BRENT LYNCH

Spirit Illuminated, Maligne Lake
Oil on Gallery Canvas
60 x 40 in
CAD $13,000
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“The Rockies is a lifetime source of inspiration for me. I’ve skied, painted and hiked the circuits countless times; I’ve been a mountain boy as long as I can remember.  In the sea and the mountains, you’ll find me as an artist and a human being and I have too many stories to tell in this short note.

 

I’ve made a few trips to Spirit Island, once on the ‘Brewster Boat Tour’ (Pursuit) and another on a kayak camping trip with paint box in tow. Both ways were wonderful and highly recommend the trip if you visit Jasper.

 

Maligne Lake is a mystery in itself. She carves her long and deep way through the most formidable mountain range. You cannot help but feel the sense you're at the world’s edge and far away. As my partner and I paddled up the lake the colour of the water 

changes to a deep emerald, the peaks grow close and the clouds churn and roll as you approach the southern glaciers (every time I’ve been there it was turbulent weather which adds to the drama). Approximately halfway up, at an elbow, is Spirit Island. The Stoney Nakoda Nation believe the surrounding mountains represent their dead relatives and you begin to believe it; it is a holy place for certain and a Canadian landscape Icon. The little island, more an isthmus is the centre piece of arguably one the most powerful views in the world. It is surrounded by an amphitheatre of majestic peaks on three sides (very rare).

 

The scene puts the fear of God in you and for an egotistical artist that’s a good thing. I truly don’t like painting famous places, but have painted this area many times. This Island has been painted and photographed more than most and I knew that the first time I went in but, I was impressed. This work represents the last time I’ll paint Spirit Island. Why? I can’t say for certain, I just know. Perhaps it is the accumulation of all the other paintings. I wanted the viewer to be transfixed by the image to the degree that the location and place should not matter. The idea was simple but the execution never is; by composing the island in the centre I am attempting to express that spirit, the island becoming a metaphor of the absolute - radiate and spellbinding.”

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