Thursday, September 29, 2011

Toronto Artist Rediscovers Art Following a Stroke

Toronto Star staff writer, Debra Black tells of Toronto artist John Newman who suffered from a debilitating stroke and discovered that he was unable to use his right hand. Black began reworking his left-right wiring system and changed to become skilled in drawing using his left hand.

To read this article, please click here.

Beaver Hall Revisited



Ah,  they were feisty women painters, and they called themselves the Beaver Hall Gang. Well, Beaver Hall Group, actually, Beaver Hall Hill being a street in downtown Montreal where they had a studio at #305 during the 1920s. Most had studed at a local Art Association school that became the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, where William Brymner taught them to go with modern art, and they did.

Extracted from The Dali House. To visit the complete article, please click here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fields, Normamby Township, 1936 by Carl Schaefer



Carl Shaefer is accredited with painting this work in 1936 - the same year that Paraskeva Clark painted her wheat field.  While similar in subject, they both have profound differences.

Shaefer's wheat field takes place on a much more level playing field and unlike Paraskeva, his field sits comfortably within its environment and it repeats itself into the horizon.  Paraskeva's work had a defined statement that the crop had dominion over those who farmed it.

Notice how Shaefer gives man dominion over the land.  The barn sits near the centre, along the horizon, and the rows of wheat run towards it like rays of the sun. Shaefer also has a clunkier style which gives his work the suggestion that the woodlots are subject to the design and control of human hands. Also, Paraskeva's trees and wooded areas are much greener than Shaefer's. The colour of the wheat field is picked up by the surrounding trees and woodlots.

Its interesting to see, how his blanket of wheat is stitched by fence lines into a sort of pastoral unity.  And, if we look at this in a social context, it reflects a somewhat homogenous society where people share common attitudes and belief systems.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

And the Winner of HMS Terror is.........................

The article below posed the question, "Who was the unknown Canadian purchaser of HMS Terror?" It was sold at an art auction in the UK.  I suggested one option that the painting might have been purchased by a branch of the Canadian Forces.  (It would have looked pretty good hanging in the Officer's Club on University Avenue, in Toronto)

Well, dear readers - the cat is out of the bag and the winner of HMS Terror is:

                         The Canadian Museum of Civilization


The Montreal Gazette reports that  Dan Morrison, a specialist in Arctic archaelogy at Canada's main history museum says, that HMS Terror was a "Ship of enormous historical significance for Canada."

To read this article, please click here.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Where's The Terror gone? - re presented from Sept. 20th


 


This blog entry was re-presented, since the picture overlapped its borders. The answer to the querie it poses, will, be posted tomorrow.

How is this for a watercolour?  The painter was 19th century English artist and explorer Sir George Back. Back, commanded the HMS Terror in 1836, and we can presume that this scene depicted the Terror, in the Canadian Arctic.

Randy Boswell of the Vancouver Sun writes:
HMS Terror and its sister ship, HMS Erebus, have been in the news this summer because of a Parks Canada-led search for the wrecks of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition.
The two vessels, then under the command of Royal Navy commander John Franklin, became locked in sea ice and were abandoned near King William Island in the late 1840s, eventually slipping beneath the waves in unknown location.
Apparently, the painting recently sold for $60,000 in a public auction in England to an unnamed Canadian Institution.  Interestingly, Back's descendants didn't even know of the existence of the work.  


Its a pretty dramatic watercolour work. Its painted in a minimal palette and the struggle between the hot and cold colours parallells the dramatic struggle taking place it in the work.


The mystery behind the purchase lies in the fact that the "Canadian Institution" which bought it, remains unidentified.


Ok. Ladies and Gentlemen its time to place your bets?  Who is the phantom purchaser?
Hmm.  The National Gallery of Canada. (Not likely for they have no need for secrecy). How about, The Royal Canadian Navy? (Possibly, for they wouldn't want to advertise public money being spent in this way).  Hey, it might look pretty good hanging on the wall of the Officer's Club on University Avenue, in Toronto.


