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It wasn't until this painting was completed that the title came to me. It was completed on December 24th, 2008 and when I looked up and out of my window in Gibsons I looked out onto a white, wintery world. We were just coming to the end of about ten days of record-breaking snows. Our community, and the entire west coast, was being held hostage by the ravages of a very unusual winter. This painting had helped me weather the storm. The actual act of reliving a magnificent spring fishing trip had provided a wonderful diversion for me. The exercise of painting it in the midst of a storm had been equally therapeutic. As I look at the painting it fosters fond memories both of the fishing trip that inspired it, and of the actual time I painted it. I'll never forget either.

My friend Fred Stark and I have spent a lot of hours together since I retired. Fred, like me, is also a retired Mountie, though he's many, many years older than me. We've explored back roads in his jeep, we've fished and camped together and we've paddled canoes for hundreds of miles on wondrous First Nations cultural journeys. We energize each other and our adventures always leave us wondering what's next. It seemed fitting that this painting is of Fred fishing from the shores of a place called Fish Lake.

In May of 2008 Fred took me for a one-week camping trip to a lake he'd fished perhaps 30 years earlier. It was aptly named Fish Lake. Located near Alexis Creek, BC, this pristine lake is the stuff of post cards. Loaded with beautiful rainbow trout, it is remote enough to ensure one's privacy. Our camp was a meager tent and tarp system and our home was the wilderness. By the time we left that lake, having eaten our fill of trout, I could only commit to one thing. Someday, I'll return to this peaceful, beautiful place. It had been a place of almost medicinal value. I was healthier driving out than I had been coming in.

When I got home to Gibsons I happened to be talking to a friend about where we'd been. It was then that I learned that the Canadian government had pinpointed Fish Lake to be filled in with mine tailings. The Conservative government of the time has assured us that any mining company who fills that lake in will have to replicate it elsewhere. As a politician responded to me in a letter "If a water body is going to be used to store tailings, then companies need to compensate by recreating the lost habitat." If you are the owner of one of these limited edition prints, I think it'll be a simple task for you to check on the Internet to see just what the demise of this beautiful lake is.

I know I'll be watching with interest to see just how any man, government or company can improve in their replication of this beautiful place that was for me - THERAPY.



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