V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #34: reaching

Tree Trunk, Emily Carr 1932
(wikiart.org)

“…she singled out a cedar, wide at the base, narrowing as it grew. If there was any kind of portrait worth doing, it would be the portrait of a tree. But a portrait had to convey character. The channels in this cedar’s raw umber all stretched upward, reaching toward light. It was more than a tree, however noble. It was the manifestation of the attitude that had brought her this far: reaching. Not just the tree, but that idea was her subject. The things in a painting were only bits of visible evidence of a still, small voice whispering a truth.”

– Susan Vreeland, The Forest Lover

I’m reading this novel based on the life of Emily Carr. It is speaking to me in so many ways, and when I came across this paragraph, towards the end of the story, it strikes home. As artists, aren’t we all reaching? No matter the medium, our work is a representation of a search, a need, a longing.

What is it you are reaching for? Maybe it’s a lens drawn (as mine often is) to line that stretches… or is it something stirring behind your words?

This week, let’s follow our instincts, or impulses, and try to capture that for which we are reaching.

All are welcome to participate, just create a post, link back here, and enjoy the creative genius of this rich community.

Looking forward to your responses.


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

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