Mount Ishbel, Sawback Range in Banff National Park, Alberta
North of the Bow Valley Parkway and east of Johnston Canyon in Alberta, life grows in the cradles of the Canadian Rockies. Mount Ishbel is at the heart of this and something rare to behold. These mystic cradles are often admired at a distance and up close. There are so many interesting angles here for an artist to sketch and paint.
Back in 1926, this mountain inspired Group of Seven painter Lawren Harris to create a majestic painting of strong geometrical elements. The results were fascinating, spiritual and almost mystical. Many individuals have appreciated and loved these distant peaks. Thirty years later, Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald of Great Britain named this mountain after his eldest daughter Ishbel, in 1956. Just last fall on November 25, 2016 the painting “Mountain Forms” by Harris sold at auction for $11.2 M with Heffel Fine Art. These moments in history are as amazing as this great Canadian landscape.
Wider brush strokes, like bigger steps help me to explore these rugged peaks freely. To emphasize strength I have painted with long, diagonal brush strokes. This vibrant place is more than rock and granite. A paynes gray underpainting and edge give a nice feeling of stone throughout the piece. Some of this gray wraps around the front of the canvas. As a result, there is a feeling of a page being turned in a book. Crevices in the rock face could be shadows, but become creative spaces for introducing bright jewels of colour. I insert these and wedge them into the shadows selectively to emphasize light and form. Elevating mountain culture in all its beauty becomes my purpose with this painting and others to come. Painting these beautiful and nostalgic areas in and around Banff is its own reward.
Sentimental Journeys is a collection of landscapes painted with acrylics on to gallery canvas. Paintings are 24×24″ and 36×36″ with a depth of 1.5″ and a painted edge, ready for hanging. These paintings represent a Banff sojourn – a time last fall, where I had a lot of fun visiting and exploring new and old trails. It was only after getting home that I realized there are actually sepia photos of these familiar and much loved places – created by my father when he first came to Canada. I have been walking in my father’s footsteps makes this sentimental journey, ever more special. This series by Canadian artist and designer Tina Monod is about the beauty close and far, near and within the Banff National Park and surrounding areas.