Thursday, June 23, 2011

Swallowtail Surf

My most popular print has been "Swallowtail Surf".  This is a print of my painting of Swallowtail Lighthouse at the northeast end of Grand Manan Island, as seen along the rocky shore to the north of the lighthouse.

 Perhaps the most striking part of the painting is surf in the foreground, swirling and crashing on the rocks.  I wanted for the viewer to almost smell the saltwater tang in the surf as it reaches up the rocky shore and flows back

This is a painting that I really enjoyed doing, even though it was many years ago.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lighthouse Note Cards

Lighthouses attract people.  If you look at tourism advertising, websites of coastal communities, the vacation pictures taken by visitors to coastal destinations, you will see the familiar images of lighthouses figure prominently.  Lighthouses connect people with their coast, with their seashore.  So this week I am featuring lighthouse note cards at my Etsy shop.

The note cards are reproduced from my original paintings of these lighthouses.  There are 12 cards in each pack, (two of each lighthouse scene) with 12 white envelopes, all tied up with string.

The lighthouses are all "down east" lighthouses, four scenes from Grand Manan, one from Campobello, and one from Maine.  Gannet Rock Lighthouse is located far out at sea, off Grand Manan, out in the middle of the Bay of Fundy:

Three of the paintings depict Swallowtail light from different views and different seasons:

Head Harbour Light on Campobello Island is known world wide as a lighthouse icon:

West Quoddy Head Lighthouse, near Lubec, Maine, is the easternmost point of the United States:

Altogether, these lighthouse note cards give a real seaside feel to the notes you might wish to write on the blank inside of the card.  Unique and attractive as a gift, this pack of note cards is just what you might want to surprise someone who loves the sea and sea coasts.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Print of Harvey's Haul-out

Last week I mentioned discovering a painting I had done in the 1960's.  As I looked at the painting, it seemed that it would make a good print, so this week I am featuring in my Etsy shop a framed print of "Harvey's Haul-out"

As I noted last week, I think the bright vibrant colours in the painting are quite appealing and the tan frame with cream liner really sets off the colors.

I have featured the print in 8" x 10" format, but if anyone is interested in a 5" x 7" or an 11" x 14" print, I would be pleased to frame one for you.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Surprise Visitor

During the opening of my show of paintings at the Grand Manan Art Gallery on Saturday evening, I had a surprise visitor show up.  As the crowd was thinning out, I glanced across the room and saw the back of this tall man looking thoughtfully at one painting and the next.  I thought, can it be?  He turned. It was! Peter Cunningham!

There he was, one of my favorite people, showing up from New York to celebrate my opening night with me.  Earlier this year, in email exchanges, I mentioned my show of paintings coming up early in June, and Peter said he had been planning to come to Grand Manan about that time, so if it worked out he would like to be there.  And here he was, to join Berneta and me at the show.

To tell you a little about Peter; not only is he an extraordinary photographer, but he has a genuine generosity and a passion for the positive, which makes him an unforgettable person, in a really nice way.  If the world had more people like him, the world would be more like it is supposed to be.

Although Peter lives in New York, where he has had his photography business since the 1970's photgraphing people like Bruce Springsteen and Madonna, he spent many of his growing up summers on Grand Manan and has a passion for the people and the way of life of this Island place.  And he likes to come back to Grand Manan and photograph the day to day lives and oft overlooked details of Island life.

Among my favorites of Peter's work are his "still films", slide shows of his work set to music.  If you enjoy applied creativity, take a few minutes to view the still films to soak up a real essence of Grand Manan life that Peter feels and conveys superbly.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Gallery Show

Well I finally gathered my paintings together for a show at the Grand Manan Art Gallery.  I had paintings grouped somewhat topically.  One wall might have been called "Steam and Diesel" and featured ferries of the past and present.  One painting was the Saint John River steamer "Majestic", and the other three were ferries that served Grand Manan: the Flushing that served from 1884 to 1900, the "Grand Manan III" that served from 1945 to 1965 and the "Grand Manan" that came into service in 1965 and is still serving our Island today.

Another wall could be described as "The Shipwreck Wall" which featured half a dozen of my shipwreck paintings.

The long wall of the gallery room had three groupings: in the centre were five lighthouse paintings:

On one end were sailing vessel paintings

And at the other end were paintings of sea birds and fish:

But a special surprise was the "1960's Corner" which had a few pieces of my work from the 1960's, which was quite fun, as it showed a different side of my artwork:

But what would be the point of this if people weren't there to enjoy, so it was great to see people wandering around and looking at the paintings and having a pleasant time chatting with one another.

The show will be in the Grand Manan Art Gallery until June 14.

Ferry "Flushing"

So I got this crazy idea a little over a week ago to do a new painting for my show at the Grand Manan Art Gallery, which opens this evening with a reception from 6 to 8 pm.  Since my work is part of the opening show which is featuring ferries to Grand Manan, I thought I would paint the first regular ferry, the "Flushing"

While this seems like an odd name, it was originally named for Flushing, New York.  In 1884, the Grand Manan Steamboat Company was formed with local capital.  Island men put up the money and bought the steamer "Flushing" to provide regular dependable steam ferry link between Grand Manan and the mainland, four round trips a week.  Despite the setback of a fire in 1886, this steamer served Grand Manan until 1900, when she was replaced with the "Aurora".

Not knowing the colour scheme of this steamer, I checked out some other New England steamers of the same era and figured that the "Flushing" might reasonably have been painted similarly.

So the "Flushing" will now hang with my other paintings at the show starting this evening.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Harvey's Haulout

On Wednesday I visited John Bleumortier in Fredericton to borrow my painting "Perseverance" to exhibit in the Grand Manan Art Gallery in my show there from June 4 to 14. He kindly loaned me the painting for the show. But while I was there, he took me into another room and showed me a painting I had done many years ago. As soon as I saw it, I remembered it, but quite frankly had totally forgotten about it until I saw it.

Harvey Bleumortier, John's father, had a boat repair business in Seal Cove. Boats needing attention would be maneuvered into a cradle which was winched up greased ways. I did this painting for Harvey and Queenie Bleumortier in 1966:

 As I looked at it again, I realized that I had a freshness and spontaneity to my painting back then which I may have lost to a certain extent in seeking to achieve technical correctness in rendering water. This was painted in oil on canvasboard.

Some of us who are a little older may remember Harvey. He used to stand, braced back, with hands on his hips, as the man on the right in the painting, which I think was fairly intentionally intended to be Harvey. John tells me that in the painting we have Harvey Bleumortier, his dad, talking with Russ Harvey, who was Harvey's partner in the business.

 Whether or not I intended the other man to be Russ Harvey, I cannot remember, but I well may have, and John is convinced that it is. As far as the boat is concerned, I cannot recall which boat it may have been, but by its colour, I might guess that it was a boat owned by Ed Thomas. Anyway, it was a pleasant surprise to see this painting again after all these years.

And you can be sure that I am certainly going to include it with the others in my show at the Grand Manan Art Gallery, which opens on June 4, with opening reception from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.