North of the Laurentien Mountains

This multimedia abstract depicts a fantasy village north of the Laurentien Mts, in Quebec, Canada…the colors imply the temperature in the village. It is both Native American and French Canadian in tradition. The person in the photo is suspended between earth and air suggesting the Roman Catholic ideas of heaven and earth. 
This region of the world is populated with memories of stories told to me by my wise grandmother in post cards dating back to the late 1940’s and in the stories she told me when she would return from visiting this holy ground where she was born. 
The stories were surreal to a young american boy hearing them through an imagination. What I remember most was the letters written to her by her sisters who had remained in Canada after the potato famine in the late 1800’s had brought many Canadian immigrants to the textile mills of New England.

She was born in a small village named St. Prospere. Her sister Marie Louise still owned a farm and frequently she would lament the loss of chickens because a grizzly bear from the great woods would have emerged from forest and raid the chicken coop…Bears could be seen walking down the paths and roadways. They would try not to kill them but when they became too aggressive they had to be hunted and a posse of men with rifles would take to the streets and the forest in search for the last bear that had become too familiar with the houses in the village….

Many of my paintings reflect memories of what villages and what life might have looked like from the perspective of a boy hearing the stories. Memere would say, ” matante justine called last night, the snow was so deep they had to carve a tunnel from the front door to the wood shed. The snow was over her head and the bears broke into the chicken coop again.”

These are images and memories etched like fairy tales in my mind…they linger as an unconscious source of creative energy and some of my paintings seem to reflect these embedded visionsImage

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