I'm not sure what words to use to describe the artist I'm to introduce to you today. He is a man of many, varied, talents and I'm hesitant to label him solely as an artist. I chanced upon Mick Canning's work when I was searching for art covering Indian doorways. One look and I was hooked! I read on, and finally mustered up the courage to request an artist profile, because I simply had to share!!! Mick was kind enough to respond immediately and here's what I found out about him...
Not only is Mick a photographer and an artist, his day-job is that of an outdoor instructor --"work" involves climbing, canoeing, navigating, and he's hoping to set something up in Ladakh one day!!! I also suspect that there's a writer lurking somewhere underneath as well. I'm sure you've all read "Seven Years in Tibet" and "Three cups of Tea", now just imagine what happens when you send an artist (he didn't know he was one till he got there!) to the roof of the world. Here's how the forces shaped him and how his art emerged.....
Mick, on inspiration: " I developed my artistic style as a response to my first visit to India over 20 years ago. I was so knocked out by the place that I was trying to find some way of expressing my feelings, which neither poetry or prose managed to do.
I have had a little formal training since then, but am largely self-taught. The semi-abstract style that I use was developed to attempt to depict my impressions of first India and then Nepal. I now use photography more and more, as I learn more about it."
That's pretty amazing for a self-taught artist don't you think?
"The Mists of Time".
"Monsoon". This has to be one of my favorites..I love how he's captured the downpour here....beautiful!!
I love how he turns the ordinary into something so beautiful!
He is also a professional photographer...his photographs are a work of art in themselves; This is how he views the world, probably the reason his paintings are so evocative....
Gompa, just below Leh palace, in Leh.
and this breathtaking view.......
"Roof of the World".
His description of the plane ride to Ladakh had me in splits (it sounds very much like the ride described to me by my dad...he had served in Leh when he was younger.)
"Prayer Flags". Darjeeling.
Monastery at Darjeeling.
For all you art aficionados and travel buffs, his website covers travel and art from all over India, Nepal and Oman; I just chose to focus on his Indian paintings. When you have the time, I would strongly recommend that you grab your favorite cuppa and head on over to his website and really read the entries in his online journal......you'll see what I'm talking about!! I'm going to leave you with an excerpt from his website, describing how Ladakh moved him (I'm sure this will have you clicking on over faster than I can say "interwebs"...:) )
"Later, I’m walking around the market. How strange to go around market stalls and shops in India, not getting pressured and hassled at all. Even by the Kashmiris! At times it seems almost unreal. You wonder whether suddenly it’s all going to crash around you and normal India will be resumed as soon as possible. The longer that you spend here, the more laid back you become. I don’t think you can help it! Everyone strolls around smiling and Julay-ing you and each other. I know that Ladakhis consider it the height of bad manners ever to lose one’s temper, but it really does seem unreal. I think it would be easy to just sink into the ambiance of it all and find you’d suddenly missed your flight out and had overstayed by weeks, or months…All pictures courtesy of, and copyrighted to, Mick Canning. Mick is based out of Tunbridge Wells in the UK. Several of the paintings featured above have already been sold, but a few are still up for grabs; at his website, you will also find links to a series of greeting cards featuring his art.
Andrew Harvey said, and I’ll have to paraphrase because I can’t remember the exact quote, ‘The wonder of Leh is that there is absolutely nothing to do. Nothing to do except slow down, switch off and just observe. Just be.’ I understand that, now. I realise that that is what I have been doing the last few days without realising it. It was only three mornings ago that I was feeling jaded, by golly!"
Mick, Thank You for sharing your world with us!!