A River Runs Through It - The Bow River with Grace

Grace at The Bow River, Can­more, AB

I lis­ten to a lot of movies while I’m painting.

I’m more famil­iar with the sound­tracks than I am with the imagery.
I’ve got my eyes on the palette and the can­vas while my thoughts and my ears are on the soundscape.

There is so much rich­ness in the audi­tory nar­ra­tive. The clink of a teacup on a saucer, run­ning brooks, rat­tling papers.….I’d have loved old-tyme radio where my visual imag­i­na­tion could be free to run it’s wildest course. I love writ­ers who can weave a story that stirs my heart and touches my soul. I wish I were so gifted with this talent.

The Artist's Daughter - ©2012 Janice Tanton. Graphite on paper. 18"x14"

The Artist’s Daugh­ter — ©2012 Jan­ice Tan­ton. Graphite on paper. 18“x14”

One of my favourite movies is “A River Runs Through It”. Made in 1992, when my old­est son was just a baby, this poetic Mon­tana story sends shiv­ers down my spine with this beau­ti­ful quote in the open­ing moments of the film:

“All good things.…..come by grace.…. and grace comes by art.… and art does not come easily.”

How can you not love that? How can that not inspire me again and again to make art?

Another “love” from this same grace­ful movie.…

“The Lord has blessed us all today. It’s just that he’s been par­tic­u­larly good to me.”

Robert Red­ford, as Pres­i­dent and founder of The Sun­dance Insti­tute is quoted as say­ing, “Sto­ry­tellers broaden our minds, engage, pro­voke, inspire and ulti­mately, con­nect us.”

“We can love completely.…without com­plete understanding.”

My heart­felt grat­i­tude to Nor­man Maclean (d. 1990) who wrote the story that Red­ford directed a whole twenty years ago about an age when my grand­fa­ther lived. The time­less grace of this nar­ra­tive has guided me through many art­ful paint­ing moments, three chil­dren, three moves and three careers.….… and the river con­tin­ues to run through it.

“Now, nearly all those I love and did not under­stand in my youth are dead, but I still reach out to them. Of course now I am too old to be much of a fish­er­man and now I usu­ally fish the big waters alone although some friends think I shouldn’t. But when I’m alone in the half light of the canyon, all exis­tence seems to fade to a being with my soul and mem­o­ries and the sounds of the Big Black­foot River and a four count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise. Even­tu­ally, all things merge into one…and a river runs through it.

The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the base­ment of time. On some of the rocks are time­less rain­drops and under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.

I am haunted by waters.”

…and I am haunted by waters & barns.

William's Ride - ©2011 Janice Tanton. Oil on linen. 40x72

William’s Ride” — ©2011 Jan­ice Tan­ton. Oil on linen. 40x72

  • Cori Brew­ster

    Couldn’t agree more…and a River runs through me every day.

    • http://www.janicetantonblog.com/ Jan­ice Tanton

      Yes, Cori! I was think­ing about you too when I wrote this. And might I just say.…what a beau­ti­ful River you have there.