This past weekend, I took a group of students to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection gallery. I've been there many times, and while always impressed by the work, had never experienced it as I had this trip.
I had spent the weekend being enveloped by the work of Lawren Harris at multiple venues. The technique, movement, colour, composition, geometry, precision, and light of his work is glorious. I am always drawn to his paintings - the aesthetic and symbolism of his work, the effervescent and illuminated quality has always intrigued and excited me. His seemingly endless body of work has suggested his eternal existence in my world.
There's something real about seeing the gravesite of Lawren Harris.
Such an exquisite and prolific painter - one I have been inspired by my whole artistic life - a mortal.
There was a finite limit on his time of creation. There's something unsettling about that. I'm not interested in dwelling on futile death contemplation, but it struck me to consider my own contribution to the world. Have a left a deep enough mark on the world for it to be scarred and permanent? It seems trite to suggest some cliche statement about "making every moment count", but in terms of artistic creation, I realize I must. It is an illusion that the body of work Harris created seems limitless. But that illusion seems attractive in some way - to create the concept that one's work is so prolific and so recognizable is exciting.
We have only a small window of opportunity to reach people, to create an emotional reaction, to make an impact, to ensure permanence. What is my legacy? How can my work resonate? How does one silence the constant juggler of media to make an absolute commitment and focus on one true craft?
As I stood in front of Lawren Harris' grave marker - the stunning solid rock, a triangular monolith which reflected his work so beautifully - I felt humbled, and full of questions about my own creative path. This contemplation has given me inspiration. Rejuvenated, I am ready to embrace my craft, establish a strong and consistent body of work, stay true to my process, and make my mark.