Bull Thistles and Sulphur Shelves

Bull Thistles and Sulphur Shelves
Mixed media on birch panel
60" x 24"

Bull thistles and sulfur shelves, these

and these

are just some of the wild regulars we spot often on family treks in the bush.

I should say that Mother Nature doesn't seduce me in the ways she seems to do with others.

My daughter on these walks is quick to point out stuff like the eminent destroying angel mushroom, aminita virosa,

which will dissolve your liver just to look at, and forget to join us in appreciating how the light coruscates through brush or the canopy whistles and twitters a symphony. I'm with her.

"What would a wolf do if it was really hungry?" she wants to know.

"Oh, probably chew your arms in half and eat your eyeballs."

After a big long silence, "why?"

"What would you do if you were starving?"

"Go to the grocery store."

Anyway, it's Spring, the snow is melting, and I do soften a bit.

After showing her this latest painting Aitana pointed out that, unconsciously, I've done a nature scene like this every year around this time.

This year's version is a trail we take in a few times a year, as I remember it at its best. It's called Starkey Hill and to be fair you can feed chickadees out of your hands there.

The painting will be on display at Theatre Orangeville for Norman Bray and the Performance of His Life, April 9-26.


  1. beautiful and imaginative as always,
    Stacey & Allan

  2. In "Burr Thistles..." some of the trees (e.g., at the far right) seem sliced, at the horizon line. Or is something else going on?

    1. That's deliberate. The idea started off as a mistake but the more I looked at it, the more I liked it both aesthetically (gives it an almost artificial cubist quality) and symbolically (trees being sliced).


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