by Jessica Krecklo Naidu
As the Toronto Botanical Garden’s Urban Ravine Symposium approaches, LUNA artists have been creating art inspired by Wilket Creek ravine to exhibit. Over the coming weeks we will share a few of these works here, along with some reflections on the pieces and the process of creating them. Watch this space!
In this small painting, I wanted to capture a quiet, snowy morning in the ravine. My reference photos were taken at a LUNA meet-up in early March during a light snowfall. The overcast sky gave a muted quality to everything. I found it interesting that the dull light that morning made it difficult to see much detail in the trees, instead creating huge masses of snow-covered branches and tree trunks. It was hard to see where one tree stopped and another began. Add in the topography of the ravine with its many levels, and it was an ethereal setting.
When I was working on this painting, I chose to avoid too much detail. I wanted the viewer to focus on the forms of the trees and the overall landscape rather than get caught up in individual tree limbs. I found that using dashes and lines for the trees helped direct the eye around the painting without focusing on one area in particular, and the muted colour scheme united the various elements. I also wanted to include those small sections of red and blue because, during the winter, the smallest bit of colour seems so intense in contrast to all the white and grey around it. As well, I liked how it looked to keep some bits of birch board surface unpainted to echo back to the trees that had so inspired me, and to add some dimension to the painting.
Having once again visited Wilket Creek ravine this weekend in the height of summer, I was fascinated to see how lush and vibrant the landscape has become. I plan to do two more paintings showing the ravine in the spring and summer, so that the three pieces show a range of experiences in this complex and always changing ecosystem.
To see more of Jessica’s work, please visit her website and Instagram page:
Registration is open for the fourth annual Urban Ravine Symposium at Toronto Botanical Garden, please follow this link to learn more: