the country of the trees

Quite often I like naming paintings after song titles or lyrics I like. I'm usually listening to something in the studio while I paint, a podcast or some band or another. Some paintings are titled after lyrics from Gord Downie songs, or a line from something nostalgic in an Iron & Wine song. This morning I finished this piece and then sat on the couch reading the only book of Mary Oliver poems I own called 'Blue Horses'.

I found my title.


There is no king in their country

and there is no queen

and there are no princes vying for power,

          inventing corruption.

Just as with us many children are born

and some will live and some will die and the country

          will continue.


The weather will always be important.


And there will always be room for the weak, the violets

          and the bloodroot.

When it is cold they will be given blankets of leaves.

When it is hot they will be given shade.

And not out of guilt, neither for a year-end deduction

          but maybe for the cheer of their colours, their

                small flower faces.


They are not like us.


Some will perish to become houses or barns,

          fences and bridges.


Others will endure past the counting of years.

And none will ever speak a single word of complaint,

          as though language, after all,

did not work well enough, was only an early stage.

Neither do they ever have any questions to the gods--

          which one is the real one, and what is the plan.

As though they have been told everything already,

          and are content.

Mary Oliver, The Country of the Trees from her book of poems called 'Blue Horses'

I tried my best to get a photo without the dogs, but they were pretty insistent on being in the photos. It's fitting I guess, as Coltrane is the large darkish spot in the middle of the piece, and it is from yet another photo I took during one of our walks at the Terwillegar Dog Park.

the country of the trees, mixed media on canvas, 30x30, $1350 + tax, 2016

the country of the trees, mixed media on canvas, 30x30, $1350 + tax, 2016

Luke felt the need to get in on the photo-bombing action too! It's Sunday. Anything can happen apparently.