To read Randy's column, please click here

Friday, September 23, 2011

William Barker, Canada's Most Decorated Serviceman is Formally Recognized in Toronto


Billy Barker. the forgotten WW1 flying ace was honoured yesterday in Toronto's Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

Wikipedia reports that Barker was the most decorated serviceman in the history of Canada and in the history of the British Empire and Commonwealth. Please click here. 

Reports tell of Barker's only lost sortee came when he was attacked by 15 German aircraft. He managed to shoot down 4 of the enemy craft, before escaping after being wounded. It was his only lost battle.

The story of Barker, sliding into relative anonymity is, in some respects, an archetypal Canadian story.  Radio reports today tell of Barker's interment in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto being attended by about 50,000 people and a fly past. . But, yet in a few short years he became all but a memory.

Barker is accredited to being the initiator of the Toronto Island Airport and he served as the first president of the Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey team. He and Billy Bishop created Canada's first airline and he flew the first commercial flight into the States, from Canada.

The media leaped to life today with an abundance of reports which can be readily found by search engine.



The picture at the top left in this posting, appears to be of a statue of him, found in his birthplace of Dauphin, Manitoba.  Please click here. I find myself like many artists wanting to know who the sculptor is and if he/she was appropriately recognized.  Any reader response to this query would be appreciated.

To see the unveiling of the Toronto memorial, which was appropriately veiled with a parachute hanging over it. please click here .

The video is presented by the Toronto Sun and is accompanied with article written by Jenny Yuen.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Canadian Sunset by Greg Freedman






A Canadian Sunset, by Greg Freedman seems like a good way to illustrate the waning of our summer season.

There is a simple, directness about this work. We see a flock of Canadian Geese, flying over a large city.  We see the sky, hills in the background and inlets of water. While it may seem that that is about it, there is much more to it – much more.

This is a sense of change at play here. The city below, either has its lights turned on and is preparing for night – or it will soon turn them off as a new day begins.  The geese are flying over an alien environment – either towards the south where they will winter, or towards the north where they will summer. 

There is a lot of contrast in this work, and this heightens its sense of drama. Seven geese over a large city.  There is the play between dark and light, night and day, and the simple beauty of nature over the city below. Greg’s minimal palette emphasizes the contrast.  The broader the variety of colour – the more our visual sense is distracted. I also like the way Greg uses his complimentary oranges and purples to maximize the dramatic power of colour. It makes the picture leap into life and demand our attention.

Greg paints the geese from the dark, shaded side. When you look under the geese  you see the city spread out in a blanket of light.  Interestingly, we see the geese, but we don’t see any people. We see indicators of human life, but we don't see life itself.

This is a work of freedom. The geese dominate the canvas. They dominate humanity, and they dominate the sky. The even fly over the city. On a natural progression we see nature surviving and carrying on irregardless of what mankind does.  They do what they have always done. They are answering, their inbred, genetic, call of life. They are flying towards the light of life.

The viewer cannot help but feel the respect which Greg has for the power of nature.  His seven geese let it be known that no matter what empires we build, no matter how big our tumorous cities may be, in the end, nature can crap on it all and still survive.

Greg’s scores big points for this work.  If you wish to see more of Greg’s paintings please click here  or here  to visit his websites.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Captain Greg Freedman - West Coast Artist


Joseph Gregory Freedman was born in Los Angeles in 1950. In
1970 he moved to Vancouver and started working for Seaspan, a Vancouver based tugboat company. Inspired by the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, Freedman taught himself to paint and, for thirty
years the waterfront and the easel divided his attention then,
in 2001, he retired from Vancouver’s SeaBus commuter
ferries and finally took-up painting as his full-time career.
Vancouver Sun columnist, Denny Boyd, referred to
Freedman as “The West Coast’s answer to Alex Colville.” But artist/educator, Gordon Smith, insists “Freedman doesn’t follow fashion, he doesn’t copy anybody. That’s very special in
Canadian art today.”In a feature article in NUVO magazine entitled; Celebrate the Salt -- Paintings by JG Freedman, author and CBC personality, Jurgen Gothe wrote, ‘... there is a strong
specialness in all he paints, a strong and clear-eyed vision that glows with bright primary colours, sharp lines, high definition and after all that has been digested by the (mind’s) eye, a surge of emotion that makes you wonder, What? Why? What next? Where is he going with this?’ In 2010, Freedman’s painting, “Shortening Up” won the prestigious Port Award at the American Society of Marine Artists 17th Annual Maritime Art Exhibit at the Coos Art Museum in Oregon. To see more of Greg's work please click here to visit his website.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Muskoka Farm. Frederick Stanley Haines

