Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

An Artist’s Eye on Nature

by Neil Carleton

The 2013-2014 public lecture series of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN), Knowing and Caring Connect Us With Nature, continues January 16 with the 4th presentation, “An Artist’s Eye on Nature.” You are invited to attend.

Photo 1 Aleta Karstad Painting Green Grotto (478x640)

Above: Aleta Karstad painting “Green Grotto”

Bring along your curiosity and an appreciation for the world of nature to enjoy these lectures. We’ll be exploring the landscape of the region, learning about the wildlife that shares our environment, and considering how best to protect our natural heritage for future generations. Refreshments are offered at each lecture.

Painter Aleta Karstad of Bishops Mills will discuss her connections with nature through artistic expression. She prefers to paint outdoors, to see and feel the depth, movement, quality of time, and place that she seeks to communicate through her art. Her mission is to teach people to love the land and its inhabitants. Aleta will provide an overview of her plein air work with examples, and explain how painting outdoors helps her to see, think about, and be inspired by nature.

She and her husband, naturalist Fred Schueler, recently visited properties of the Nature Conservancy of Canada across the Frontenac Arch during the spring and summer seasons. Also called the Frontenac Axis, this is a 50-kilometre-long extension of exposed Precambrian bedrock that runs through southeastern Ontario and upstate New York from Westport, north of Kingston, to the Thousand Islands. While Fred conducted biological inventories on site, Aleta captured the raw beauty in her paintings. She will be showing and talking about her Frontenac Arch paintings, and selecting one to explain the stages in its creation. Aleta will have advice for beginners, and she’ll be happy to answer questions.

Joni Mitchell’s famous song lyrics, “… you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone,” about paving paradise and putting up a parking lot, remind us to appreciate our natural heritage. Experience appreciation from an artist’s point of view through MVFN’s next presentation, “An Artist’s Eye On Nature” by Aleta Karstad, Thursday, January 16, 7:30 pm at Almonte United Church, 106 Elgin St., Almonte. All are welcome ($5 fee for non-members). For further information please contact Cathy Keddy, MVFN’s Program Chair, at 613-257-3089.