I am just back from my residency in the Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. “Quetico is a protected, pristine wilderness retreat of international acclaim west of Lake Superior on the Canada-U.S. border. The park’s tangled network of lakes once formed water routes travelled by Ojibway and fur traders. Now it is primarily the destination of experienced canoeists seeking solitude and rare glimpses of wildlife by cascading waterfalls, glassy lakes and endless forests.”
I was inspired from the first moment by our beautiful campsite on Pickerel Lake that had rock exposures on both the east and west side.
I made MANY small found art installations while following Leave No Trace camping policies. Some of the artwork barely survived long enough for a photo due to the wind, waves, and our own activity about the campsite. Ephemeral art at its best.
My sister Nancy, canoe partner now for 19 trips, made this residency in a canoe possible at the cost of making the start of her school year tres stressful. Thanks, Nancy! Both Nancy (shown here) and I had time to take many photos, to draw, to write …
and explore the twenty-mile lake. We spent a lot of time looking at reflections, loons, mergansers, rocks stacked so carefully on the shore and underwater, the surprising sand beaches, and at the ever-changing water. We went to sleep each night with the gentle gurgling of water over a beaver dam . . .
except when all we heard was the howling of the wind. We marveled at how fast big waves develop on such a long lake.
No portaging, nine peaceful days filled with inspiration from sunrise to sunset, and time to take it all in. Truly a memorable experience for both Nancy and I. I hope to start the artwork to be donated to the “Inspired by the Quetico” collection very soon as I have many ideas percolating.
I am indebted to the Quetico Provincial Park for providing this wonderful opportunity. Thanks go to Jeff Bonnema, Quetico Provincial Part Superintendent; Susan Bourne, Park Naturalist who invited me to apply to the program; Jill Legault, Acting Park Naturalist for her enthusiasm and assistance with my talk; and all the rangers and wardens who made our stay so enjoyable.
***I strongly urge artists to consider doing a residency in the Quetico if you enjoy camping and Nature. You do not need to canoe unless you choose to do so. Most artists camp at Dawson Campground and avail themselves of a very beautiful lakeside studio. Read more about the program here.***