30 Jul, 2009 One More Day

When we arrived at Bathurst, our departure date was set for today. That’s when the next lodge chartered flight back to Yellowknife was going out. We spent the morning getting our things together, but in the back of our minds Max and I knew there was still the chance to stay one more day. Page had informed us that clients were coming in tomorrow, and that maybe we could hop a ride back on that flight. She and I were both keen on having us stay and explore landscapes behind the lodge further, and this would be a perfect day to do so before leaving. Though I come with the idea of painting Wilberforce Falls, I was hoping to also paint some of the other beautiful scenes in the region.

We were granted our one more day, and with a lunch packed, headed off on a day hike into the arctic Barrenlands. The distant ridge was our destination, but as we hiked, I scouted possible vantage points from which to begin a canvas on our way back when the light might be more pleasing. The landscape was more beautiful than I had expected, my impressions being based on the few web photos that I had seen prior. We spotted a couple for caribou and peregrine falcons, had a good lunch break, and learned a lot from Page about the region’s flora. On our way back I got down to finding a spot to break out the easel. I approached a likely looking spot facing the ocean and some great islands, fulling expected that this would be the scene I would pursue. I might have to hike the ridge for a while to find just the right place, but eventually I would get there. But as I turned around to continue my search, I was stopped in my tracks my a fabulous outcrop of rock. Looking past it, sitting nicely on on a hill in the distance, was the community. Beyond it stretched the delta, with its alternating strips of blue water and golden sand, and past that the tundra and hills until the horizon. My search had ended, quite unexpectedly, and I began a new painting. I never know what will spark inspiration when I go out in the field, but I have learned not to question things when it hits, and to follow it enthusiastically.

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