About The Art and Artist

My Name is Kim Gravelle and I am an artst, muscian, boat captain, lover of trees. I live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and I also spend a great deal of time in Gatineau Quebec.

The Process of Creating my Beloved Trees

 I began drawing these trees almost 20 years ago. I lived in downtown Ottawa where there were, at the time, several art supply stores. Instead of taking lessons in art, I would go to the stores and buy and few supplies and experiment with them. I could go out several times a day, so I could buy one thing and then go back for something else to try later.

 

Somehow, I ended up creating this style of detailed drawing in copper and gold (brass) pencils and wax pastels. I say “somehow” because I have no recollection of the development process, at least while in the studio. I remember spending hours and hours drawing once I had created the style, I remember returning over and over again to the stores to find the perfect papers and boards to draw on, I remember trying other things, but I don’t remember the moments when I must have said something like “I like that, I’m going to do more of that”. Sometimes the creative process is a very different experience from the rest of life. 

 

I also remember working in many different styles, experimenting and trying many many different things, but the subject matter was always trees. For my entire life, since childhood, I have sought out forests and trees with which to spend my precious time. A major consideration in every move I have ever made has been the vicinity to a large park. When I have dealt with illness and injury and loneliness, I have always had a tree to make friends with somewhere.

 

 

About My Trees

My life has been largely spent in Southern Ontario, Canada. The part of the world where I largely spend my time also includes Southern Quebec and Northern Ontario, although I have travelled further including much of Canada. I have lived longest in Ottawa but also in and around Toronto and Peterborough and Gatineau.

While I have always always loved the trees around me, it is only recently that I realized how exceptionally wonderful our trees are in this part of the world. I only recently realized how the trees that I have been looking at all my life have actually shaped my artwork. In another location I may have been painting beautiful views of mountains, or lakes in the middle of the forest. Here, what I find most incredible are the individual trees that can be found just sitting at the front fo someone’s lawn, and then another next door, and another across the street and on and on it goes. I frequently go through the Arboretum of Ottawa, which is essentially a museum of trees in a park. In Toronto, not often noted for it’s nature but I assure you there are wonderful parks, ravines rivers and beaches, I have spent hours in the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery which is also a veritable garden of trees.

Over the years, I have watched these trees grow, change, and sometimes be damaged and die, or taken down because of illness and for safety. Every day I see my memory of one or two trees that I miss in my neighbourhood or in a park, even though it was one or two decades ago that it was gone. But I am also in absolute awe of how the younger ones grow and expand and become the big wise ones amongst us.