 

National Gallery of Canada
Artist: Frederick Stanely Haines

Here's the kind of painting that captures my imagination.  I like its composition, colour and  atmosphere.  Its the kind of painting that I would love to hang on my living room wall. Failing that, I'm pretty glad that its in our national collection in Ottawa.

This is the kind of painting that art teachers value to teach their students about the power of complimentary colours and composition. Check out the sky and background hills, and see how Haines advanced his blues forward, into the roof and walls of the barns, and then to the foreground haystacks where they vanish into the wisp of a  transluscent surface.  It sure makes the yellow stand out, doesn't it?

But that's only the beginning. See how the haystacks partition the painting. The focus takes place in the nicely composed barnyard.  Its here where the action takes place as the two horses head toward the safety of the barn.  Not just that but in an area further restricted by a repeated leaning pole, and an errant cast shadow.  The movement of the horses into the barn, serves notice that a storm is on the way.

Sometimes its the little things that bump a painting up from being a good work to being a great one.
Look carefully within the barn and you will a secondary wall of hay in the mow.

Its no wonder that I would love to have this one in my collection.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Frederick Stanley Haines - a Remarkable Life. as Artist, Teacher, and Community Leader







Source: Meaford Museum website
Author: Gita Marie Kitawka

It is certainly true and unfortunate that in our culture we tend to undervalue artists unless they have been heavily promoted or commercially built up as celebrities.

We rather quickly forget the lives and achievements of most of our predecessors even when they had been recognized and honoured during their lifetimes. Perhaps that is why it is ever more gratifying to re-discover the life well lived and the rich enduring legacy left by Frederick S. Haines, a most accomplished, prolific and versatile artist, equally good at portraits, figure painting (gold medal from Acadamie Royale des Beaux Arts in Antwerp),  landscapes and his beloved animals.  As if that weren't enough, he also proved himself to be a most able educator, mentor, and administrator. Haines was the president of the Ontario Society of Artists, a founding member of the Canadian Painters in Watercolour, a founding member of Canadian Society of Etchers and Printers, the curator of the art gallery of Ontario and a well loved and most respected principal of the Ontario College of Art.  At a young age he was accepted as a member of the Royal Canadian Academy and later became its president and by resigning from that "creaky venerable institution",  he obtained a moral victory that led to the rewriting of its constitution.

As the commissioner of Fine Arts for the Canadian National Exhibition, Haines educated Ontarioans by introducing the paintings of Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Matisse and provided the first Canadian glimpse of Danish and Scandanavian modern design. He travelled extensively for the CNE and brought the first large show of Mexican and Southwestern Arts and Crafts to Toronto. His association with the CNE lasted from 1920 to 1951. Under Haines direction, and guidance in 1929 eight huge murals were painted for and then installed in the Dome of the Arts, Crafts and Hobbies buildings at the CNE. Even though these paintings suffered greatly through neglect and abuse over the years, restorers have worked hard to redress the deterioration.  Today the Haine's murals are permanently displayed in the Direct Energy Centre at the CNE and it is well worth the trip to see them. Haines was a contemporary and friend of The Group of Seven and was instrumental in convincing his first cousin Franklin Carmichael  (from Orillia) to pursue the arts professionally, a most precarious profession to choose in those times.  Not something the parents would approve of without much trepidation, yet Haines was able to assuage Frank's parents fears of the moral and financial hazards of the big city.


As a more established and successful colleague of the Group of Seven, he invited Carmichael and some other members of the group to teach at the OCA, much to the benefit of its students.  He was instrumental in tremendously increasing student enrollment, introducing new courses of study, and establishing a much wider participation of artists in the community by promoting advertising and industrial design.

