Untitled (Overlooking Dykeman's Lake, Jemseg)
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Artist Statement - It's Payback Time
For years now I have been painting the countryside of southern New Brunswick, fields, trees, bushes and clouds in as detailed and realistic a manner as possible. Sometimes I have wondered, while working with a magnifying glass on a 3 x 4 foot piece of masonite, with a size 000 sable brush, how did I end up doing this? Why has every leaf, every blade of grass, every pebble, every drifting cloud become so important that I keep thinking, "I've got to get it right." Eventually I asked myself, "Why do I have to get it right?"
Memory brought the answer. When I was a child growing up here I enjoyed nature in an unquestioning manner, being in it and part of it. Every day brought new images and impressions that could be recalled years later. I can still remember, for example, walking in the stubble of a newly-mown field in late afternoon, watching the clouds change from white to gold to pink to red as evening approached, then at dusk the shadowy grey swifts and nighthawks swooping against the dark woods on the horizon. Every changing season brought its unique visual epiphanies to the countryside and I absorbed them all.
I came to realize that this was a great gift generously given and after a lifetime I at last began to feel I must say thank you to whatever it is that the word "nature" encompasses. Painting these trees and bushes with care and respect is my attempt to pay the debt, and also to say good-bye.
- Dawn McCracken, 2010