A 3500 km train ride across a country with no Wi-Fi means there’s a lot of time for painting, and a lot of inspiration. “West” is a collection of plein air paintings. It is a portfolio of distance.

"Atop Sulphur Skyline, Jasper"
“Atop Sulphur Skyline, Jasper”

Hiking up a mountain with paint gear in a backpack meant I had to paint once I reached the summit. Sulphur Skyline was a beautiful trek in an area surrounded by mountains. And once I descended, the perfect place to go for a dip was Miette Hot Springs.

"English Bay Beach, Vancouver"
“English Bay Beach, Vancouver”

A beach by an ocean. I haven’t seen something like this since Karachi, where salty waves come straight from the ocean and sand stretches for miles. This was the beaches in Vancouver. And behind the water, silhouettes of mountains.

"The Valley at Whisler's Peak, Jasper"
“The Valley at Whistler’s Peak, Jasper”

Cupped in a valley, everything seems closer than it really is. I descended the other side of the summit and saw a place that I could only picture to be the Shire. Patches of snow still decorated the slopes of the mountain. An echo chamber, a place where somehow, bees persisted.

"Waterfowl Lake, Banff"
“Waterfowl Lake, Banff”

A lake with water so blue it seems unreal. The road between Jasper and Banff was full of these, but Waterfowl Lake stood out even from the hype of Lake Louise. A calm, clear lake empty of people. I dipped my toes in the icy water and let the hot sun rays bathe my shoulders.