A short hike above the town of Canmore, Alberta are twin jewels; Grassi Lakes. There, in September 1991, I painted my first ever plein air painting. Nowadays the trail is heavily traveled and the lakes are always crowded but in the summer of 1993, when I made a daily practice of meditating there early every morning, I had the lakes all to myself. A part of me will always be there just as the beauty and peace of this sacred place is always in my heart.
|FIREWEED AT GRASSI LAKES 1994 watercolour 7" x 10" Collection of Mary Shillabeer and Tom Matier|
|Painting at Grassi Lakes August 2nd, 1992|
Back in the 1990s spring kicked off our seasonal, reproduction business and all summer long, when it was in full swing, we kept a hectic pace. Using the above watercolour as a study and over four weeks in April and May of 1995 I managed only eight random paintings days before bringing the big oil home, where it sat, unfinished, for two years.
|The large oil in progress at the Canmore Artists and Artisans Guild's gallery, April and May, 1995|
|FIREWEED AT GRASSI LAKES 1997 oil 4 x 6 feet Collection of Gordon and Carol Godfrey|
In order to include it in my solo show at Whyte Museum, Banff, I finished it at home, in August 1997. Saltiel; Routes Without Limits was a milestone for me. The curator and I were like oil and water. Gathering together 39 paintings from over a 25 year period was epic. But the joy of seeing them installed, side by side, in the large gallery (September 13th to November 30th, 1997) made it all so very worth while.