Thursday, June 2, 2022

When The Kiss turns into Kisses, an homage to Gustav Klimt

16 x 12", acrylic on gessoed mounted aluminium panel
painting #292, 2022

Born in 1862, Gustav Klimt was an Austrian Symbolist painter and the founding father and a leading member of the Vienna Secession movement, a group of artist who consciously rejected the academic style of the late nineteenth century. Even though he had formally studied art at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts. He received training as an architectural painter and was classified as an academic painter who could paint hyperrealist portraits. He became celebrated for his rich, complex, gold-dazzling friezes and portraits of powerful, chic woman from Vienna's turn of the century society. His artistic vocabulary incorporated esoteric design and eroticism, which was not always well received, including some commissions which were never revealed.  His work was greatly influenced by the Byzantine movement and he also was associated with Art Nouveau when the movement was at it's peak.

''The Kiss'' (1907-08) is a celebration of his deeply held belief in the transforming power of idealized love. Klimt himself is the male figure embracing his life companion Emilie Flöge. Gilles Néret, the author of Klimt published in 2007 by Taschen writes,''Klimt's otherwise dominating woman becomes submissive. She yields to the man, abandons herself to him, and sexuality shimmers through her clinging gown''. 

The Kiss was done during his ''Golden Phase''. During this period he used gold leaf prominently on the artwork, which brought him both success and critical acclaim.

During the month of January 2020, I had book flight tickets to Munich, Germany and had already reserved accommodations of what was supposed to be a month long backpacking trip to Eastern Europe where my wife and I had planned to visit 11 cities in eight countries. Among those cities was Vienna Austria, where many of Klimt's works can be view. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic was declared two months later and our trip cancelled. I am hoping that next year, we'll be able to finally travel abroad and embark on this adventure.

I have seen a few Klimt paintings in the past decade, including the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer 1 at the Neue Gallery in New York City during the month of February 2013, Hope 1 (1903) at the National Gallery in Ottawa during the month of April 2014 and a small exhibition of Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele entitled "Judith and Edith" that was shown at the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, The Netherlands (May 2016).  



 


This painting is my fifth installment in as many years, featuring a large Hershey's chocolate Kisses which is a seasonal product only available from Christmas til Valentine's Day. 




Friday, October 15, 2021

Art-ifacts - Solo Show at the FFG

 



























Full appreciation goes to Janet and John Crawford of the Fog Forest Gallery for doing such a beautiful job of displaying the artwork for my solo show: Art-ifacts. 

The exhibition runs from Oct. 14 to Nov. 5, 2021. 

The gallery will be open on Thursday and Friday from 10 am to 5 pm or by appointment. 

The exhibition can be viewed online from the Fog Forest Gallery website at this LINK.


To acquire any of the remaining available paintings, please contact:

14 Bridge Street, Sackville,
New Brunswick, Canada, E4L 3N5
Phone (506) 536-9000
https://fogforestgallery.ca/

Solo Show - Art-ifacts @ FFG

Title- Murano Glass Decanter on a Windowsill
Acrylic on gessoed aluminium panel mounted on birch cradle panel
16 x 12", painting #268, 2018
original blog post - HERE
-SOLD




 Title- Bowl of Fruits for Mary, an homage
16 x 16", acrylic on gessoed aluminium panel
Painting #269, 2018-19
original blog post - HERE
-SOLD

These two recent paintings will complete the lot of 12 that included 10 new works for my solo show entitled Art-ifacts at the Fog Forest Gallery in Sackville, NB. The exhibition runs from October 14 to November 5, 2021. Unfortunately, in order for the gallery to remain open during the pandemic while keeping everybody safe, the gallery director and I came to the decision that it was safer not to hold an opening reception. The public however will be able to visit the gallery at their leisure during the run of the exhibition. 
The gallery will be open on Thursday and Friday from 10 am to 5 pm or by appointment. 

The exhibition can be viewed online from the Fog Forest Gallery website at this LINK.

