Friday, 13 December 2013


I’ve just finished reading several newspapers on line.

Global warming is a huge topic these days. It seems that just about every natural disaster is blamed on global warming whether it be windstorm, flood, or earthquake. We’re told that if we stop burning fossil fuels and switch to a greener energy source that the problem will go away. But, it won’t. You see, the problem that we face was set in motion long, long, ago, and it had nothing to do with burning fossil fuels. It had to do with the planting of a single seed of grass.

Going back several thousands of years ago we were what was referred to as hunter gatherers. We wandered here and there killing animals, and gathering various fruits for food. When animals were scarce, and plant crops failed, we starved. Only the fittest survived. Not unlike other pack animals there would have been an alpha male, and an alpha female, the fittest and strongest members of the pack. Only the alpha members of the pack would breed. No one would have survived to what we now refer to as an old age. Pack size would have remained small numbering no more than a dozen, or so, adults with but a few children of varying ages.

And then, one of our species observed that a grass seed stuck in the ground sprouted and matured and produced more seed. Agriculture was born. Now, with the planting of seed crops food became plentiful. Life became easier. We no longer had to wander. The alpha members decided that additional pack, or tribe members were necessary in order to produce and protect the food supply. Everyone was allowed to procreate. Our species grew larger in number requiring more food. More land was required to produce more food resulting in endless conflict with other tribes. Eden as we refer to it was lost, and never ending war and conflict with its suffering has become our reality.

There’s no solution to the path that we’ve chosen. There’s no turning back. The stopping of the  burning of fossil fuels will do little to offset the damage that the  planting of that first seed set in motion. Endless good deeds and charity will not change, nor stave off our destiny, only temporarily ease suffering. Major religions are unable to help. In fact some religions appear to view additional chaos and suffering as the gateway to salvation.

Will we survive as a species? It’s not likely, not without some ghastly intervention that serves to reduce our number, and turn back the clock. And then, in all probability knowing our species, we’ll probably mess things up once again.

So anyway, back to reading the paper. Perhaps, there’s some good news tucked away on the back pages?

Often when travelling on a busy stretch of highway throughout Northern Ontario you'll catch a glimpse of a small lake tuck way back in the woods. There's no time to stop, and often there's no shoulder to speak of to pull safely off of the highway, so you make a mental note and promise yourself that when you get back to the studio you'll remember the scene and make a painting. This watercolour painting is one of the scenes, a composite of many impressions experienced while travelling in Northern Ontario.

Stormy Weather - Lake Superior  Watercolour Painting 2013

We love to get up to Lake Superior Provincial Park in late September, early October, when there's still a bit of colourful foliage left on the trees. The weather at this time of the year is always a bit of a gamble, however. Still, inclement weather does have its benefits resulting often times in dramatic lighting out on the lake. Lawren Harris, a member of the Group of Seven seemed to relish this type of weather as he made many paintings of Lake Superior employing this type of dramatic lighting.

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