Mushrooms in the Glen (Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20 inches)
I painted this piece over the 2020 holiday season. I began considering how Christmas's story had an evolution that involved mushrooms and how that was reflected in the artwork on early Christmas cards and literature, alluding to a more mythical and organic past. That coupled with the wonder of nature and longing for summer, this painting slowly developed into a magical, dreamy snap shot inside a secret glen. There are many beautiful hiking trails in Niagara. My most favourite being the Niagara Gorge water trail. Marked by fish symbols, it's a journey down a steep set of stairs along an edge of the cliff down past bent trees reaching for the sun and boulders from a previous river bed long ago.
Further, past steps made of natural stone leading downwards into the sudden coolness in the shaded dirt trail's bottom realms lead towards the Niagara River's bucking water. There is a unique calmness about this trail in particular. Once at the bottom, a quiet and calm pool of waters stuck between river boulders, a beacon to hikers symbolizing a resting post while contrasting the wide magnificent river's aggressiveness. Here, the mosses and mushrooms clinging to the petrified stones and fallen logs. When the sun hits just right, it's a mystical experience offering purification and recharging. This painting was inspired by a hike, but it also contains dreamlike elements with its more whimsical acrylic colour palette of subtle pinks and silver sparkles on blue and pale yellow mushrooms.