Joie Paré
The Art of Loving Nature

Morning Over Mulligan (2021)

White-tailed deer

Acrylic on canvas

48” X 30”

“available through the Federation Gallery -

I grew up fairly rurally and have always felt the pull of wild places. After moving to Westbridge, a much more rural area than my childhood, I have taken to wandering the mountains and exploring the logging roads that wind their way up the wooded slopes. There has been much logging in this area for decades, but the old cut-blocks create a fast growth of plants, shrub and deciduous trees that is a good food source for deer. They are often seen in these areas early in the mornings and late in the evenings. Autumn is the most dramatic time of year in the area with the western larch trees and other foliages change their colours before winter. One October, while looking for white-tailed deer, I drove into a logging area called Mulligan. I hiked this hillside one very early morning so I could summit the hill before sunrise. The colours of the season, the low sun creating shadows and stark highlights, the crisp clear air and the “cloudlife” created so lovely this time of year all inspired me to paint an epic view with much detail and challenges. To date this has been the largest painting I have done. I loved the different textures, from the soft, gradient sky to the harsh spiked limbs of the dead trees and windfall. The layers of colour and texture especially in the grasses and plants in the foreground. To paint such a long view from such a close foreground was a challenging but satisfying experience that at first was a little daunting, but I like to push myself to try new things. Sadly, I did not see any deer that day, but I put them in the painting anyway.