In lieu of my #ManCrushMonday post, I’d like to do a little throwback using another popular hashtag, #WayBackWednesday (or if you’re looking at this tomorrow, #ThrowBackThursday).

Posting old pictures has become a craze of today’s digital generation. As we get older and our responsibilities pile up, it’s hard not to think back to the carefree times of our past – whether it is from our childhood playing on a playground, or two summers ago on vacation – the sense of nostalgia for easier times is real. Instagramming a photo with the hashtag #WayBackWednesday, #ThrowBackThursday or even #FlashBackFriday gives people a socially acceptable platform to reminisce with their friends about better days.

#waybackwednesday #brucebeach #happyplace #nostalgia #summer #sunset #wbw

#waybackwednesday #brucebeach #happyplace #nostalgia #summer #sunset #wbw

This is a painting I recently did for one of my oldest friends, Katie, as today is her 21st birthday. Growing up together in Aurora we did everything together; I could do a throwback post with her every day of the week (if that wasn’t completely obnoxious). But this post is especially sentimental as it is of one of the places we have the best memories from: her cottage on Bruce Beach, in Kincardine, ON. This beach on Lake Huron has some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen. My painting is done from the image below, which is a photograph Katie took a few years ago of the view of the beach from her kitchen. Although there are no figures in this image, the silhouetted trees amongst the incredibly vibrant sunset are an iconic image of Bruce Beach. By recreating this photograph as a painting, the wonderful memories made there are permanently on this canvas.

Original Bruce Beach Photograph

Original Bruce Beach Photograph

For the sake of the throwback, I had to create the painting from a photograph. But the way the artwork represents the time spent at the beach is what I find to be most successful. The amazing memories we’ve made over the years all came back to me as I was painting it. I realized that Bruce Beach is one of my many “happy places”. Everyone has a happy place. Whether it’s a physical location, a mindset, a memory or even a fantasy, there’s always that place that will make us happy. A place where you’re surrounded by the people you love without a care in the world. Or maybe it is a place where you find absolute solitude and peace with no one around. For many people, it could be a combination of many of the above. Sometimes we can only imagine this happy place, but at least we have the capacity to temporarily escape into our imaginations. People often look back at photos to reminisce on past experiences and bring back those feelings of happiness. Now Katie, and her family, can have this painting to remind them of the wonderful times that have been had at Bruce Beach.

Here are a few more photos from Bruce Beach:

2 5 3 8 9 6

Creating this piece has sparked my interest in travel artwork. Many artists will paint on site of locations that they travel to, rather than taking photographs. I hope to be able to have the chance to do this in the future, and share these works online for others to enjoy. An artist and writer that does an incredible job of this is Michael Kluckner. From Vancouver, BC, Michael has travelled throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, documenting his experiences through writing, painting, and drawing. Check out his amazing works here.


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