“Double Happiness” by Corre Alice
The year my dad died was also the year my lover and I split up. I found myself travelling in my van through the Kootenays. That’s where my brother lives, in the tiny town of Argenta, at the north end of Kootenay Lake. I ended up camping on his land, cocooned in my cozy van under stately pine trees just east of my brother’s abode looking down at the sparkling lake far below.
He gave me space to set up my easel above his wood working shop and I got busy processing the changes that had recently happened in my life.
In my brother’s shop I was able to build stretcher frames to whatever size I desired. Immersing myself in oil paint I chose intense colour and free forms danced across the canvas while I was chasing solace, trying to inject happiness into my being. A partial horizontal platform for stability, larger dark shapes for strength of character and joyful snippets of energy were some of the symbols I chose to try to change the way I was feeling.
‘Double Happiness’ is a reaction to strong sadness. I believed, at the time, that if I could control my thoughts and my beliefs, then I would be able to control how I felt, kind of like mind over matter. I worked hard creating art that supported that theory.
Painting after painting, I tried to force joy. Silly me. I now know that is impossible and have discovered a more compassionate approach to healing. By embracing all parts of myself in a gentle loving way, I have found it’s a much more efficient road to transformation. – Corre Alice