Yesterday, I drove across the Province of British Columbia. A trip literally from the shoreline of Georgia Straight to the Great Divide at the Alberta border, and then I continued to Calgary. It took 13+ hours for the journey including stops for fuel, road coffee and a bowl of chilli.

Darkness at the beginning and darkness at the end brought definition to full grey tones of a day filled with slush, compact snow and clouds of dirty road spray on the windshield. Only once did the sky open, allowing sunshine to touch the earth as a breathless whisper of light at the summit of Rogers Pass.

The moment seems so very paintable. But painting isn’t possible. There is nowhere to park: nowhere to open the paint box. Not enough time either.

The alternative is to stop to take a photo. A quick shot with my phone camera as I stand beside the car. “Click”, and at once the moment spoils: I get back into my car just as a large truck passes spraying a monsoon over everything.

The grandeur, simply the grandeur, makes the camera image: snow white brilliance with blue sky showcasing magnificence. Dazzling.
Don’t know if the mountain has a name. Certainly, the mountain won’t know my name. Simply a connection during a flash of sunshine.

If You Step On A Crack . . .

February 13, 2012

Remember the children’s rhyme about sidewalks, “If you step on a crack . . .”?

Recently, I overheard two youngsters share about stepping on shadows to see if the tree would howl. They were walking on a snowy trail under a bright sunny midday sky. Each shadow they approached was a gleeful opportunity to test what they knew must be true.

Did they really hear the tree howl?

This Calgary artist has painted many winter landscapes filled with light and shadows but I’ve never heard the trees howl. But next time I’m out painting in Fish Creek Provincial Park I will listen closely just to be sure.

Middayshadows

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Jim Pescott is an international contemporary artist who lives and works in Calgary, Alberta. To contact Jim directly about his paintings, or a project you think about, please phone 403-870-0591 or email him at paintwithdots@shaw.ca His website is http://www.jimpescott.com