14 Bridge Street, Sackville,
New Brunswick, Canada, E4L 3N5
Phone (506) 536-9000
https://fogforestgallery.ca/


 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Pinned up 7-Up

 


Title- Pinned up 7-Up
14 x 14", acrylic on gessoed aluminium panel
painting #291, 2021 

7-Up was created in St Louis, Mo by Charles Leiper Grigg in 1929. The lemon-lime soft drink was initially called "Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda". The formulation much like many soft drinks that were often developed by pharmacists during the late-19th and early-20th century contained a drug, in this case the mood stabilizer Lithium that is often prescribed for bi-polar disorder. It was removed from its formulation in 1948.  The name was changed to 7-Up in 1936, the same year the slogan "You Like It, It Likes You" was adopted and remained in use until the mid-1970's. There are several theories behind the origin of the name. I like the claim that 7-Up was bottled in a 7oz bottle while many other soft drinks like Coca-Cola were available in 6oz bottles. In 1961, Coca-Cola would introduce Sprite to its product line as a direct competitor to 7-Up. In 1967, sales for the product rose when it adopted the ad campaign of being an "Uncola".  


7-Up, 1970's advertisement campaign


Some time back, while in a store aisle, I spotted this dart board. The first thing that came to mind was a thought of Jasper John's "Target" paintings. I bought it as a prospect prop. It wasn't until this summer that I noticed that the colors of the vintage 7-Up bottle and the dart board were exactly the same. The positioning of the bottle with the board creates a sort of Japanese Rising Sun imagery with the bullseye. The logo and design concepts for the bottle has changed with the passage of time, always trying to stay current. I find this specific bottle to be the most iconic, maybe it's because it was the one in use while I was growing up. 

This painting will be part of a small solo show entitled "Art-ifacts", hosted by the Fog Forest Gallery in Sackville, NB from October 14 to November 5, 2021. Unfortunately, in order for the gallery to remain open during the pandemic while keeping everybody safe, the gallery director and I came to the decision that it was safer not to hold an opening reception. The public however will be able to visit the gallery at their leisure during the run of the exhibition. 
The gallery will be open on Thursday and Friday from 10 am to 5 pm or by appointment. 

The exhibition can be viewed online from the Fog Forest Gallery website at this LINK.

Update- November 15, 2021
I've decided to reframe this painting from it's initial black frame with round mat opening under glass. The aluminium panel has been mounted on a wood support and is now presented in a black floater wood frame. 


To acquire this painting please contact:

14 Bridge Street, Sackville,
New Brunswick, Canada, E4L 3N5
Phone (506) 536-9000



Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Bobbing for Apples

Title- Bobbing for Apples
10 x 12", acrylic on mounted gessoed aluminium panel
painting #290, 2021

Bobbing for apples (aka- apple bobbing, dooking, apple ducking, duck-apple, snap apple night) is a game often played on Halloween. The game is played with floating apples in a tub or basin filled with water. Players then try to catch one with their teeth. Use of arms is not allowed, and the hands are often tied behind the back to prevent cheating. I first played it in eight grade during activities held at school on Halloween day. After several unsuccessful attempts in trying to take a bite out of a floating apple, I took a no holds barred approach going head first in the water and immobilizing an apple on the bottom of the tub. When I reemerged, I was declared the winner of my round. The prize was a 45 rpm record of Paul McCartney & Wings hit single "Let 'em in". Click HERE to listen. 




During the fall of 2017, we spent a few days in the province of Québec. As we drove around the bucolic Île d'Orléans, we did a few stops, including a visit to a vineyard for some wine tasting. We also bought some fresh produce at the farmer's market that included a large box of honey crisp apples. When we got back home, I did a photo session on the back deck of the house inspired mainly by the cool vintage  "Pommes Québec Apples" graphics on the box. Out of the several pics I took was one that inspired the above painting. The intense blue colour inside the galvanized pail is actually a reflection of the sky. I like how the primary colors co-exist in a rather monochrome surrounding.

This painting will be part of a small solo show entitled "Art-ifacts", hosted by the Fog Forest Gallery in Sackville, NB from October 14 to November 5, 2021. Unfortunately, in order for the gallery to remain open during the pandemic while keeping everybody safe, the gallery director and I came to the decision that it was safer not to hold an opening reception. The public however will be able to visit the gallery at their leisure during the run of the exhibition. 
The gallery will be open on Thursday and Friday from 10 am to 5 pm or by appointment. 

