Heart’s Journey

“Note the distinct difference of pine and spruce. Now draw them,” Dad instructed as we wandered northern boreal forest. Happy to be with my Dad in the park, surrounded by the scent of pine, I dutifully turned to my paper.

I don’t remember the detailed lessons of pine & spruce he taught that day when I was a child. But I do recall the spread of his wide shoulders under his kaki shirt swooping down to scoop a pine cone in his calloused hand. I remember the timber of his gentle voice and the easy manner of which he walked. I remember that moment so clearly, my love for him shining in my heart as it does today. Sharing shyness and a love of wilderness, we walked to the sound of chickadees in the bright summer sun.

You may not remember if the tree branches reached skyward or dipped toward the lake, as you paddled the shoreline that day. If you were lucky, you weren’t wearing a watch. Maybe it was 6 am or closer 7:30.

You do likely remember colour blossoming as dawn illuminated the forest.

The welcome heat on your face, with light bursting from behind scattered clouds.

You may remember the sound of a distant loon and waves lapping the rocky shore. Lake or river gently rocked your craft, lulling your heartbeat to a peaceful rhythm.

Remember how you felt in peaceful stillness immersed in the warmth of day’s awakening. This is what art does.


Note: If I have done my job, art can simultaneously spark internal reflection, memories and beckon you outdoors. It can illuminate the emotion of nature engagement. It’s this wonderful balance of internal, and external, all the while considering why lies beyond the edges.

~All new work is available for purchase. Email dawn@dawnbanning.com

Sky over Lake 12×24 ( now complete) oil on canvas

Northern Shore 24×36 oil on canvas