Inspired By Nature
Sometimes you really have to dig deep to find what it is that makes your heart, your mind and your spirit soar.
And sometimes, it can be found all around you.
The potential for inspiration is truly all around us, and here in Canada - here in Peterborough - we are very lucky to have so much that is beautiful and exhilarating.
Gemini Award winning producer, and director, Ian Toews tells that story through many different artists who work with varying mediums in The Nature of Inspiration. I spoke with Ian about the documentary which airs on CBC this weekend.
DS: In this particular film, you go coast-to-coast, from Vancouver Island, to Southern Manitoba, Lake Temagami and Irish Loop, Newfoundland -- did you have a favourite spot?
IT: It seems like the more I visit in Canada, the more beautiful places I discover. I've been to the Northwest Territories, to Newfoundland, the Maritimes -- oh boy, it's really tough to identify one place.
DS: What about the Kawarthas? Do you have a favourite area in these parts?
IT: I had a really nice time in Haliburton at the Forest and Wildlife Reserve. It was really beautiful there. We went on the forest canopy walk.
*At this point, I had to look up the canopy tour, and I've since added it to my list of Things To Do Before the Zombie Apocalypse.
DS: I am amazed by the variation of art -- what is considered "art" and why. I'm no expert on the subject, but it's something that I've always found perplexing and fascinating. How does an artist know when they are finished a particular piece?
IT: I've asked that same question of many artists and there's a few that get very frustrated. I've had a few painters tell me that they've gone into a gallery after a dozen years and see a painting they've finished ten, twelve, eighteen years ago, and they want to take a paintbrush and make some changes. With experience and time you learn to discipline yourself. Art is reflective of a time and place in [the artist's] life and in the world, and that's as far as you can really go with it.
Photo: Painter Takao Tanabe in North Vancouver Island
DS: What inspires you?
IT: I think, again, it comes back to landscape and nature. And art, and contemplation. People get excited about iPhones, I'm far more interested in the finger that is used to tap the iPhone. It grows its own nail, if you cut it, it heals. It can grow hair. It's really an incredible instrument. The iPhone? Well, it's just a computer.
Photo: John Chalke in Saskatchewan's Frenchman River Valley.
The documentary, The Nature of Inspiration airs on CBC Saturday, August 4 at 6pm and again August 6 at 8pm.