The exhibition can be viewed online from the Fog Forest Gallery website at this LINK.


To acquire this painting please contact:

14 Bridge Street, Sackville,
New Brunswick, Canada, E4L 3N5
Phone (506) 536-9000

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Perfect Seal Jar

 

Title - Perfect Seal Jar
10 x 8", acrylic on mounted gessoed aluminium panel
painting #289, 2021 

I acquired this antique canning jar in 2016 at an estate sale in Summerside, PEI. After I did the photo study for this painting the following year, I dropped a handful of marbles inside the jar, the jar cracked and the bottom fell out.  The same thing later happened with an antique Ball mason jar, except the jar didn't shatter but has a major crack that I was able to secure with a piece of scotch tape. Lesson learned with jars and marbles. Glass hitting glass can either break a jar or even chip a marble. 

It's impressive the amount of different brands of antique canning jars that were produced in Canada more than half a century ago. It's always a thrill when I spot a new-to-me jar in an antique shop. It was a time when a lot more people had gardens and did all kinds of preserves for winter. While canning still remains a must for many, what has changed however, almost all fruits and vegetables are now available year-round in grocery stores. Before world-wide importation or green house farming, most fresh produce in grocery stores were seasonal. 

This painting will be part of a small solo show entitled "Art-ifacts", hosted by the Fog Forest Gallery in Sackville, NB from October 14 to November 5, 2021. Unfortunately, in order for the gallery to remain open during the pandemic while keeping everybody safe, the gallery director and I came to the decision that it was safer not to hold an opening reception. The public however will be able to visit the gallery at their leisure during the run of the exhibition. The gallery will be open on Thursday and Friday from 10 am to 5 pm or by appointment. 

14 Bridge Street, Sackville,
New Brunswick, Canada, E4L 3N5
Phone (506) 536-9000
-SOLD  

Friday, October 8, 2021

Improved Corona Jar

 

Title - "Improved Corona Jar"
12 x 14", acrylic on mounted gessoed aluminium panel
painting #288, 2021

This painting might look fun and whimsical at first glance, but it is a allegorical piece that is also meant to pose as a form of social commentary. 

When the Covid-19 pandemic started in early January 2020, the main concern was to try to contain the virus and stop it from spreading. With no vaccine existing, it wasn't long before there were clusters of outbreaks with this virus being so highly contagious. The only way to stop the spread was to put sanitary measures and for many countries to go in lock down, resulting in the massive disruption of our daily lives. As cases multiplied, the healthcare system was soon overwhelmed with lack of PPE and patients going in severe respiratory distress, having to be sedated and intubated while trying to ride off the storm on a ventilator. It was the beginning of a very stressful time for frontline and healthcare workers. Even if all of this was happening, it kind of brought the world together. There were often rallies in front of hospitals in support of healthcare workers, households displaying rainbow signs in their windows that everything was going to be alright, the Zoom platform exploding in popularity, people in cities opening their windows to sing and play music as a form of solidarity.  

Then all of a sudden, it became political, especially when mask mandates were implemented, which for some was a breach of the civil liberties. Science deniers and conspiracy theories would soon follow suite on social media and right-wing channels. Then the virus gradually became an instrument that caused division within the population.

In late 2020, there was hope on the horizon when several pharmaceutical research companies announcing that vaccines had been developed and were being approved for emergency use after their trials were completed.  These were found to have a very high efficacy rate in warding off the disease, hospitalization or deaths. 

When the vaccine rollout started, the response for vaccines was overwhelming. Finally, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. While some remained vaccine hesitant, the anti-mask / anti-vaccine militants started rallies in protest. Still hope remained as the general population continued to roll up their sleeves to get shots into arm. There was a possibility that herd immunity might be achievable if 70-75% or more of the population would become fully immunized. 

That theory seemed sound until the variants started to appear. The vaccines still remain highly effective with high efficacy rate among the general population with no underlying or auto-immune conditions in warding off, complications such as long Covid, hospitalization or death. When the Delta variant started to spread during the summer in the United States, it was a evident, that a pending storm was about to hit us with a 4th wave.  Especially when mask mandates were temporary lifted, our province opened its borders to the rest of Canada and later to the US. It was then referred to as  the pandemic of the unvaccinated, now affecting a much younger slice of the population as this variant is more than 2x as contagious as the previous variants according to the CDC (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention). 

