Sunday, 30 December 2012

Year One

So, here we are. The world didn’t end as many thought that it would with the end of the Mayan calendar. Rather the Mayan calendar simply calibrated itself much like the odometer of a car. The previous cycle of the Mayan calendar began on Aug. 13, 3114 B.C., by our calendar, and came to an end on December 21, 2012, the winter solstice. December 22, 2012 was to be for the Mayans the beginning of Year One, the beginning of a new cycle of time.

Year One, think about what it infers, an opportunity to revisit the past and to start anew. Not unlike many others who aspired to become an artist I jumped right into the fire and began to make marks. I suffered the influence of past and present artists, and shaped my art into product hoping to survive. I produced much art, but in retrospect there are moments when I feel that I ignored the very thoughts and feelings that drove me to making art. To begin again. To actually embrace the concept of Year One. Enticing, but is it possible to leave all of the baggage behind, and do what one intended to do when we took that leap of faith?

Probably not!  And, would one really want to go back and begin anew?

The Copeland Forest from the Top of the Valley             Pencil Sketch  1980

In 1979 at the ripe old age of 39 years I left a well paying career to return to study art with the hopes of becoming an artist. Some thought that I was completely crazy as I hadn't done any art for going on 20 years. To be fair, in the next few years there were moments when I felt like they were right, but I continued on learning how to make art and 32 years later, here I am. Still trying to become an artist.

Barn on the Hill    Watercolour Sketch  1980

By the summer of 1980, with a year at art school behind me, I found myself encouraged but with
little confidence in my ability to produce art, real art that is. Whenever I had the chance I'd pack up my sketching supplies and go off sketching in places where I hoped no one would see what I was doing. A favourite sketching haunt was what is called the Copeland Forest, and the nearby ski hills of Horseshoe Valley Ski Resort.

Copeland Forest from the Top Of The Valley II
Watercolour Sketch   1980

Tree Study   Watercolour Sketch 1980

Old Birch Copeland Forest   Watercolour Sketch 1980

Sumac     Watercolour Sketch            1980

I have sketchbooks full of pencil and watercolour sketches, as well as drawers of loose sketches and paintings representing decades of learning how to make art. As I look at them I quite realize that there really is no going back. I did what I did and good, bad, or indifferent, I'm quite proud of the result, and intend to carry on building on my very early experience. It's not possible to repeat Year One when, with making art, every day is Year One.

Mountain Scene   Graphite Sketch                2011