My Journey to Find Carl Ahrens

by Kim Bullock

It would be impossible to write the story of Carl Ahrens' life without dipping my hands in the Grand River, feeling the sting of the autumn wind off Georgian Bay, experiencing an Anishinabe ceremony, visiting the places he lived and worked and, perhaps most importantly, spending quiet moments perched in one of The Painter's trees.

Landscape was vital to Ahrens. As a novelist, it's essential that I understand this and attempt to experience as much of his world as possible. What began as a journey to find my ancestor transformed into an unexpected and deep love for Canada, the country that was so dear to his heart.

I've decided to share some excerpts from my travel journals as well as photographs of the places I visited on my search for The Painter. For privacy purposes, there are cases where I’ve elected to refer to people by first name only. Click on any link below to access that section of my journal.

Carl Ahrens (1862-1936)