One cannot help but speculate how Haine's life in early Meaford shaped him to become such an able artist, educator, and administrator, who made a real contribution to Canadian life and culture. It appears that Meaford was a vibrant, expanding and optimistic town in Fred's youth. The railway had just recently connected the town to Toronto, and it boasted five hotels, many taverns and a lively social life.  Fred was born into an artistically inclined family.  His father, George Haines, was known to have participated in the local theatre. A cooper by trade he also enjoyed playing cricket, and had other hobbies. His mother, Martha Jane, came from a large, religious, family. When her father, one of the founders of Christ Church Anglican and one of its first wardens, died, a stained glass window in his memory: "James Smith - family of ten."

Fred attended the newly built, Meaford High School and upon graduation and passing entrance exams he left for Toronto at the age of seventeen to enroll in the Central Ontario School of Art. (Later to become OCA).  He was able to support himself by painting portraits and was proud to claim that from then on he could make a living by art alone. Haines married Bertha Morehouse in 1900 and was father of Dorthy (Hoover) who became the librarian at OCA and has written with love and admiration of her father.

The 50th anniversary of his death has aroused renewed interest in arts circles and especially in the town of Meaford.  There, under the leadership of, Pamela Woolner, curator of the Meaford Museum,  a small group of volunteers have been gathering regularly to work in a Commemorative Exhibit of Haine's work which is to open September 10th to September 30th in the galleries of Meaford Museum, Meaford Hall and Georgian Bay Secondary School. 10am and 4pm daily. One show will be a permanent collection of paintings generously donated by Haines to the Georgian Bay Secondary School in 1958 and paintings on loan, from major public and private galleries as well as from private collections.

To visit the website please click here.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Technical Issues

Todays postihng about Fredierick Haines, has been removed due to technical problems.
I will rework it and strive to have it posted again within the next couple of days.
/fw

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...."

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Apologies on behalf of The Portrait

for incorrectly identifying the above picture Mailigne Lake, Jasper Park painted by Lawren Harris and attributed to Lionel Lemoine Fitzgerald.

The posting was made on October 11, 2010. The incorrect painting has since been removed from the blog entry.

Appreciation is extended to the anonymous reader for identifying this error and contributing to its correction.

J Franklin Wright, Port Haweksbury, NS, artist.





J. FRANKLIN WRIGHT Renowned marine artist The Town of Port Hawkesbury
Bluenose II in the Strait - J.Franklin Wright

One of the most sought after artists in Canada, continues to become more popular with each painting and edition released.”
(Canada Today, Canadian High Commission, London, June 1991)


PORT HAWKESBURY boasts several prominent native sons and daughters, and among those is marine artist J. Franklin Wright, who has developed a mastery of marine composition. Drawn by the timeless nature and mystery of the ships and the sea, Wright’s work reflects the strong influence of the shipping environment that still plies its trade in the Strait of Canso, beside which his home town is located. Many of Wright’s marine fullmasted paintings have been released as limited edition prints and medals of distinction for their quality.Wright’s work has been shown extensively throughout Canada,
has exhibited internationally at the Annual Mystic Invitational, Mystic Conn.; the Jacob Javitz Centre, NewYork, New York; the Royal Society of Marine Artists, London, England; the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, London, England. He is a member of the International Society of Marine Painters in Florida.
Wright is the only Canadian included in the influential marine volume, 20th Century British Marine
Painting by Denys Brook-Hart. A book featuring the mastery of Wright’s work and titled The Marine Art of J. Franklin Wright features many of the historic vessels that have earned Franklin Wright international acclaim. The Town of Port Hawkesbury has honoured this great marine artist by
naming the town’s exhibition space in the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre the J. Franklin Wright Gallery, and offered exhibits of regional artists throughout the year. It’s worth a visit.

