After such an eventful week, I took the day to stretch canvas and clean the house. It was so pleasant outside. I opened the windows and aired out the house. A little more, today, Winter lost his grip. We still have a lot of snow, but the air was mild and the smell hinted of Spring.
I am still trying to get the full story on the little abandoned country church that had its windows removed. It seems that this is a project undertaken by the local deanery to preserve elements of it and not the vandalism I originally feared. After a couple of days of phone calls, I hope I’ll know by tomorrow what happened and what the future of this beautiful place is going to be. The 120 year old wood building stands vulnerable to the weather at the moment. Abandoned in 2005, the image above is how the church interior appeared last summer. It does not seem abandoned in this image at all.
I only discovered this place 10 months ago, but, the experiences I had in this beautiful building, I shall never forget. Photographer Bev McMullen shot an image of me during my second visit to the location and my first time inside in August of last year for an article featuring my work. (See A08.pdf here for the photograph in the Muskokan). I was so floored by the light inside this church, I returned to shoot some more pictures for myself with the intent of painting them. That day I was a little under the weather, exhausted from the exhibition and all of the stuff that goes with an opening. After being inside the building for only a few minutes, I relaxed, felt incredibly peaceful – and well.
Despite the wam day, it was cool inside and the quiet filled the room. Far from an empty silence, the church was filled with the kind of feeling you would expect from such a place, but not often find. After finishing my shoot, I sat quietly in the same place where Bev photographed me and absorbed this feeling. I am not a religious person by any means – I prefer the term ‘spiritual’. This place was filled with Spirit.
The feeling stayed with me in the months following. Even with its adornments stripped, I could still feel that feeling last weekend. Hopefully, I can take that feeling with me, no matter what the outcome may be….
I have dropped my current projects (they were not moving forward with any success anyway) to start a painting I have been planning since that day in August. It is of a small part of this place as it was. I feel I need to paint it now.