backyard summer 2021
I want to start by saying welcome to my new website – Hooray ! Finally !
A huge thanks to Jan and her team at Skyline for working with me on what turned out to be a much longer and more involved process than initially imagined. Grateful.
I’ve added more images of paintings from previous series, photos from Emma Lake, some new writing, a bit more about me …It’s better organized, easier to navigate – Let me know what you think
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Summer September 4th
I don’t usually think of September as summer, especially here in the foothills of the rocky mountains. September typically signals fall and school and harvest – somehow it always sneaks up on me – one day its summer and the next it’s not – but technically it is still summer.
seasons – divisions of time and space
It has been a summer of strangeness on so many levels – between the extreme heat and the never ending smoke from the BC fires sending us all indoors for days at a time – indoors in the summer, in Canada! It was insane! It was balanced somewhat – somewhat – by the relaxing of COVID restrictions. Celebrations and connecting again made it possible for us to see peoples faces and smiles, hear unmuffled laughter, hug our family, our lonely friends and isolated seniors.
At least for a short while there was relief, a sense that maybe COVID would finally be subdued –
My garden suffered greatly in the intense heat, cooling down the trees, washing off the ash, keeping everything watered was a full time job in this season of virtually no rain. A devastating hail storm long after hail season, topped off all the crazy climate of the summer so far.
All of this just a micro moment in my part of the world, a small example of intense weather events happening everywhere, challenging us all somewhere in our lives.
Studio work consisted mostly of writing, going through collections of things collected – everything from paper napkins to pay stubs – I know!!! Organizing ideas, gathering materials, experimenting with techniques – incubation –
waiting for the cortisone shots in my hands to kick in and a dedicated period of time when I can dive in without having anything else to do – more difficult these days as caretaking roles and household maintenance of all kinds have increased.
The art work always on my mind, percolating in the background of daily life.
The biggest project I’m currently working on is my future and what that is going to look like. In 2001 when I moved from Vancouver I left behind a 1500 sq ft studio, which among many things allowed me to work on more than one project at the same time. In Calgary I’ve had 400 sq ft in a shared space. It was big down size which I found challenging for sure. Over the years the changes I made to try and find a balance never really worked. It was like trying to fit into a pair of shoes that were too small, no amount of stretching would make them fit. I have been looking for a studio space for the last 4 years, without much luck, now it has become a priority.
Ok so now its September 13th and I am days away from a bathroom renovation being completed. The transformation is beautiful, but more importantly new plumbing, insulation, a shower that’s to code, everything updated – and I might add in under 4 weeks in the current climate – pretty amazing! So grateful to all the trades that worked to get it done.
More than most months September is for me a month of memories – almost everyday a vivid or poignant past memory attached to the present day – some very sweet, happy days – but mostly it’s a month of remembering loss and celebrating freedom, ironically sometimes at the same time.
Next to winter waking up to spring, summer shifting into fall is one of my favourite seasonal cycles.
I just love autumn – the colours, the smells, the light, the air, the breezes, natures’ signals telling us it’s time to reap, to gather, to celebrate, to be grateful.
But until then its still summer, the smoke has abated, the heat moderated, plants need dividing, carrots need digging, time yet to enjoy it all.
To those of you I know and to those of you I don’t – wherever you are in the world – thank you for showing up and showing interest –
May the harvest of your year – however strange or tragic or disappointing it may have been so far – include the fruits of peace, compassion, love and respect –
All text / images © Louise Pagé 2021