While I was on a family camping trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, last October, I came upon a magical place. It was a beautiful autumn day, perfect for hiking, so we set off to explore some trails. Late in the afternoon we rambled into the clearing on Craggy Bald. The sun glowed golden on a mown field of dry grass. At the back of the field grew two leafless white trees. Their long twisting branches, dark against the clear blue sky, were festively decked with bright red flowers. Faraway in the distance I caught a glimpse of sinuous blue and purple hills--ancient mountains worn by time. As I stood in the clearing surveying the view, I was struck by the tangible sensation of pulsing life around me. From the plants, animals and people there at the moment as well as from times past. In the meadow that day multiple moments in time seemed to come together, woven into one existence.
This experience is the inspiration for my new painting project I'm calling Woven Existences. It will feature elements of the meadow at Craggy Bald during each season of the year. However, that is only the first part of the project. I’ll reveal more later as the work progresses, so keep reading.
Some years ago I visited the little mountain town of Boquete, Panama. It's a great place to visit in Panama because with a few exceptions, the rest of the country is hot and humid as you'd expect of a place less than 9 degrees above the equator. Boquete, by contrast, is considerably cooler, with daytime temperatures in the pleasant mid 70sº F year round. Then of course, there are the mountains, lovely in clear weather and mysterious when veiled by wafting mists. Of volcanic origins, now worn and rounded, their blue-green forms ring the small valley where Boquete is situated, with the Caldera River rushing through, while to the northwest sits Volcan Baru, an extinct volcano last known to have erupted about 500 years ago. Immersed in these surroundings, it occurred to me one day that the panoramic views of the mountains and valleys and beyond were a pageant of ever changing images passing in front of me as if on a never ending canvas. “My mountain canvas!” I thought- an endless source of inspiration for painting.
Annette Bartlett-Golden paints a wide range of subjects from landscapes to animals and makes abstract works with paper. Using vibrant colors, she imparts a sense of immediacy, vivacity and optimism to her paintings and paper collages.
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