Originally from the maritime province of Nova Scotia, Afton Brazzoni has a deep connection to water and rugged landscapes. Many of her works are inspired by the Canadian Rockies where she lived for almost 10 years with her husband, two dogs and two cats. “I’ve always been drawn to nature,” she told Creative Boom. “Its majesty and magic, silence and stillness. Days spent exploring the beaches and forests of Nova Scotia as a child turned into a decade of exploring the trails of the Canadian Rockies in my twenties. I first captured these beloved landscapes through photography. In recent years I have begun to translate my images into paintings.”
Working with oil on canvas, Afton aims to convey both the grandeur and detail of nature in his art. She describes her style as largely realistic and similar in color and composition to her reference photos. “The process of revisiting some of my most treasured moments in nature through painting brings me joy, and I hope to convey a sense of peace and awe in my work,” she says.
Watching Wandering With Winston, we see stunning rolling landscapes decorated with the autumnal hues of local trees and foliage, bursting with soothing forest greens, oranges, and reds. “Many hikers in Alberta are captivated by the golden larch trees and the magical atmosphere they create in the mountains and I feel the same,” says Afton. “This painting was inspired by a photograph I took while hiking the Pocaterra Cirque trail in Kananaskis with my dog Winston during our first season of hiking together. Spending time in nature with my dogs makes me happy. brings the greatest happiness and peace to life. The painting draws viewers into a larch forest full of depth and showcases the many variations of the surrounding mountains, all under a sky perfect for an autumn hike.”
Elsewhere in his painting titled Alone, we see a lone tree against a stormy sky. “I believe we all need to learn to be alone and overcome the emotions that this state of being can bring,” she explains. “This painting was inspired by a photograph I took at Grande Pré National Historic Site in Nova Scotia ten years ago in 2012.” It is a special place for Afton, as she visited it every fall as a child with her parents and grandparents. “The way the tree stood alone in the landscape captivated me when I photographed it, and it still enchants me today,” she adds.
In Alpine Gem we see a painting inspired by an 18 kilometer round trip hike through the wilderness of Banff National Park. “It has its rewards when you reach Healy Pass,” she says. “In this beautiful mountain pass, the fields are bursting with vibrant red, purple and yellow wildflowers in July. This is one of the most memorable hikes I’ve ever done for the terrain and scenery. On this day- there my cousin was visiting from Nova Scotia and accompanied me on the hike, it was wonderful to share the local scenery with her.
In Quiet Morning Drive, Afton says winter mornings are a time for quiet reflection. “The day I took this particular route along the winding Bow Valley Parkway in Banff National Park, the iconic Castle Mountain was silhouetted against a blue sky. I liked a sunrise scene. This was my first foray into deviating from the original reference photograph, as well as my first winter scene. Hope you enjoy this little part of the National Park of Banff as much as I. The Bow Valley Parkway is a beautiful drive and a great place for wildlife viewing, hiking and cross-country skiing.”