Cool and calm, the tones created by the fire and ink in this piece remind us to take in the beauty around us and just sit, relax and breathe. Lake O Hara in Yoho National Park is one of those places that help me to pause and become lost in the moment.
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Life is too short to not go where your heart leads...
For as long as I can remember adventure has always been part of me. From childhood week long ice-fishing trips in northern Ontario to a 25 day canoe expedition filled with white water and polar bears, these are the moments I feel most alive.
I believe that adventure has the ability to light up our souls. It allows us to express who we are, and connect to wild places, both within and without.
Having been to 28 countries I still consider my backyard, the Canadian Rockies, my happy place as my home base is Cochrane, Alberta.
When paddling a river, or climbing a peak there's a hunger that compels me to see what's around the next corner. Following this curiosity always takes me to beautiful places, both in art and adventure.
It all began with fire....
In 2015 on a trip north of the Arctic Circle, in Inuvik, I met a First Nations artist who introduced me to the concept of working with fire and ink. This sparked an unquenchable curiosity in me to experiment with this medium, and over several years I developed unique methods that are unlike anything I've ever seen! The results are vibrant backgrounds that tell tales of starry skies filled with dancing northern lights.
There is a wildness that I must accept when working with fire. I work with each piece repeatedly, using different techniques to allow the alchemy of the flame to transform the ink on ceramic tile. I then have the privilege of bringing it to life by painting or drawing in all sorts of wilderness scenes - a sacred, two-part process as the fire invites me into its story.
I love to create art that connects people to how they explore wild places. Whether it's hiking, climbing or camping under the stars, those moments when we feel most alive are what I strive to capture through my art.
We all adventure in our own way. It's in our nature.
I’ll never forget the day my Dad took me up my first mountain. I grew up with week long sledding and ice-fishing trips to my Grandpas hunting shacks in northern Ontario. When I was 12 years old, while on a road trip out to British Columbia, my Dad took me up a peak he had climbed when he was young. The mountain-top views sparked a 20-year career of guiding in the Rocky Mountains as a hiking and backpacking guide with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides.
My 10 years with Search and Rescue as instructor and Search Manager showed me that I love getting lost, but only in the best of ways. I have explored much of the rugged and wild places in the Canadian Rockies while skiing, hiking, backpacking or paddling but I especially love passing on the skills needed to survive and thrive in the outdoors.
Like paddling down a river, starting a new piece fills me with excitement.
I don't know what's coming around the corner. As I work with the fire, I often lose myself in the stories it tells me. It's an invitation to express my connection with the places I cherish and the free spirit of the wild.
The fascinating thing about both adventure and art is that neither are necessary in any tangible way, and yet they both satisfy a need. It's something we experience. Something that we feel. It calls to us and fills us.
It's from this ephemeral place that I create. When I embrace the unknown, it surprises me. Like being on an adventure, each piece I create presents a fresh landscape full of possibilities and the fire's wild and free nature expresses what can't possibly be put into words.
Do more of what makes you happy...
How do you express your adventurous nature? What are the moments you come back too that make you feel alive? I'd love to hear your stories about what fires you up!
Looking for a guided adventure in the Canadian Rockies? I offer custom adventures from day hikes to multi-day for all abilities in the Canadian Rockies so message me for more details if you'd like to find out more. .
Interested in a fire-made original piece that celebrates who you are and what you love? I'd be happy to consult with you to establish a shared vision around what you're looking for. Message me or book a call to have a quick studio chat!