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Ask yourself: Why am I alive?

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Painting in Scotland with Words

Dunskey Estate in Scotland was rugged and head-over-heels luxurious at the same time. I've just returned from teaching there-the second workshop for Workshops in Wild Places. The aim of these workshops is to encourage a deep connection with the land through meditative walking, hiking, reading poems outdoors, having happy hour on the beach at sunset, and other such important exercises, then coming into the studio to create an abstract response to the land.



While an imposing structure on the outside, the castle was cozy and sumptuous inside, with comfortable furniture, large and thick antique rugs, and fires blazing in each room we occupied. Our group took over the entire castle, eating gourmet dinners in the great hall, breakfast and lunch in the dining room and having meetings and discussions in the Drawing Room. 




Set upon 2000 acres on the sea, this opulent estate has a wildly rugged side, with beech and pine forests and a long rough path edged with ferns that winds over a river…

A Longing for the Sublime: Painting the North

Recently I attended a beautiful art exhibition by Oxanna Adams and Barbara Shaw at Silence, an art gallery/exhibition space in Guelph, Ontario. The exhibition entitled North, featured paintings that were inspired by the travels of each artist to northern countries, including Sweden, Iceland, Estonia, Yukon and Northern Ontario. 

At their opening, each artist described her experience of being influenced by the wild landscape of northern countries. I had the deep sense that these places were profoundly inspiring for both women. I know that my work is also strongly influenced by remote, wide-open landscapes and I find it so difficult to describe that sense of awe in words.  

I feel that painting can get closer to describing that sense of wonder than either prose or poetry. Still, I delight in finding writers and poets who stretch language into forms that approach the ineffable. And it's painting and words together that make my heart sing.


There has been much discussion and many papers w…