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"Oh, a Tom Thomson Tree!"

Facing the possibility of not having the freedom to get to Algonquin this summer to paint like the Group of Seven did (using oils on board from my kayak), discourages me. But then this morning, I found out that Thomson's spring sketch for "The Jack Pine" is at Riverbrink Art Museum in Queenston, a mere 15 minutes away from where I live. . .and yet I have never visited -- and now CANNOT visit it. Well, what do I do with my frustration?!


Methinks, paint near. I am always taken with those lone pines on our Canadian landscape. There is one on Lakeshore Road on the way to the historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The first time I saw it when I moved here, I exclaimed "A Tom Thomson Tree!" I am quite sure I am not the only one who has revered it as such. And why revered? Because Tom caught the essence, the innate wildness, the raw beauty of the Canadian wilderness. The stateliness of a tree in nature holds a hope and an authority that only nature can command. We feel like a tree is something we relate to. Why? Perhaps because it stands up and grows up from the earth like we do. Perhaps because there are no two trees exactly alike yet all are mysteriously beautiful. Perhaps because we can see their inner strength, like tenacity, something to be appreciated and sought after. Strength and character built from the harsh elements, fruits from sunshine and rain, DNA and nature just doing its thing, oblivious to our to-and-fro worry-filled human habits.


Authors for forever and a day have had much to say about trees and I must say that trees keep speaking to me too...and with my growing frustration, I want to keep expressing the freedom to grow as I am feeling increasingly and constantly restrained. SO I start by completing a 12" x 16" acrylic on canvas I've dubbed "Canal Tree". . . which is an even closer 5 minutes away and even closer, finished with my heart. . .Scroll through the progression until completion.



And now as I leave you so I can purchase some walnut oil online for my future local oils-from-the-kayak-adventures, I wonder how you might apply the principle of expression caused by frustration? When you are limited, how do you stretch your abilities? When you are overwhelmed, what creative outlet what is your creative "go-to"? When you are stuck at home seeing the same old same old, where do you travel on Netflix? (Maybe it's not all a waste of time when we are watching nature and life at play.) When you are unheard, what do you write? When starving for excitement, what do you cook? When you feel choked, do you sing? All the best to you and yours as we soon finish Spring and start Summer.





Lorenda Harder Artist Studio