In winter when snow lays thick on the ground, the simple line of a tree can create a striking contrast to the white ground. Or the harvested corn leaving patterned traces in the fields. The shape of the flying geese overhead. Chipmunk tracks in the snow.

These fleeting images seem to lodge themselves in our minds, and while they may not amount to something concrete enough to be called inspiration or idea, I often find that they do find a home in the final art piece.

I realized that especially once I finished this piece, called “Ice Fields,” where the pattern of the stitches echo all those little patterns that we find in nature. The clear quartz hearkening to the frozen lake. Where hints of colour take on an extraordinary amount of importance in what some might call a colourless landscape.

Though I’ve just finished this piece in the late winter of 2021, I painted the acrylic on canvas on a campsite in northern Ontario back in August. While it was drying, a chipmunk ran through the wet paint. As I’m layering the paint on canvas, I like to do lines of script. In this piece, I had just added a yellow line when a chipmunk ran through it, adding their own line of script to the painting. I left it, for I was curious to see how these marks, these actual marks of nature’s, would find their way into an art piece. I wondered: where would these footprints travel to?