January 22, 2012
The natural rock formation known as Arch Cape is located along the Pacific coast and is 3.8 miles south of Cannon Beach, Oregon–in the extreme southwestern part of Clatsop County. For a few summers at the turn of the century ( ! ) I took my old Volkswagen camper van to various locations along the Oregon Coast, which is simply a watercolourist’s dream come true.
This painting has a story because I was so near the water that I began realising the tide was coming in. Not wanting to abandon things, I just kept at it . . . . until finally a big wave swept over my feet and dragged everything out into the surf! I was scrambling to rescue all my stuff. For that reason, this particular piece had to be done in the studio relying on my ruined attempt and the useful guidance of fellow painter E. J. Fitzgerald who helped me with composition and the treatment of the waves.
January 21, 2012
My mother taught one room school in Rosetown, Saskatchewan, in the ’30s. There was such an age difference between herself and her sister that my Aunt ended up being her student. When my mother had no choice but to keep her after school for talking back, that was the beginning of a lifelong distance between them. They got along–don’t get me wrong–but they weren’t ever the best of friends.
The notion of a one room school has always been appealing to me, personally. I would have bloomed in such a setting, and benefited from having both older and younger learning their lessons in the same room at the same time–(though probably not if the teacher had been my mother).
This painting, entitled ‘Schoolhouse Memories’ is based on a dream I had not long ago, of heading towards a building like this, in a setting like this, on a warm day at dawn, yet never reaching the front door.
It was in the Federation of Canadian Artists’ Open Show in April of 2010.
January 5, 2012
My home, Kamloops, British Columbia, goes back as far as 1811 when the first of several trading outposts were established, later to be consolidated under The Hudson’s Bay Company. The word, Kamloops, is native and means ‘the joining of two waters’ which refers to the dividing of the Thompson River into North and South.
This happens below the twin iconic mountains named Peter and Paul. The mountains of this part of the Interior are not the heavily-forested, jagged-peaked ‘Alps’-type mountains, but rather some of the most ancient mountains to be found anywhere. They are worn to the point where their cores are visible, and therefore feature few trees, much wind-etched character and wind-eroded, free-standing forms known as ‘hoo doos’.
At first I regarded Peter and Paul as barren and ugly. Four years later, I’m continuously fascinated by their craggy power and rawness. Like Jerusalem and the Old City, our mountains turn golden in the setting sun and their surfaces mirror the face of the sky.
My first venture into depicting Mounts Peter and Paul was done with trepidation. These are exceedingly difficult subjects because of their rocky nakedness and unusual markings. On a dull day they simply look like the leftovers of a beach-washed sand castle, and what I needed to do was capture their spirit when worshipped by the sun and caressed by the moon.
another in moonlight . . .
Still another painting of Peter and Paul was done from their rear, featuring Fort House which is the subject of a moonlit snow scene earlier in this blog . . .
And then there is this dramatic depiction of Peter and Paul in the height of summer . . . .
The only one still available is this last one. But definitely there will be more in the works!