I wanted to make a really big romantic piece, and this is one of the largest I've ever done. Four feet wide! It's painted on canvas on aluminum-backed birch panel.
The scene depicts a Siksika (Blackfoot) couple at the shores of Maligne Lake in Canada, an area which is now within Jasper National Park and which is also the traditional territory of several First Nations, including the Simpcw Shuswap, Kutenai, Siksika, and others.
Everything in the painting is deliberate, and reflects traditional lore of the First Nations people of the area. The small island in the lake is known as Spirit Island, and it is called this in honor of the spirit of the young woman which still resides there because it was a place where she met the young man with whom she had fallen in love. Even the loon is symbolic, because loons are associated with the sound of courting flutes. The site today is dotted with wildflowers, and that bright blue of the water is exactly right for that lake, and the mountains behind it glow pink at sunset; the whole place is brilliant with color.
The piece as a whole is meant to convey not just romance, but tranquility, connection, and fulfillment. It brought me such a powerfully good feeling to paint. I poured my heart into this one, and in turn it also filled me with a sense of peace and hope, too. I look forward to seeing it bring those feelings into the home of someone who connects with it.