Fern was a dedicated, poetic visual artist. From Africa to Mexico and spanning the Rocky Mountains, Fern worked in a number of media throughout her career.
Fern’s things – prints and paintings – conjure pictures of places where sensations are always new, where everything exists in a reverie of endless beautiful flow. For Fern art poured out of daily life.
Her characteristic light touch and adept use of bright color combined with her poetic sensibility to offer the viewer not only a literal view but also an intuitive interpretation of the landscape. She painted plein air, often for extended periods of time, returning to the same spot to capture the varying nuances of that particular scene. On the days she could not be out painting Fern finished the works in studio.
Originally from Coaldale, Alberta, Fern Langemann lived and painted in many parts of the world, including Botswana, Central America, and Australia. The work in the gallery covers a good portion of a full-career in the arts, which included being a well-loved educator. Little known block prints are alongside oil and acrylic paintings.
There is exhilaration, a joy in looking and experiencing the moods and seasons of the land.
The disciplines of painting and drawing allow me to rediscover nature. I communicate my love of the land through the lovely language of color, form, line, and pattern. Paint and brush, instead of words, are how I say the land is important. They allow me to share my ‘inner landscape’, my way of seeing, and my response to place.
Painting is a bridge.
I realize the extraordinary when I draw and paint the ‘ordinary.’ I experience a joyful awareness of the amazing nature of things. This is a source of pleasure and replenishment. I have to create; it is an essential part of my life.
R. Fern Langemann
I planted Glads because you insisted
every day I checked the planters
to see if they were growing yet
when they broke the surface
pressed their green against
the consciousness of my backyard
I rushed to the phone to tell you
but you weren't there to hear
you were in the hospital by that time
when you died before they bloomed
I wanted to pull them out.... leave dead dirt
they open flower by flower in brilliant colour
each a word I would have said
~ Bob Stallworthy
This poem was first published in Modern Morsels, Selections of Canadian Poetry and Short Fiction, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 2012. This is part of the i Lit series created for High School students.