Revisiting Patagonia

It’s been three years since I explored the beautiful, haunting wildernesses of Patagonia, Chile during my honeymoon. A lot has happened since then: a global pandemic and a baby to name just a few of the major events. But no matter where else I travel or where this new phase in life takes me, painting always pulls me back to my past. Whether it’s constantly wanting to paint like Franz Marc, to continue my cosmic paintings, or, more recently, the constant urge to paint the most breathtaking of worlds.

From dramatic skies to all of the seasons in a matter of hours, long morning hours of creeping, barely-there winter (July) sunrises and dusk that lasts for days. Gripping, ghostly silent cold and the silence that locks the glaciers into the sides of the mountains. Patagonia has been haunting my easel ever since I returned from my trip.

Finally, after six months not painting at all, my creative instinct feels revived. I’m eager to get started, and I’m confident about the results this time. I’m going to recreate some of my most memorable scenes in Patagonia, with a Monet-like eye for changing light and atmosphere and the hopes of merging the human with the natural landscape.

Revisiting Patagonia and my pre-baby obsession with the natural world is just what I need at the moment. In the increasingly demanding role of mother, I realise the importance of recharging and, more importantly, reconnecting with the parts of myself that have inevitably (and without hesistation) taken a back seat for the last year.

Here is the first painting: Patagonia Story II

Yes, I am starting with II instead of I. That’s just the way it is. This scene is one from the Lago Grey or Grey Lake in the heart of the Torres del Paine National Park, and captures the first time we saw our hotel and the hills released from their blanket of thick, grey cloud. The vanishing clouds instantly turn up the saturation on the surrounding landscape, and the charcoal greys and soft purple-black hills light an iridescent yellow ochre. The sun turns the sky spectacularly blue and suddenly, you realise the vastness of the space, the wilderness around you, that took 6 hours to get here from the nearest town. You suddenly realise that that little wooden hotel with its spectacular views, gigantic portions and heated lodges is the only bridge between you and the human world you left so far behind.

You suddenly realise, once you leave, you will never see this place again.


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