My painting reference – Besh’s photo of the Anglican Cathedral, downtown St. John’s, Newfoundland
After a spring visit back to St. John’s in 2007, Besh and I had taken some great shots of the island coming to life and one picture of Besh’s, in particular, of the Anglican Cathedral downtown caught my artist eye and I knew it was just a matter of time before I painted it.
Many artists in the Georgian Bay area painted Newfoundland, but I always thought “That’s not quite Newfoundland to me”. They painted the outports and the fog, but my memories were of St. John’s back in the day mostly – the stone buildings, rock walls, the architecture – particularly the churches, the iron work, the fresh air and the colour. Siiigh…
At that time, I was set up full time in my public art studio in the front window of the beautiful French restaurant, Café Chartreuse, in Collingwood, Ontario, and I was painting like a savage. Being fairly new into my art career and being front and center in the public eye was a great motivator. Can you say ‘fear’?
So as soon as I had the opportunity to start a new painting, I tackled this one. I knew it was going to be a complicated drawing considering the iron work and the stonework in the church structure, but the audience motivation made me buckle down and put in the many hours of free-hand drawing that were required to nail this.
It just flowed out of me. I was thrilled with the drawing which only meant a deadly painting so it was a feel good event from start to finish. I made sure to enjoy doing the painting rather than dwelling on the sadness of missing home. It actually changed the way I felt about living away. It connected me rather than the reverse. People would chat away with me about their Newfoundland connections and adventures and I got to talk all about home. It was wonderful therapy. Who knew?
After relaying countless times why I was painting this particular piece, I realized my main statement to people was “This is Newfoundland to me”…therefore I titled it so.
I have had this painting in my private collection for 8 years and it’s only now, living home again since 2009 (woohoo!), that I am ready to part with it. Before, it was my reminder of home. Now I am home and I can let it go to someone who will appreciate it.
The original painting has been sold but you can order prints! Click here for prints of “Newfoundland to Me”.
Feel free to share this with anyone who would love this painting (almost) as much as I do 😉 Thanks!
My painting “Newfoundland to Me”