About Art: New Beginnings


As 2016 draws to a close we look forward to the new year beginning. In 2017, we will celebrate our country’s 150th birthday and no doubt there will be lots of opportunities to showcase art..

Galleries are packed with paintings, visually capturing moments through time and documenting the people and places in our nation. Many homes are fortunate enough to have works of art passed down from generation to generation reflecting their individual family’s roots or places of origin. Art can bring us together in deeper appreciation for the richness of diversity across the nation and the beauty that is ours to enjoy.

Canada is a vast and beautiful land that can provide endless inspiration and strongly influence our artistic preferences. Often what I paint is decided by commissioned work of subject matter others request or by themes of shows, competitions and exhibitions or by galleries requesting specific works and sizes. These days I seldom take time to create a painting just for me, but in 2016 I did just that.

An oil painting of my grandson, looking through a window was a joy for me to paint and continues to give me joy, not because of the workmanship, but rather how it speaks to my heart. I love this little guy immensely of course so love went in to every brushstroke. This painting reminds me to give thanks for daily blessings because time passes by so quickly and each day we are making history.

My husband and I are very fortunate to have our grandson, Elijah, accompany us on many of our vacations and he always brings fresh insight to every day. Two summers ago we visited Highland Village which is situated in Iona, Cape Breton.

The Highland Village is an outdoor living history museum that tells the story of Gaelic settlement in Nova Scotia. There are 11 historic buildings that represent different time periods with staff in costume presenting what life was like for the Scottish settlers from the mid 1700s through to the early 1900s.

Elijah ran ahead of us and entered one of the settler homes and was soon seen peering out the window behind a rather tattered lace curtain. He looked rather pensive, giving us pause for reflection as time is so fleeting. As you walk through this historic museum you are reminded of how much progress has been made through industry and technology, science and medicine yet the loves and lives of individuals are at every heartbeat of each fleeting moment.

A little child a hundred years ago could very well have peered out a window in that very spot. What were his hopes and dreams and how did his life unfold? How many people have stood on the land on which we now stand and now are gone and what have they left behind? Continuous reflection and evaluation of life and legacy presents itself to each individual as we all ponder our choices and actions. Every year we set new year’s goals and resolutions to better invest our time as each life leaves its mark on another.

To quote the words of the late American actor Danny Kaye: “Life is a great big canvas; throw all the paint you can at it.”

We have a fresh blank canvas before us as a new year begins, may we use it wisely, may our brushstrokes be bold and enlightening, enhancing the beautiful mosaic of our country by paying tribute to the past, appreciating the present and looking eagerly to the future.

Find the joy, give thanks and may 2017 be a masterpiece!

Janice Guinan is a local artist who passionately believes in the importance of visual art. Her About Art column appears each week in the Truro Daily News. Guinan also writes a weekly column for the Colchester Weekly News. Both can be viewed online at www.trurodaily.com. Contact her at janice@janiceguinan.com.