One of my favorite pursuits is wandering the shorelines of lakes and rivers in late autumn or early spring. During these times of seasonal transition, the ice skirting rocks and shoreline debris offers an endless variety of shapes and abstract imagery upon which to draw inspiration. Along exposed shorelines, the ice edge is carved and sculpted in unique and often exquisite ways by river current or the ebb and flow of repeated waves. In pools and quiet backwaters, the forming ice traps autumn leaves, pine needles, and various other bits of vegetative debris, forming frozen collages rich in colour, texture and photographic potential. In fast-flowing streams, the combination of cool air temperatures and spray from near-freezing water creates beautiful glazes and “ice candles” on logs and branches hanging near the surface or snagged in the current.
Most of the photographs in this collection were taken in the shield country of northwestern Ontario, specifically along the edges of the Rushing River in Rushing River Provincial Park, and the Winnipeg River, near the town of Kenora. The remaining images were captured in Manitoba, along the shores of Hunt Lake in Whiteshell Provincial Park, and on the limestone beaches of Lake Winnipeg in Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Park.
Art has been an essential part of my being for as long as I can remember, and is deeply rooted in my lifelong connection to the natural world. A zoologist by training, I spent my professional life as a university professor, teaching and conducting research in environmental physiology--a career that left little time for things art-related. Nevertheless, when I did take the time to paint or do photography, I felt enriched by the experience and was always left wishing more hours were available in the day to develop these interests further. As a boy, I was fortunate to have lived in several rural settings, including the Yukon, which together with my field studies of wildlife, instilled in me a deep appreciation for the natural landscapes I now feel privileged to paint and photograph in my retirement.
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