Mary Ann Laing

From The Studio

(posted on 31 Dec 2023)

It's been so long since I posted any words on my website I almost need a tutorial on how to do that.  It's not because I have had nothing to say.  It's not worth the lame excuse that I have had no time, goodness knows out of the 24 hours in a day, there would be times I could jot down a few thoughts on here.  Not sure why I haven't, not sure why I am choosing to do this now, other than maybe because it's the last day of 2023, yeah, that could be it.  Anyways, I will open the thought sharing with a photo of a recent painting I did before Christmas.

Yes, a familiar subject I like to paint, Goldstream.  I didn't title it that, no. I've run out of variations of titles that include the actual park's name.  This time I titled it " Emily's Place ", because Emily Carr lived here from time to time in her small trailer.  Along with her many pets she'd load up the truck and trailer, then set up camp and spend weeks braving the elements in an adventure to create art.  I've never done that.  I go and take millions of photos, then come home and make supper on an electric stove.  I do feel a connection to this magnificent place, tho.  When we lived in Bamberton, which is situated a little further up the Island Highway,( just north on the side of the Malahat ), we'd visit Goldstream a lot as kids.  Dad used to take us there on hot summer days to experience the feeling of swimming in cold water from the mountains.  You read me right, we didn't think of it as a protected estuary in those days.  We thought of it as a great place to play and swim (if the run off was good) instead of trekking to the ocean, which was also close.  Totally different experience than the beaches with salt water.  Not better or worse, just different.  So Goldstream has given me a giant storage of senses in my subconscious collection that I enjoy tapping into often.  Every time I go to my collection of photos, I go to Goldstream, and wonder if I've done that place enough times, move on.  But again, when I need to feel inspired, I go there anyways, and paint what comes out of the subconscious collection.   Then it sells, so I'll probably be painting it again, and again, and again... why not, eh.

Tomorrow will be a new year.  I don't make resolutions.  Never did, and consider the whole idea of resolutions on the brink of changing our calendars to a different year number as a silly idea even more so now.  If I am to change anything about how I live, it should have nothing to do with what day it is, just do it.  I know I don't paint enough.  There are a lot of things I don't do enough, I wonder if I can change that.  Change, ever changing this life is, yet so much remains the same.  I have so much to be thankful for in all those areas.  Thankful that I can weather the storms of change.  And thankful for understanding how wonderful the simple unchanged things in life are.  

Christmas came and went like it always does.  I decorated this house to the max because that's my December muse, and in this house, that makes Christmas for everyone.  My subconscious library was busy.  So many senses surfaced.  Sensations of childhood dreams coming true, memories of Mom and I in London Drugs buying Christmas decorations with her saying... " You're not buying those, are you?... don't you have enough?? "  Well, yes Mom, I think I do, but I do enjoy the remembering putting them into the shopping cart on our mad shopping Saturdays.  I didn't appreciate those days as much as I do now.  I used to hear people say how old people just live in the past when I was young.  Now, I understand why.  Those collections in our subconscious minds are more valuable than I ever imagined.  I may be an old person just living in the past sometimes.  I feel pretty lucky about that, it's a good place to enjoy.

I don't resolve to do anything different tomorrow.  I may have to undecorate the bare branched tree that stands in the window, or leave it, decide tomorrow.  I may start a new painting tomorrow, or organize the studio back to an artist's haven instead of the multi purpose room.  I may do a lot of things.  Whatever I decide, I know I will take time to breathe in, and just say THANK YOU!! for another day that offers lots of places for my muse.

Happiest of joys to all in 2024!!!

Mary Ann