Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sunset in the Strait of Canso by J. Franklin Wright

J. Franklin Wright live on in the hearts of Port Haweksbury residents on Cape Breton Island, N.S.
This painting by him gives us good reason to see why.

When I look at the sunset work above, I find myself wondering what the media is. My guess is that this is a watercolour.

There is a  sense of timelessness about this work. The work has a minimalistic quality to it.
There is the sky, the sea, the hills in the background and the boats.  Take a look at it without the boats. Ninety percent of the picture lacks detail save for the softest inference of waves.
The result is an almost surreal, dreamlike quality.

Note too how the white of ferry boat, and the sails, share the same tonal values and hues as the sky, background, and sea.  Here is where art and psychology overlap.  Each of the elements become inter-related and depend upon the other.

Sky, water, and boats share an equal sense of belonging. People are equally home on the sea or on the land. 

The power of this work, for me, lies in the effective atmosphere which Wright was able to create.  Time is suspended and it has an existential quality about it. The only thing that seems to matter is my own relationship to the work. There are no other distractions. Is it a scene from a dream or from an image I would like to see?  Reality is blurred and I find myself hanging in the mystical glow of a timeless sunset.
Downtoeartart.ca gives this explanation of the work: 

"Down to Earth Art, and Mr. Wright have produced these canvas giclĂ©es from an original in a series of Cape Breton sunsets. The view is looking from Ship Harbour towards the Canso Causeway with the tour boat “The J. Franklin Wright”, which operates out of Port Hawkesbury and is owned by the Langley family, cruising through the Strait with all on board enjoying one of the areas famous sunsets. True to Mr. Wright’s unequalled mastery of the ability to actually produce light with brush and paints; the glazes used in this stunning painting cause the radiance from the sunset to illuminate in the evening...."

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