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Hurricane helps ‘witchy artist’ connect to the Earth


Renée Laprise stands next to some of the paintings she created and hangs up on her office wall. The self-described “witchy artist” is heavily influenced by her ancestry, life experience and connection to the land. Photo by Ezra Santana.
 

Renée Laprise (she/her) sat on her front porch in the summer of 2017 with sage in one hand and tobacco in the other.

She looked ahead. Hurricane Dorian was approaching. She waited.

Then the storm reached her house. The tobacco spiralled out of her hand and the sage was pulled upwards.

They were offerings she prepared after a Mi’kmaq friend spoke of the hurricane as a force of nature that was welcomed to the land.

The experience that led the 53-year-old self-described “witchy artist” to create her painting In Communion with Dorian is one of many that she says make her feel connected to the Earth.

“That makes me feel like a witch."

Even though she grew up surrounded by nature, Laprise solidified her desire to connect with the land around 18 years ago when she moved to P.E.I. with her family.

“The land calls you here. You can’t avoid it.”

Sometimes she takes her dog for a walk at the park, barefoot, to feel the land beneath her feet.

The co-creator of the Lovely Witches Club, a community for witchy types to get together and express their creativity to access their inner magic, once painted an image of a young girl wearing a big skirt made of feathers. She called the girl the “lovely witch.”

After deciding to impersonate the “lovely witch” for a photoshoot at the beach, Laprise merged her artistic side with the witch archetype.

“It’s not a big deal. It’s not scary. We’re not scary. We are just here to put good energies out there and make people happy.”

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Hey, thanks for stopping by!

My name is Ezra (they/them) and I’m an aspiring storyteller who is half-way through a Journalism and Communications program at Holland College, P.E.I. 

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