The central concept of this series, “Nature’s Refuge,” considers the natural environment as a place to take sanctuary from everything else in life. These works of art investigate the theme that nature is a healer and protector, and a balm for life’s worries.
My art reflects my profound connection to nature. I’m moved by the beauty of light streaming through the gaps in the trees and filtering onto the ground; by the textures of the mosses and the fungi, the leaves on the trees. There are so many variations in bark. I love how the trunks and the way branches reach out define each tree’s personality and its place in the forest. I love the image of water flowing in the early summer, then drying up and finally freezing in winter while making intricate patterns with frost and ice.
So many sounds are part of the experience: streams gurgling in the spring; birds calling; chipmunks and squirrels twittering. The sounds of leaves or snow beneath my horse’s hooves. The feel of wind slapping my face when cantering. The muted sounds created by a carpet of falling snow.
I’m in love with the forest smells: cedars, pines, wet leaves, rotting undergrowth, new growth, summer wildflowers in the meadows, some kind of warm honey-like smell I can’t properly describe.
I want to relive these sensations as I am painting, and when I look at my works — I remember autumn in summer, I remember spring in winter.
I deeply admire and am strongly influenced by Tom Thompson, A.Y. Jackson, J.E.H. MacDonald, Arthur Lismer and Clarence Gagnon. Their art provides a sense of time and place. The locales they paint evoke a strong sentiment. These masters use their brushes to yield not just a picture but an emotion.
I have always used some landscape in my paintings. Inspired by the aforementioned Canadian artists, I decided to consciously create a body of work based on my photos taken on the trails in Les Forestiers (St. Lazare, Que.), Vermont and the Laurentians. I felt that learning to be a more competent landscape painter would help me in my future work. I spent three years working mainly on landscapes.
I shoot most of my photos with my cellphone and edit the composition as required when I use it as reference. I print my photos or save them on my iPad.
I often sketch my ideas on paper first, using coloured pencils or paint. Unless I am painting on wood, I start with a warm middle tone — never white canvas. I loosely sketch out my image in paint and then build up the darks and lights alternately with the layers of colour. I don’t have a hard and fast rule.
Frequently, my work depicts trees and a bit of sky, a bit of ground — my view from horseback. Sometimes I take my reference photos while on foot — that changes the viewpoint considerably.
I apply the paint in layers, drips, glazes, drawn and thick impastos — many types of application of pigment, depending on how I want the colour to be read. They are vivid interpretations of the forest at different times of day and different seasons.
© all artwork Lisa Kimberly Glickman – all rights reserved