The landscape of our minds

“Any landscape is a condition of the spirit”

This beautiful quote is from the Journal of Henri Frédéric Amiel. Short, powerful and somewhat enigmatic, it takes our imagination on a flight.

Even though I would not venture to explain it philosophically, this statement makes a lot of sense to me. Maybe because I’ve been looking at nature for a long time, and observing it carefully while painting, I have come to form my own intuitive relationship to this idea.

Whether in reality, in visual representation or in our imagination, the idea of the landscape lends itself to a projection of our spirit. Such a setting enables our unremitting thought process to pause and allow our minds to settle on an intricate leave pattern or the silent march of clouds in the sky. It is a world alive with multiple forms, textures, colors and spaces, offering an array of sensations. As it continually transforms itself, so can we acknowledge our own changes. Yet, under its ephemeral nature lies a sense of permanency that we can appreciate.

Thus, the outer landscape lends itself to the reflection of our inner landscape, much like a screen filled, not with thoughts and words, but with visual and sensory perceptions that speak directly to our souls.

Louise Jalbert, Foliage on Sky, 2017, Watercolor on paper, 3 x 5 on 7 x 11 inches