From:
The Sunset Side of Cape Breton, 2009.
Please click here.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Watercolour and Economic Necessity

Interviewee: Carl Schaefer
Interviewer: Charles Hill
Interview Date: 11-12 October 1973
Transcriber: Lexitech International
Transcription Date: 31 March 2008
Transcription Editors: Nina Berkhout, Marcia Rodriguez, Charles Hill, Cyndie Campbell, Amanda Graham and Marie-Louise Labelle
Archival Reference: Canadian Painting in the Thirties Exhibition Records, National Gallery of Canada Fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives

SCHAEFER: With the advent of 1930s’ economic conditions, and this will fit in I think very well with you, of the whole idea of the thirties. Why? No money. We were on our uppers. God, it was awful. We couldn’t afford oil paint. What did we do? We find another medium. We do a lot of drawings, drawings. I couldn’t afford a dollar and fifty cents for a tube of cadmium yellow. I couldn’t do it. But I could afford twenty-five and thirty-five cents for a pretty good sheet of handmade watercolour paper. And a small tube, this big, an inch and half, which I could buy for, say, thirty cents. This was the difference: twenty-five and thirty cents against a dollar and a half, against a dollar seventy-five or perhaps two dollars. Canvas, stretchers, and so—which—this will come in with you, and I think you can dovetail this in, the advent of the Watercolour Society. The Watercolour Society was formed. Charter granted in 1935 or so; I became a chartered member at that time.\

HILL: Wasn’t the Water Colour Society really formed by Carmichael and Casson in ’26?
SCHAEFER: Oh yes. Yeah. Pardon? In ’26?
HILL: In ’26.
SCHAEFER: That’s right, but you see, they were the forerunners.
HILL: Right.
SCHAEFER: See, like Owen Staples, and C.W. Jefferys, and people like that.
HILL: But then the Water Colour Society did take on a far greater importance—
SCHAEFER: Oh yes. In the thirties it was no holds barred.
HILL: Right

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Wheat Field, 1936 by Paraskeva Clark



I'm in a harvest mood.

A collection of wheat fields would be incomplete without this painting by Paraskeva Clark from the National Gallery.  I love the sweep of this work. It spreads out before us like a golden blanket with the rest of the world surrounding the field.

Take a good look at the trees and buildings. They are bunched up, as if they aren't entitled to the same amount of space.

Its a hugely economic statement. This is Canada's Golden Apple and it dominates the lives of much of our population. The field is elevated and prominent.  Its importance has dominion over the life which creates it.

To view the Wheat Field in the National Gallery collection, please click here.

Tom Thomson - A Sensitive Arty Kind of Guy?





How's this for a photo of the dapper, young, Tom Thomson. He has that look of a pretty confident guy, hasn't he?  His hands are in his pockets and he has a relaxed slouch.

Check out the picture below.  There stands our Tom with his pipe clenched between his teeth, proudly displaying his morning catch.

I picked up a book today while I was waiting in my naturopath's office.  It reset my image of Tom.
But, then again what would you expect from Uncle John's Bathroom Reader; 'Plunges Into Canada.'.

As I flipped the pages Tom's name jumped out to greet me.  Now, what could be so funny about Tom?

The editor of the book, focused on the year of 1904 when Tom worked as an engraver in Seattle, Wa., in the USA. According to Uncle John, Tom fell head over heels in love with Alice Elinor Lambert. Uncle John writes:

"Alice Elinor Lambert was an American high school senior who later went on to fame as a writer of romantic novels.  However, she clearly wasn't very familiar with romance in 1904, when Tom got down on bended knee, declared his love and presented her with an engagement ring.  He expected a loving response. Instead, she giggled.  Ever the sensitive artistic type, Thomson not only fled the room, but - he left Seattle entirely, never to return."

Well, take it for what its worth. It was after all, found in a bathroom reader. But, our Tom - a sensitive arty type?  Who would ever think it?

Source: Uncle John's Bathroom Reader, 'Plunges into Canada'.
Published by: The Bathroom Reader's Institute
Printed in USA
ISBN: 978-1-60710-100-0 (pbk)
c2010
Pg: 128

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Wheat Field by Carl Schaefer

Carl Schaeffer, The Wheat Field, Hanover On. 1936.

