Exactly one year ago today I was deep cleaning our apartment before traveling to Europe with my husband to attend an artist residency in the fairytale town of Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic. I am so thankful I had this opportunity to get to create art and exhibit abroad. It pushed me and challenged me and introduced me to so many wonderful people. Looking forward, I am excited to have been accepted to a residency in Petrozavodsk (Петрозаводск), in Russia this spring. I love to travel and experience new places. And it is really amazing how art can connect people despite having different backgrounds. I also find spending time away always renews my appreciation for what I have at home: friends, family and a familiar landscape (and seascape) where I fit into and belong. Last week I was surprised by an unexpected package in the mail from a dear friend that I used to sail with in Europe. She had come across a random nautical chart of Victoria Harbour and decided to send it to me! I have enjoyed pouring over the details of this lovely, used map and it has made its way into my art. I have had extra time off this week and have been experimenting creating chart-inspired drawings of local geography. I have been playing with layering intensities of ink, mimicking the fluctuating submarine topography, AKA contour lines, of our local ocean floor. When I travel I find I gain a lot more from the experience if I am making art about those places, so I guess it is no surprise that this also happens to be true when at home. Reflecting back on this year, I see I have been doing a lot of thinking about place and belonging. Sometimes it just takes a little shift of perspective, a new point of view, of something familiar to give you a whole new appreciation.