This is the result of me taking up painting again after many years. After we came to live in Canada, I felt compelled to record, and somehow interpret, the landscapes. Every day I sit at my window and look at the wall of trees behind our house, with its changing light, movement and colours. One of many lovely scenes, of which we never stop taking photos, I have yet to paint it - and I still have not painted a decent group of trees. But I keep trying. It's something to work at, and hugely satisfying when occasionally I get a spot right, or find a fitting phrase to match. In any case, it makes me happy. And I don't mind that both the paintings and the poems are amateur compared to the work of a city full of professional artists and authors. After a while of doing this, I eventually, very hesitantly, registered myself with an artists' organization, in the hope that no-one would notice or mind. The questionnaire asked: Are you a practicing artist? Well, I said to myself, I am practicing rather a lot, so yes. I was being bloody-minded of course, but a tiny voice also said, you can't call yourself a real artist now, but maybe some day. And maybe some day I’ll do the same with the poetry.
Marthe Bijman, Vancouver, June 2014, www.sevencircumstances.com