Whenever I go into the forest something overwhelms me with a sense of calm. So much of my inspiration is drawn from the wild beauty of the west coast. But living in the city, sometimes it’s not always easy to disappear into the majesty of old-growth.
Here are my favourite places to go to energize and connect to nature while living in the city.
This list has to start with my garden… I live in east Vancouver and it is as urban as you can get. My neighbours and I decided to take down our fences. We all like to garden, so now we have green fences and lucky me, my studio is the in the middle. I can get nourished with this small piece of nature. I sit in the garden and fill myself with green health.
When it is the dead of winter and I need some salve for my soul, I head up to Queen Elizabeth Park and sit my self on a bench in the Bloedel Conservatory. I am instantly transported to a summer jungle where you can watch a variety of beautiful plumed birds and parrots fly around. It’s a great place to bring a sketchbook and capture the life force in this tropical oasis.
Another lovely nature refuge when I can’t get into the forest is a 20 minute walk from my house at Trout Lake, If you situate yourself just right, all you see is water, water fowl, bushes and trees. It is so magnificent when the sun is at the horizon. Everything glows with a golden light. I have done quite a few paintings musing while at this place.
When I do get into the forest, my favourite hikes are Lynn Valley in North Vancouver, Whyte Lake in West Vancouver and the Quarry Rock hike in Deep Cove. The all have their own magical keys that open up imaginary doors to special spaces. With the multitude of scents, majestic trees, deep undergrowth of fallen pine needles, roots and rocks and every type of green inspires my imagination and fills me up. I can’t wait to get back into the studio and let it paint itself out onto the canvas.