When the federal and provincial governments started to gradually impose vaccination mandates for many public workers and students, followed by vaccine passports to access non essential services, this would incite and fuel the anti-vaxxers to start protesting in front of  hospitals against health care workers. You just can't make this stuff up. Within a year, rallies in front of hospitals went from cheers to jeers.

Our province of New Brunswick had fared rather well since the beginning of the pandemic with all of the precautionary measures in place and were regularly revised depending on the state of contagion. The tide has since turned as we are currently experiencing an unprecedent influx with record high daily number of new cases infected with the Delta variant, hospitalisation and patients requiring ICU care. And this is with 90,1% of the eligible population having received one vaccine and 81,1% that are fully immunized. The fact remains that even if there are breakthrough infections, 80% of those requiring hospitalization are the unvaccinated, proving the the vaccines do work. Our provincial government announced this week that it would be imposing a circuit-breaker system in specific regions in order to contain the transmission of the virus since our hospital system is currently overwhelmed with Covid-19 infections. 

________   

As some of you may or may not know, I was a registered nurse for 35 years before retiring in 2017. On my birthday in late January, my wife offered me a scrumptious cloud cake. Three hours after making a wish and blowing the candles, I received a telephone call from my former employer. They weren't birthday wishes.  It was to join the vaccination taskforce for the vaccine rollout with public health. My response was, "Be careful for what you wish for" since my wish was for an end of the pandemic by year's end. After I received my first vaccine in March, I came out of retirement and started working at vaccination clinics, putting shots into arm. 

As a still life painter, I've been collecting small props for many years. Whenever I get a visceral response or I feel an attraction or a connection for a particular object, I will often buy it on impulse. It can be the first element that can immediately  ignite an idea or concept for a painting. Other times, it can take many years before an event might trigger a response when these stored objects come out of hibernation to be used to create the narrative.

Back in 2006, I was watching the Scotiabank Giller Prize on CBC. The Giller Prize, is a top literary award given to a Canadian author of a novel or short story collection published in English the previous year. The winner that year was "Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures" by Vincent Lam. Dr Lam is a medical doctor and was working as an emergency physician in Toronto at the time of his win. The book is a collection of short stories connected through the relationship that develop among a group of young doctors as they move from the challenges of med school to the intense world of emergency rooms, evac mission and terrifying new viruses. I bought the book shortly thereafter. The title alone intrigued me and thought, it would be a great prop for a painting, but under what circumstances? 

After I had started working at the vaccination clinic, I can across this Corona mason jar which was stored on a back of a shelf in my studio. When I bought it back in 2016, it dawn on me that it was the Spanish word for crown. Also, that I had previously acquired some Crown jars for a commission painting. In the context of the pandemic, the moment I saw the word Corona on the jar, it took a whole different meaning. It was then that the whole narrative for the painting came to me. Later that week , while working at the clinic, a pharmacist who pre-loads the syringes with the vaccine for the nurses kindly gave me an empty vial of the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine. I often refer to marbles as the mind, in the context of, "I'm losing my marbles". I won't go any further with the narrative and let you draw your own interpretation. Just know that the jar is flooded in light and hope. 

While I was painting away, I listened to "Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures" on audio book.  One of the short stories is entitled "Contact Tracing".  It deals with the SARS-CoV-1 that occurred in Toronto during the outbreak between 2002-2004. The initials stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-1. The narrator send chills down my spine as the unfolding drama was exactly the same as with our current pandemic. Lack of PPE, medical personnel getting infected and issues that arises while working in a hospital setting during a pandemic.

During that pandemic, 8110 cases with a 10% mortality rate were reported worldwide from 31 countries. The United States reported 27 cases with no deaths, while Canada reported 251 cases, 44 deaths including one doctor and two nurses who worked at a Toronto hospital. 
SARS-CoV-1 is one of seven known coronaviruses to infect humans. This current pandemic is SARS-CoV-2. When many claim that the vaccine was rushed and developed too quickly, what many don't realize is that the science and research in developing a vaccine for a coronavirus had been in the works in vaccine research labs for years. It's quite impossible to test a specific vaccine for a 3-phase human clinical trial if there is no outbreak within an infected population. 