I pulled this work out of the National Gallery of Canada's collection. (click here)  As the day progressed I found myself journeying into an interesting interview with artist Carl Schaefer who studied at the Ontario College of Art. He began painting in the 1930's.  His interview is peppered with comments and quotes made by Group of Seven artists - many of whom taught at the Ontario College of Art. If you have an hour or so, and are a student of Canadian art, you will undoubtedly find it a good read. Please click here.




Here is a second Wheat Field, Hanover by Schaefer. This one was painted in 1938 and was posted on The Art History Archives. Please click here.

The Wheat Field was also painted by Paraskeva Clarke. I will put her work up as a point of comparison one day.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Caravaggio and the National Gallery of Canada


Extracted from Vernissage:  Magazine of the National Gallery of Canada
Volume 13.

Plunging necklines, scarlet hues, lusty gazes - this is only part of the world, that Caravaggio presents to viewers, for his world is also imbued with touching, deep passionate, devotion. The complex personalities that he depicted in his fictional yet dangerously real world could not help but arouse the curiosity of his contemporaries and create an unprecedented following among artists and collectors. The exhibition Caravaggio and his Followers in Rome, is one in a long line of events celebrating the fascination of countless artists who measured themselves against the virtuosity of the painter from Lombardy.

Extracted from Carvaggaio's Shadow. Nelda Damanio, Sr. Project Manager, NGC, published in Vernissage.of the National Gallery of Canada

While I am an art magazine junkie, I have to confess that I had no knowledge of Vernissage - The  Magazine of the National Gallery of Canada.  I picked it up in Chapters, Oshawa the other day and was surprised to discover its existence, particularly since I had just returned from viewing the Caravaggio showing.

If by chance you are in the dark about this publication, as was I, then here's the story.

Subsription cost: $25 per year. Quarterly.
Make cheque or money order payable to Publications, National Gallery of Canada, PO Box 427,
Station A, Ottawa. K1N 9N4. Credit Card numbers accepted.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Kassandra Simon brought her family's history to life with this mural on an old fishing shed in DeGrau.



DEGRAU — Painting a mural can be a great way to make your history come alive.
Kassandra Simon did just that this summer.
In the Port au Port Peninsula community of DeGrau there is an old fishing shed behind the school. It’s not used for fishing any more, as are hardly any of the sheds in the area since the industry changed from a dory-based endevour to an enterprise for larger vessels.
“It’s not just for me to see the history,” Simon said. “Everyone else who goes behind the school can see it. They can see the same coastline. It’s the same DeGrau in the background, but you don’t see a yellow dory any more.”
Her great-grandfather John Jim Simon used to make a living from the waters of Bay St. George, but that was a long time ago. Her grandfather Raymond Simon remembers going out with his father. That scene has been put on three sheets of plywood and attached to the old family shed in the form of a mural. It took her a while to paint, but Kassandra is proud of the work she did after she finished her two-year visual arts course at College of the North Atlantic in Stephenville in April.
“I was happy they got me to do it,” Simon said. “I never met my great-grandfather. By painting his face, I feel like I know him a bit better because I spent so much time staring at his picture.”
Simon said the project was challenging, but fun.
She worked on the painting in her apartment on the sixth floor of the Stephenville Manor. Since she couldn’t fit the plywood in the elevator, she had to take the raw material up the stairs and the finished product down.
“It was part of my living room for two months,” she said. “I had it leaned up against the wall.”
She was given a photo of her grandfather in a dory in May. She finished the project in mid-July, in time for the folk festival in Cape St. George.
And the mural got clinched her a summer position with the Stephenville Theatre Festival.
“Because I had this giant mural in my portfolio, they hired me to do the set painting,” Simon said. “They said ‘if you can do this giant mural, we know you can do the sets.’”
Simon is now in Halifax working toward her bachelor’s degree in fine arts at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

reprinted from The Western Star. Please click here.

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I make every effort to credit the sources of information used in this blog and to obtain the permission and cooperation of all the works presented by living artists. I try, as much as possible to use works from public sources eg. national and provincial collections, of deceased artists. If for any reason, any artist disapproves of anything written about them or their work the artist is encouraged to request withdrawal of the content.