12″ x 16″
Oil Pastel, Gold Leaf
Endless fields of snow. Cold with no relief. A darkness that weighs heavy and long. There are times in our lives when it feels as though everything we touch turns to dust and there is nothing good that is lasting and true. W all have our times of despair, where hope can find no foothold.
Then for no reason we can ever truly explain something changes. A spark lights up inside and re-ignites the fire of our vision, the heat that fuels our heart. We find that not only are we alive but we are strong. We are bright. We are perfect beings and the beauty of our souls light up the night like the sun.
We are the Seventh Fire and we are strong.
Mixed Media on Canvas
It means having strength of soul.
I called this Cree Teachings because of the wisdom I have been honoured to receive from many teachers throughout my life. Some of the teachers hurt me, some of them loved me, and sometimes it was both. Here I have made the equivalent of birch bark, and inscribed upon it, painted on it, filled it with all the mysteries I know and then let it go. The four colours can be found on some Medicine Wheels, or not, and it doesn’t matter. I used the colours because they were healing for me, they were true for me. They are also the colours of the Hudson’s Bay Company, which would never have thrived were it not for the assistance they received from the many Indigenous people of Canada who shared their knowledge of how to survive in this country. The Company listened to how to survive, but they didn’t listen to how to live.
My main pursuit in this life is is to learn to live. To learn to set aside pain, to set aside fear. To instead embrace love, to be accepting and remove judgment as much as possible. I can only learn this through my interactions with others. We are each others constant teachers and students. The wisdom of the sky and the wisdom of a tree are no more or less significant than the wisdom of an ant or even the deep knowledge of an electron. By listening, always listening, we learn. Sohkahcahkwewin.
The Bearclaw Gallery Presents
124st – 104ave
New Works by Aaron Paquette
March 3 – March 15 2007
artist will be in attendance 2-4pm opening day
An Unexplored Dream
4″ x 6″
There is nothing so compelling to me than a waking dream that has not, or can not, be explored. The mystery and meaning must lie asleep until the truth unravels on its own.
In this piece, I’m using encaustic (to be more specific, Beeswax). I’ve melted it until it runs smooth and then I spread it over the surface of the work. During this first stage, I layered in Oil Paint to give colour to the wax. When the wax hardened, I took a sculpting tool and carved my design into the surface of the wax and then worked more Oil paint into the incisions. I finished it up with a few glazes of Oil, again, worked into the surface of the encaustic, and set it aside to cure.
I had a hard time getting a picture of this piece as there are translucent layers that seemed to be vying for the camera’s auto-focus and most of the results were fairly blurry. If you haven’t seen encaustic work, go check it out. The medium is as versatile as there are artists to use it, and when the layering effect is captured, it can add a subtle beauty to a piece that is difficult to achieve in any other way.
In many examples I have seen, there is a brightness to the work as light bounces down through the layers and then shoots right back out from the surface. For my effort here, I chose a more moody quality. The piece is filled with shadow and a murkiness which fit my intent perfectly.