Journey Upstream

“Do you listen to your unique navigation system that longs to bring you home? Like salmon and their amazing journey from river to ocean then back to the exact same river again to die. Traveling upstream takes trust and perseverance, uncomfortable at times though necessary to reach new levels. Yes, I ponder these things while I paint. I do! Deep diving happens in the painting process and it’s one of my most favorite things! This painting opened the door to a fresh path that I’m now exploring in series. I love it when that happens.

As this piece progressed, the upward movement within the composition beckoned ‘journey’. Fluid drips of paint amidst the calm blue greys of watery misty stone with a central path of flipping, warm color-fueled line and shape. And to attain this, I have to skillfully work quickly with the acrylics to keep the gradations fresh and especially to allow the rhythm of the painting to flow and not to become too thought out. I am a playful innovator. Patient too, as the layers need to dry a bit before fresh paint is applied. And the finishing touches can come as a sudden flash of what’s needed. Such as within this piece, I’d nearly completed it with brush work though knew it needed more. Coming back later to it, I improvised and used a scraper tool to achieve bold thin lines that added the punch the painting needed. I use intuition and that allows for unique choices, in paint and in life. How many journeys do we embark on before we realize they’re important life changers? I like to remind myself that any journey, adventure or technique can be a pivotal one and I like to live within presence so I can savor that. ” – Patty Ripley on Journey Upstream, available at The Avenue Gallery, Victoria, BC

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Calling In


Feeling the depth of water while staring longingly at it. The pull and the delicious invitation that brings you closer to look. Yes. I’ve been to many edges that open my eyes wider and bring me to a new level of experience. Had one this spring as we hiked in Mount Baker Regional park before the snow melt and hadn’t expected the trails to be … covered in snow! And again, last summer in the same area, had a whole lake in front of us waiting to be jumped into on a hot day. Or walking along the shoreline at Deception Pass as the coastal waters reveal themselves from the layer of fog, cedars at the ready on the shore of rock cliffs. 

Calling In is again a journey piece. Not reflecting a specific place, though reflecting those places I’ve been that impart the experience of living wholly. Feeling the air against my face. Feeling the rock beneath my feet. Branches against my arm. Mist surrounding me. Sun shining down in a broken way through forest trunks and branches. Hearing streams travel over rock. Eagles calling overhead. Slipping on moss and crunching on leaves and needles. Smelling cedar bark and tripping over roots. Choosing a small stone to return with to remember the day. 

Pouring paint and letting drips dry. Scraping into areas with fingers and tools. Brushing out a big expanse over and over with gradated washes of acrylic to attain the best layer to share. Choosing a vital warm color to pop some energy into an otherwise quiet area. Focusing vitality into one passage to bring the eye up to where woods meet water…or rock … or nature’s spirit. Again, contrasts of wide open space and active busier sections. Yin and Yang. Up and Down. Travelling passages. Life. ” –  Patty Ripley on Calling In; available at The Avenue Gallery, Victoria, BC