I may have posted this painting before but I include it now to illustrate the place I am leaving for tomorrow. It is called Eastend and is situated in the the south west corner of Saskatchewan, very near the American border. A number of artists, including poets, musicians, potters, painters and drama people gather at Wolf Willow Ranch for a number of days to celebrate Life and Art. We make Art, cook great food and enjoy the great outdoors. There is time to walk in the meadows and hills and discover ancient Tee Pee rings, arrow heads and spears and maybe even dinosaur bones. This time of the year the geography can look like Ireland or Wales, it is so green and vibrant. Later in the summer it will be extremely dry and brown. Many many years ago this land was teaming with buffalo and Native American Indians but sadly that is no longer so.
This painting was inspired by some words that the author Sharon Butala read to a group of us at our Retreat at Wolf Willow a couple of summers ago. She talked of large herds of Buffalo moving across the grasslands near Eastend, SK many years ago when there were untold numbers of them before the senseless slaughter began. A blight on Canadian and American history in my opinion. Anyways, I see this hillside from the verandah of the house I sleep in and walk there often. I lost a pallete knife up there somewhere and suspect it got used in a birds nest.
I painted this oil a number of years ago, it has been hanging in my sons home up to awhile ago. I remember being quite taken with Sharon Butala's book The Perfection of the Morning and her remembrances of walking in the grasslands around Eastend Saskatchewan. She talked of the almost mystical experiences she had on these meanderings amongst the grass and stone tee pee rings she found along the way. I myself have had some memorable times in those strangely wonderful hills while down that way on our annual July long weekend Art Retreat. Anyways, this painting is a memory of those times walking and painting on bright sunny days amongst the grass, wild flowers, cactus, the wind and red tailed hawks screaming overhead. I look forward every year to be there with my beloved friends and landscape very soon now.