But if we all coming together, follow sanitary mesures, do our citizen duty by getting vaccinated to protect ourselves and all those around us; maybe, just maybe, we'll put an end to this pandemic. 
   

Buy the book through these links-


This painting will be part of a small solo show entitled "Art-ifacts", hosted by the Fog Forest Gallery in Sackville, NB from October 14 to November 5, 2021. Unfortunately, in order for the gallery to remain open during the pandemic while keeping everybody safe, the gallery director and I came to the decision that it was safer not to hold an opening reception. The public however will be able to visit the gallery at their leisure during the run of the exhibition. 
The gallery will be open on Thursday and Friday from 10 am to 5 pm or by appointment. 


14 Bridge Street, Sackville,
New Brunswick, Canada, E4L 3N5
Phone (506) 536-9000

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Coke adds life to...


Title- Coke adds life to...
16 x 16", acrylic on mounted gessoed aluminium panel
painting #287, 2021

Coke adds life to... was the slogan used by Coca-Cola between 1976 through 1979. The ad campaign showed Coke as the perfect accompaniment to food, fun and leisure in many situations common to consumers around the world. The company went all out with print ads, billboards, TV commercials and even a 7" vinyl - 45 rpm record of the jingle.


Coke adds life to... magazine ad 



Coke adds life... 1977 TV commercial - click HERE to view



Coke adds life to... jingle - 45rpm record, 1976


This Coke carton was a lucky find from the same estate sale in Summerside, PEI when I bought several mason jars and soda pop bottles back in 2016.  

I've pretty run the gamut when it comes to documenting the history of Coca-Cola since this is the 16th themed painting that I've posted on this blog. For a link to all of my past Coca-Cola paintings - click HERE

This painting will be part of a small solo show entitled "Art-ifacts", hosted by the Fog Forest Gallery in Sackville, NB from October 14 to November 5, 2021. 

Unfortunately, in order for the gallery to remain open during the pandemic while keeping everybody safe, the gallery director and I came to the decision that it was safer not to hold an opening reception. The public however will be able to visit the gallery at their leisure during the run of the exhibition. The gallery is open on Thursday and Friday from 10 am - 5 pm. or by appointment.


14 Bridge Street, Sackville,
New Brunswick, Canada, E4L 3N5
Phone (506) 536-9000

Monday, October 4, 2021

Screech, Fogo Island

 

Screech, Fogo Island
12 x 9", acrylic on mounted gessoed aluminium panel
painting #286, 2021

"Kissing the cod" or getting "Screeched-in" is a unique welcoming ceremony that tourists or newcomers often indulge in while visiting Newfoundland and Labrador. It is traditionally used to welcome newcomers to the island or give them the experience of being an honorary Newfoundlander. The tradition involves a short recitation, kissing of a cod fish followed by drinking a shot of Screech (a Jamaican imported rum). The ritual is often performed at pubs, in homes or aboard tourist boat excursions. Even the fishermen appears to be kissing a cod on the label of the Screech liquor bottle. Click on this LINK to view a "Screeched-in".

We've visited Newfoundland on different three occasions. The landscape is unlike the rest of Canada. You almost feel like you're in a different country. I will refrain on commenting any further other than saying that it's a magical land. Our most recent visits were in August 2014 and October 2018. During our one-week family vacation in 2014, we rented a salt-box house during a two-day stay on New World Island where our son Jean-Luc was partially screeched-in, although no cod showed up. He had turned 19 in the spring and was now a university student. 


My son Jean-Luc, New World Island, NL, Aug. 2014

When my wife and I returned to Newfoundland in 2018. We rented a salt-box house in the Fogo community for 3 days. We were among the very few tourists visiting Fogo Island during that the time we were there. 

Fogo Island is now among one of the new remote travel destinations on the planet. If it's currently experiencing a revival of its economy after the collapse of Atlantic cod fishery, it's mainly because of the efforts of business woman and entrepreneur Zita Cobb. Born on Fogo Island, Zita Cobb with two brothers launched Shorefast in 2006, a charitable organization with mission to build economic and cultural resilience on Fogo Island through a variety of charitable programs and social businesses. Shorefast is responsible for the Fogo Island Inn, which has received global accolades for its exceptional design. 

