Susan Fahrni – Savouring this Corner of Our Amazing Planet
Savouring this Corner of our Amazing Planet
As a painter of my natural surroundings, I want to more than merely capture an image. Creating in a realistic style is more challenging than most might think! Photography is part of my process, which permits me to examine and select multiple perspectives of a subject. This allows me to develop a layered approach to my acrylic paintings. In the past twelve years, my art has depicted mountains, wetlands, forest, lakes, wild flowers, and some of the creatures who inhabit these areas. Even though I strive for truthfulness to my chosen subject, I very much want the viewer to sense the spirit and vitality.
To keep my work dynamic I follow and study a number of artists. I study how great paintings work and then adopt these principals. Experimenting with an assortment of brushes, ranging sizes and shapes of canvases, top quality paints, and varying the viewpoint from which I compose a painting, keeps things fresh. As I work, I am in a zone. My work connects the viewer to my love and deep bond with the natural world.
I have loved the Columbia Valley and all the natural aspects of it and the surrounding area since a child. I feel it is both an honour and a responsibility to capture it on canvas. To me, canvas gives this world a permanence that mere photography cannot.
Join me in savoring the corners of this amazing part of our planet as you take in my paintings…
I love turtles!! Seriously. I almost called this painting “I Love Turtles”. The Western Painted Turtle really grabs at my heart. To me they are such symbols of fortitude, endurance, and patience. There is something very calming about seeing them sunning on warm days.
Turtles descended from reptiles over 200 million years ago and some live to be decades old. No wonder they are associated with longevity and ancient wisdom. Today their habitat is threatened by human development and behavior. Their very survival speaks to their persistence.
As cold-blooded creatures they need to rest in warm places in the sun to warm them and conserve energy. Fun fact: You might see a turtle resting on a sunny log or rock but the legs on their shady side are pulled inside the shell.
Perhaps we all should be more like turtles!
The Lake of the Hanging Glacier is breathtaking in any season but the “turning of the larch” brings it a special nostalgia. To me it hints at both the glory of the halcyon days of summer in the mountains and the impending fury of the winter to come.
The colour of the lake changes with the light but my favourite is this extraordinary blue. It was difficult to capture but I settled on a blend of Phthalo Blues and Greens.
I love the sound of the flocks of Red Wing Blackbirds as they arrive in Spring. Some are just passing through while others will take up residence in the wetlands. Their chorus tells me that the next season has arrived not according to the calendar but by their presence.
These trees were inspired by a photo my husband took on a hike up Bruce Mountain. They make me think of soldiers standing at attention facing the sun as their commander and awaiting their orders to drop their needles and prepare for winter.
This lovely basin holds a myriad of small tarns and has the most incredible alpine flowers to be seen in one area.
The views of the Septet Range are spectacular and for the effort of climbing the ridge you will be rewarded with an incredible panorama of the Bugaboos.
This little painting was sparked by my imagining what lay hidden in the rocks. Is it some small insect or the mystery of how the crevice came to be? Perhaps it’s a note tucked in there for a friend or secret lover. What do you imagine?
Sitting on the east side of the highway to Golden, this old homestead has captured my eye many times. I chose to paint it in autumn as it speaks to the fading of both summer and of the building. Many of these old buildings are gone and I want to capture on canvas what I can before the stories they tell fade completely. Unfortunately this homestead has deteriorated greatly in the past couple of years and will soon collapse.
A forest fire seems like a traumatic and catastrophic event. In reality it is the catalyst for a new forest to emerge.
The greyed and charred sentinels of the old forest contrast with the vibrancy of the carpets of fireweed (Chamaenerion angustifolium) that cover the ground and give a place for young pine trees to emerge and become the first growth forest.
I love the symbol of hope and new life it represents.
I am the kind of hiker that savours the little things along the trail. This little mossy stream is one of those special spots.
I was inspired to try painting on black canvas allowing the colour of the canvas to be part of the painting. What I did not expect was the feelings of excitement and awe as the images came out of the darkness. It made the painting of this magical spot even more magical.
Cobalt Lake is nestled amongst the Bugaboos northwest of Brisco. Its stunning colour gives it its name.
It’s a long difficult hike with an elevation gain of 1900 ft (580m) at the start. A beautiful September day when the larches are beginning to change colour will make the efforts more than worthwhile. Be prepared for all kinds of weather as changes can sneak up from behind the peaks.
Beware the grizzlies. This is their country.
Our beloved valley spends much of its winter bedecked with heavy fog or cloud while up above the mountain peaks soar and capture the sun’s weak rays. Imagine soaring above the darkness to see the winter solstice’s rays colouring the peaks as it sets.