Friday, January 15, 2010

Country Mouse City Mouse

"Rentrer au Bercail" 12x12" mixed media © 2009 Shayla Perreault Newcomb.
The inspiration for "Rentrer au Bercail" came from a blog buddy, Gwen Buchanan from Desideratum. Before painting that day, I'd seen her first comment since she'd been away for the summer. Of course I was happy she was back and thinking about what her blog means to me sparked this piece. These are to me the colors of Fundy when the sand is wet and the sky is grey.
Gwen lives in romantic, sea-side, St. Martins in Fundy and her artistic country lifestyle feels like home. When I visit her blog, I'm curled up by her woodstove, with a hand made mug filled with something hot, and a chocolate chip cookie just out of the oven, with the chips all melted. Tom Waits plays on the stereo and her dogs nearby thump their tails on the floor. As Gwen tells me about her latest projects, the view of the Fundy coast on the way to the house and now glimpsed out the windows gives a profound sense of peace.
I like our city home and I am loathe to move. I love walking down the street to the library. I love that there are 12 galleries/ museums all within walking distance of my apartment and that the Artist Center and the Theatre are across the street. Having moved many times I'm now torn between that sense of peace from country living and the benefits of the city. An additional complication is that once you've lived by the ocean, it gets in your blood and in some ways you will always belong there.The painting above is a kind of country mouse/ city mouse story and "rentrer au bercail" means roughly 'returning home'.


Gwen Buchanan said...

ahhh.. I am honoured indeed..

...the emotions, "Place", builds inside us all...

Offerings surround us... no matter our abode...

Your painting is exquisite!

Margaret Ryall said...

I connect with this landscape Shayla. It is the same as where I live. I fully understand the pull of the ocean.

ArtPropelled said...

Beautiful painting Shayla! It certainly fits into my idea of Fundy.

When I first started reading Gwen's blog I imagined how wonderful it would be to explore her home as well as the coast you can see from her window. As you said "her artistic country lifestyle feels like home". Its the sort of background I would choose if I were to write a novel about an artist.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

A beautiful painting and you have captured the feeling. I live near the salt water and can never feel home unless I know its near by. When I go to the city I love the people, the events, all the richness. Both places have great benefits.

Tracy said...

Gwens blog and place of living sound idyllic! I go see... Your painting has a wonderful sense of presence and place, Shayla, a rootness in time and place. I can very much relate to your "dilemma" of country vs. city dwelling. I was raised in a rural place, eventually lived in a city, and now back to a smaller place with bonus of living near the sea! While I miss the variety of culture and certain ease of city life, this living near the sea has definitely gotten under my skin. But all places have their special attributes. "Home is where the heart can rest..."--words to a song I heard once. Very true, I think. Happy Weekend, my friend :o) ((HUGS))

jeane said...

beautiful description of your sense of your friend Gwen's life, or how you place yourself in it - your painting is lovely - rich colors :)

nancy said...

lovely painting,
i can feel the texture!

The Artist Within Us said...

Greetings Shayla,

Though we live in what was once rural is now more suburbia as the encroachment of new construction squeezes out what ever land is left.

THe link to your friends site and the landscape photos that are shared, including your beautiful painting, reflect what my soul longs for.

As I become older and older, I seem to wish to return to a simpler life, while hanging on to the laptop and Internet conection.

Thank you for sharing,

bridgette said...

wonderful painting, as always!

I am the same way. Since I turned 18 I have always lived in a large city. Now I live in a very large city- Chicago, but I long for the peaceful quiet of the country. I wonder though if I would miss the energy of the city though and all the cultural offerings. I love being able to walk a block to get coffee, food or other neighborhood treats. I know that one day we will probably make the move out to the quiet...But still, I am always torn.

picciolo said...

what great inspiration! I want to touch this painting, the foreground looks really tactile and textured, and I love the colours.
: )

DJ said...

Just returned from a weekend on the shore...watching dolphins swim just past the surf was both calming and inspiring, to say the least...
Perhaps everyone needs a house in several worlds...shore & & city...
If only!

M.Kate said...

Hi ya Shayla and a very belated Happy new year sorry for that ;P

I think I like living in the town..but no ocean here unfortunately...I do know my husband cant live in the country. At festivals when we go back to hub's village, it drove all of us nuts. so, it's town living for me but if you throw in the, that's something else.

Have a fab week

MiKa Art said...

This painting is so beautiful!

And thank you so much for introducing Gwen's blog- her place is super!!

Deborah Carr said...

Shayla, this reminds me of the winter marsh at Mary's Point, looking out towards Grindstone Island.

Debbie Rodgers said...

aahh - you've captured that pull between the city life and the country life perfectly. Now that I'm well into middle age, I'm in the country but there was a LOT that I missed about the city when I moved here.

Thanks for the beautiful painting. I'm not very familiar with the Fundy Shore, even though I live in Nova Scotia. This gives me insight into how those who have it in their blood see it.

Shayla said...

Gwen, I agree. There's an abundance in either area.

Margaret, yes, there's nothing quite like the pull of the ocean, is there?

Robyn, that's the sort of novel I'd enjoy reading ;)

Leslie, it's nice to know where to imagine you. For some reason I'd pictured you as a city girl.

Tracy, thanks for what you said about time and place. I feel you understand.

Jeane, thanks. Blogging sure stirs the imagination!

Nancy, it took a long time to dry to the touch because of all that texture. I had to keep digging cat hair out of it :D

Egmont, ah, suburbia. Paradise for many, though I've had difficulty feeling at home there. I know what you mean about that longing and you've got a good point. I'd keep my internet connection too.

Bridgette, I could sense that through your work. I think that's a big reason it's always resonnated so strongly for me.

Jane, thanks. Yes this had lots of texture. I collaged on paper made out of local marsh grasses.

DJ, that sounds wonderful!!

M. Kate, yeah, it's something else alright :) Glad to see you again.

Mika, thank you. Her place is pretty, isn't it.

Deborah, now there's a place I would like to visit this summer.

Debby, nice to meet you. I lived in Nova Scotia for 5 years and find quite a few similarities. That's one of the reasons I settled here. After Nova Scotia, I had to be near the ocean.