Mica Topsheet Project: Meet Artist Ellie Rubincam

Summer has hit in Revelstoke, and while Mica Lodge is shut down for the season, the office is buzzing with phone calls for next winter. Between bike rides, soccer practices and climbing sessions in our beautiful backyard, the staff at Mica headquarters is reflecting on the season past and working to prepare for the exciting things that lie ahead.

The 2015/2016 season was another one for the books at Mica. We started off with record amounts of early snowfall and the bounty of winter carried us through early-April when we shut down. Deep powder days, bluebird skies, bonfires, dress-up parties and delicious meals were enjoyed by all.

Other highlights included a classical piano concert on Mount Dainard (Read more about this here) and welcoming five British Columbia-based artists for our inaugural artist residency series at Mica lodge.

The concept behind the residency was to provide the chosen artists with an experience that would inspire a unique piece of art. The art would ultimately become a custom top sheet for a few limited edition pairs of Big Bend Skis (handcrafted locally in Revelstoke BC).

Over the next few weeks we will be introducing you to our unique artist-friends and revealing the beautiful works that each of them created for the 2016 Topsheet Project.

First up is Ellie Rubincam.

Originally from Ontario, Ellie now calls Kimberley, BC home. For four years, she worked as a fire fighter for BC’s Ministry of Forests traveling to remote areas of British Columbia. The days and nights she spent on forested mountaintops inspired a passion for nature’s ruthless beauty. She was drawn to using wood in her artistic endeavors, starting with building wood canvases for her paintings.

Today, Ellie’s chosen form of art is wood burning, although her work features drawing and painting as well. 

When she picked up a wood burning tool for the first time, her love of detail was met with an appreciation for the medium's raw simplicity. The sepia-toned images that result from applying heat to a wood canvas can be seen to reveal what Ellie describes as “the perfect tension of life and death in the natural world”. 

Lucky for us, Ellie joined us late-January with a six foot wooden canvas and her tools in her backpack to contribute a custom wood burned ski graphic to the Topsheet Project. 

Over the course of a five-day tour at Mica, she worked day and night on her piece, squeezing in time for a few runs on her snowboard which she described as simply “unreal”.

When asked what inspired the piece she created at Mica, Ellie told us, “I wanted the piece to reflect what we search for when we enter the mountains. I’ve long been inspired by the ancient Mongolian rite of passage, in which a young person heads into the mountains to capture a golden eagle, returning home to train it to hunt with them.  This connection of human and the wild epitomizes the kind of adventure people come to Mica to experience.”

For her the best part of the experience was the connection with guests and the staff. “I was most impressed by how humble and good-natured everyone was. It’s incredible to be around so many highly skilled individuals that are without ego.”

Ellie adds: “I feel lucky to have been given the chance to create art in such an inspiring setting.  And to know that my artwork’s going to be getting a ton of vertical every year is awesome!” We feel lucky to have Eleanors intricate original to proudly display in our lodge for years to come.

 Check out more of Ellie’s fantastic work on her website (ellierubincam.com) or instagram (@coalfeather)