A Walk in the Park

My earliest memories and love of nature originate from a farm in South Africa. As an adult I enjoyed long meditative walks along the rocky coast and intermittent mountain streams of the Cape. Now that Vancouver is my home, back country trails take me deep into the forests of Canada’s majestic mountains, winding rivers and wilderness. The natural beauty and wild, rugged climates of these two contrasting continents deeply captivate me.

There are many new experiences in Canada and while water fascinates and enchants me, snow is amazing. Water is precious and abundant here and I make new discoveries of water in its different states: tranquil and reflective, flowing or frozen. The colours and textures inspired by four seasons of mountains, trees and creeks are paths of discovery and artistic expression.

There is something magical about forests and wilderness and I feel a sense of wonder in their presence. Their poetry lies in different moods such as mountains in summer or covered in snow, a calm lake or a thunderous creek in the spring. Nature revitalises me and I fall in love with each dry twig, a moss covered rock, a glint of sunlight on water, the sparkle of light on snow or the soft sigh of a breeze. A special delight is a close up view of nature: Grass at the water’s edge, pebbles worn smooth, leaves dancing with shadows, or ancient roots on a river bank. These gifts from nature inspire my work and are stumbled upon along a hillside path or a resting place beside a creek.

In the quiet of my studio I recall imagery and experiences. Here an indefinable rapport develops with the subject I am painting and I am challenged to capture the stillness, beauty and mystery of my experience when walking, almost inhabiting the trails. Sketches, photos, memories fuse and blend in creating an intimate portrait of the landscapes that have made such a deep impression on me.

I hope they evoke in the viewer the essence of places that I have truly ‘seen’ and have come to know, much like friends.

Ann Hamm
Vancouver, BC 2012