I am a “Grand Mananer”; I was born on Grand Manan Island and I live here. And for reasons that defy logic I am ridiculously tied to the place. Sure, I enjoy visiting other places, but I have often commented that my favourite part of any trip is seeing Swallowtail Light on my return. And others who live here have echoed the same sentiment.
“Swallowtail Welcome” is aimed at all ex-pat Grand Mananers who, as they approach our special Island, feel that same sense of belonging when the ferry rounds Swallowtail Light, signalling that the ferry crossing is almost complete, the journey is almost done, they are almost “home” (even if “home” on Grand Manan has not been reality for forty or fifty years).
“Swallowtail Welcome” depicts the lighthouse and its distinctive promontory as it would be seen from the ferry approaching Grand Manan on a calm sunny day. (As an aside, the person for whom I did this painting was particularly averse to ferry crossings in rough weather, so I tried to depict as calm as possible a sea in the painting)
And what would a welcome to Grand Manan be without a couple of seagulls to make it complete. If Grand Manan were to adopt its “national bird”, I think it would have to be the seagull, or “herring gull” to be more specific. Powerful, independent and graceful, gulls are beautiful to watch as they soar with little apparent effort and relish gale force winds so strong that other birds are grounded or forced to seek shelter in the trees.
And so, to all ex-pat Grand Mananers, who still harbour an illogical craving for this austere rock at the outer fringes of the Bay of Fundy, here is the perfect gift from one ex-pat to another, a gift that shows that you share this special understanding of a “Swallowtail Welcome”, a sentiment that the less privileged world without a tie to Grand Manan would never understand.