1. New York City

New York City and the Old Tree sculpture by Pamela Rosenkranz
Photo by iStock

Manhattan offers a creative cleanse by immersing you in an environment that exudes so much artistic output.  I love to walk the city, starting with the High Line: the elevated pathway meanders through gardens designed by one of my favourites, Piet Oudolf, and contains some impressive public art. Last September, Pamela Rosenkranz showcased her awesome Old Tree sculpture there.

2. My Studio on the Weekends

Brent Comber's shop detail

I love arriving Saturday morning amongst the stillness of the equipment and the dustless air. I cherish the time I spend alone playing with new ideas or even chopping wood until dusk. It always takes me back to 25 years ago, when I started splitting wood just because I loved the sound and smell of freshly cleaved wood. As music streams through my headphones, I am reminded that all creative endeavours are connected by the act of doing, by playing.

3. Wine

Glass of rose wine in mans hand with sea view and sunset
Photo by iStock

I am constantly enjoying and discovering many delicious types of wine. I just had a wonderful zinfandel from Texas! Anything that speaks about place and culture and can bring people together in all kinds of settings is my jam.

4. Live Performance

Ray Lamontagne 2023 tour
Photo by Brian Stowell

It’s so impressive to witness artistry up close and in real time—like the difference between seeing a sculpture in a book versus in person. You witness it as part of an installation and it is no longer an inanimate object: it becomes something. Before I saw Ray LaMontagne at the Moore Theatre in Seattle in 2019, I had no idea how he played guitar, the pauses between the songs, how he leads into a song—you just cannot get that from an album.

5. Golfing

A beautiful golf course in the mountains
Photo by iStock

This is a game you can play your whole life and not get any better at (and still love it). I feel that guys are less likely to get together unless they have something else to focus on. This is the case with my buddies, and golf is our excuse to stay in touch with each other—and to stay in touch with our egos.

6. Ucluelet, B.C.

The Wild Pacific trail, Ucluelet’s famous 9km trail network.
Photo by iStock

Regardless of the season, this little remote hamlet with its rugged coastline always provides me with a quick reset. The sound of the ocean and the brisk, salty moist air is so refreshing. I always find something new in this ephemeral realm of nature.

This story was originally published in the March/April 2024 print issue of Western Living magazine.