the more lush flowers and vibrant juicy colours that show up in a lot my Year of Painting online course, and I definitely have a desire to create that too, I know that it’s not the world that surrounds me right now.

I’m in a space where, along with a wide-ranging imagination, I’ve been thinking and focusing a lot on what it means to be really locally rooted, supporting my current physical community through local consumption, local purchasing habits, local arts and culture. I have noticed it’s easy, with the internet, and my researching habits, to be influenced by what’s ‘out there’ and inspiring. I love it! But in the process, I often miss what’s around me and ‘in here’.

I’m trying to keep myself oriented towards noticing the natural world that is currently surrounding me. Which is mostly wet and ‘wintery’ without the snow, here on Vancouver Island.

What would happen if I sourced most of my decorative paper from here – from thrift stores and free stores and from what shows up in my and my friends’ lives? What would happen if I remember to look around and gather inspiration from my daily walks, from the fact that today it’s desperately wet outside, and dripping? It’s a fun challenge, and this image is a result of these thoughts.

Don’t get me wrong, I totally want to paint my fantasies and wide ranging ideas too, and am in love with lush blooming flowers and that kind of gorgeousness. I’ll be sharing those too. But I also want to balance that for my own self with a reminder to appreciate what I’m surrounded by, in my own art-making practice.