Between downtown Victoria and the sea, at the end of the highway that runs from the very East of Canada to the very West, lies Beacon Hill Park. A public park since 1882, it was one of Emily Carr’s favourite painting locations. A fitting spot then, for a bunch of ex-studio buddies to play in the dirt and make some art.
We had come to investigate soil. Because it is the foundation of terrestrial life. Because without it we would have no plants, no food, no park. And because place is central, one way or another, in all our work and place begins with the soil under our feet.
We started by each choosing a spot that appealed to us, and taking ten minutes to use our senses to fully experience the place. We smelled the pine resin, felt the rocks and grass, watched pine needles falling in the sunlight, and pressed our hands against the cool, damp soil. We wrote down words and phrases that came to mind. We made impressions of soil and plants and wood on paper. We stopped our lives for that short period of time and sat with being where we were.
Then we re-grouped and shared what we had found. Each one of us had discovered something special and unique – and each of us had enough observations and thoughts to keep us going for some time.
With our discoveries in mind we settled down to a bit of drawing and painting. making “starters” – work that you can put aside to finish later, or use to inspire another piece. A starter is a great little thing to do, because there is not pressure to make something perfect, so it’s easier to be spontaneous. And of course, we each came up with something different.
Thanks to Jessica Jean, Mary, and Brenda. You gals rock!