More than an art book, a travel book, or a history book, Waterton: Brush and Pen takes readers on an inspiring journey to a hidden paradise.
In Waterton Lakes National Park, where prairie meets mountain and lake mirrors sky, visual artist Brent Laycock and author Fred Stenson have found a lifetime of subject and inspiration. Waterton: Brush and Pen brings their work together in celebration of this magical place.
Ninety-one of these splendid and evocative paintings are reproduced here in full colour: from the quiet coulees and prairie panoramas of the foothills to the forest havens, alpine meadows, soaring peaks, and wind-whipped water of Waterton Lakes National Park. His introductory essay and comments on each painting give further insight into the creative process and the artist's deep attachment to his subject.
Accompanying Laycock's paintings are fourteen essays by Stenson, recounting his personal experience of the Waterton area along with reflections on the history and geography of this spectacular, out-of-the-way place. The central theme of his essays is the inescapable influence Waterton exerts on the life and dreams of the people who dwell in its shadow.
Laycock and Stenson are mature, recognized, and award-winning artists in their respective disciplines - and both grew up on farms where the Waterton Rockies beckoned from the western horizon. Waterton is a touchstone for their lives and art, a place of refuge, fun, awe, and adventure to which they have always returned. Their work is formed by independent experience of the same landscape - the harmonies between them are for readers to discover.
About the authors
BRENT R. LAYCOCK was born in Lethbridge, Alberta, in 1947. He received an M.F.A. at Brigham Young University in Utah. He has held many solo exhibitions across Canada and in the United States and participated in numerous juried group shows that have toured Canada, the United States, Mexico, Europe, and Japan. Laycock's work is represented in many important corporate collections, and reproductions of his work have appeared in many Canadian and international art magazines and books.
Fred Stenson has written sixteen books of fiction and non-fiction. Thing Feigned or Imagined: The Craft in Fiction is based on his experience as a writer of fiction and mentor . His cycle of historical novels, The Trade, Lightning and The Great Karoo have won and been nominated for many awards. The Trade (2000) and Lightning (2003) both won the Grant MacEwan Author’s Prize. The Trade also won the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction and the Edmonton Book Prize, and was nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Award and short-listed for the Giller Prize. The Great Karoo was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction in 2008. Stenson has been writer-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick, Grant MacEwan College, Calgary Public Library, the community of Whistler, and many other places. He has directed the Wired Writing Studio at The Banff Centre since 2001 and mentored in its writing studios prior to that. He has been the wit columnist at Alberta Views Magazine for the entire fifteen-year life of the publication. He has also written over 150 films and videos.
"Calgary artist Brent Laycock has painted hundreds of watercolours and acrylics of the landscapes of Waterton National Park, tucked away in the southwest corner of Alberta, where the mountains are said to 'jump out of the prairie.' This lovely little volume reproduces 91 of those paintings, accompanied by 14 essays by writer Fred Stenson, who grew up next to the park, on his personal memories of the area as well as its history and geography."
— The Globe and Mail
"Majestic beauty, Brush and Pen is a beautyful portrait of Waterton park . . . it is obviously a book born out of the creators' love of this place. Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to visit Canada's forth national park will join in their steadfast devotion."
— Fast Forward Weekly (Calgary)
"It's not often you thoroughly enjoy a book while hoping its readership will be limited. However, this is the case with Waterton: Brush & Pen. This ode to Alberta's quiet, dignified "other" national park - Waterton Lakes - is so awe-inspiring that one can't help but fear for the park's sanctity should word spread too far. So it is with some trepidation that I heartily recommend this book. It should go down as an Alberta classic, if for no other reason than its inspired collaboration of contributors: Brent Laycock provides the paintings, Fred Stenson the prose."
— Alberta Views
"Brent's watercolours are full of the movement and sparkle of southern Alberta and are a perfect partner to Fred Stenson's essays. Lyrical and assured, funny and frank, Fred's words capture Waterton's character in Polaroid clarity."
— From the Foreword by Lisa Christensen