The artist captures the beauty at a favourite haunt: Inside The Inside Passage

The artist captures the beauty at a favourite haunt: Inside The Inside Passage

Artist finds beauty Inside The Inside Passage

Gordon Henschel discusses a favourite area for artistic inspiration.

A play on words, the name of this painting is used to describe the thousands of incredibly scenic places fringing what we call The Inside Passage.

Every summer, as I paint on one of the beaches along our island coastline, it is a rare day not to see at least five or more cruise ships passing by, with tourists hanging off all sides. These are mostly folks who have never seen our coast and are astounded by the magnificence of an environment not to be surpassed by any other in the world! I can never see them passing by without realizing how lucky we are to be able to experience it in depth.

How wonderful to kayak out to the Broughton Archipelago, camp on one of the islets, smell and hear the music of the wilderness. This is just a small part of the Inside Passage, but a real taste of what the hundreds of inlets emanating from it are all about.

It is my back yard and my favourite place in the world to be. I love peeking in and out of the islands bordering the Archipelago that form a protective shield from the winds and waves coming down Queen Charlotte Strait.

They are unique in form and colour, unique enough that several years ago National Geographic did a documentary featuring the White Cliff Islets and surrounding area.

The sea life here seems more abundant with every kind of aquatic creature making an appearance. Sea lions are common here, with transient orcas in attendance looking for weaklings among the group. Thousands of gulls hang around to pick up the pieces and, of course, bald eagles need to be part of the entourage.

It’s hard to write about this area without sounding like a tourist brochure, but I’m hooked on it. We first saw Weynton Passage from the deck of the Queen of Prince Rupert on one foggy, foggy morning in 1971. In those days the port of call, coming down from Prince Rupert, was Kelsey Bay.

Today, close enough to my home to be there within an hour, the inside of the Inside Passage has been calling me ever since.

Gordon Henschel owns an art gallery in Nimpkish Heights. www.henschel.ca