In addition, four art studios were built where selected artists, mostly foreign can engage in residencies with Fogo Island Arts. Upon the completion of their residency, their artwork is exhibited in the art gallery at the Inn. The contemporary studios were designed by architect Todd Saunders, a Newfoundlander now based in Bergen, Norway who is also responsible for designing the Fogo Island Inn. Situated at various locations on the island, each of the four studios is distinct in design. Anchored into the landscape on stilts, the studios range in size from two hundred to twelve hundred square feet and are completely off the grid. Click on this LINK to view a most enchanting video. After I first watched this video, I knew I had to come here for myself. Shorefast has also established several hiking trails scattered across the island. During our visit, we had a gourmet lunch at the Fogo Island Inn's restaurant, made our way to all four artists studios, although no artist were currently on site during our visits and hiked most of the trails. 



Picture window from which I did the
photo study for the painting

 






My wife Suzanne, Fogo Island Inn restaurant




Long Studio, Joe Batt's Arm, Fogo Island, NL











The book on which the composition is anchored on is The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx. The 1993 novel was the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1994. The narrative follows Quoyle, a third rate newspaperman from upstate New York who tries to rebuilds his life after moving to Newfoundland with his two daughters after his own world falls apart. American novelist Annie Proulx has spent a significant amount of time, returning to Western Newfoundland year after year since the early 1990's. The book was adapted as a film in 2001 and was directed by Lasse Hallström. It features a star studded cast including Oscar winners Kevin Spacey, Judi Dench, Julianne Moore and Cate Blanchett. Ms Proulx is a the author of Brokeback Mountain, a short story published in 1997. It was also adapted as a film in 2005 and was both a box-office success and received universal acclaim. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning three for best adapted screenplay, musical score and for Ang Lee as best director. 

The artwork on the book's cover features an image of the etching "Hauling Job Sturge's House", 1979 from Newfoundland born artist David Blackwood. David Blackwood (b.1941) is one of Canada’s leading printmakers and most popular artists. In 1976, the National Film Board of Canada produced a documentary film about the artist, Blackwood, which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject.




I first discovered his artwork while stepping in the Cape Spear lighthouse during our first ever visit to Newfoundland in 1990. Parks Canada had printed and was selling a poster of his iconic etching of the Cape Spear Lighthouse. Blackwood narrative artwork draws on childhood memories, dreams, superstitions, legends, oral tradition, and the political realities of the Wesleyville community on Bonavista Bay where he was born and raised. Blackwood has resided in Ontario since leaving Newfoundland in 1959 to study at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto. However, he still maintains an art studio in Wesleyville. I've greatly admired his work ever since that first encounter.  In 2006, I was fortunate enough to acquire one of his original etchings. 

The location of this painting is on Sargents Road, Fogo with view of Brimstone Head (rock formation) and Banks Cove. 

This painting will be part of a small solo show entitled "Art-ifacts", hosted by the Fog Forest Gallery in Sackville, NB from October 14 to November 5, 2021. 

Unfortunately, in order for the gallery to remain open during the pandemic while keeping everybody safe, the gallery director and I came to the decision that it was safer not to hold an opening reception. The public however will be able to visit the gallery at their leisure during the run of the exhibition. The gallery is open on Thursday and Friday from 10 am - 5 pm. or by appointment.

   

14 Bridge Street, Sackville,
New Brunswick, Canada, E4L 3N5
Phone (506) 536-9000

Saturday, October 2, 2021

The Bluenose II docks in Lunenburg

 The Bluenose II docks in Lunenburg
11 x 14", acrylic on gessoed mounted aluminium panel
painting # 285, 2021

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the launch of the original Bluenose schooner. The most recognized sailing, racing and fishing vessel in Canadian history. The schooner was designed by marine architect William James Roué of Dartmouth, NS. It was built in response to a rivalry between Lunenburg NS and Gloucester, Ma over which community built the fastest fishing vessel. The Bluenose would go on to win five International Fishermen's Trophy racing against its American challenger and remained undefeated for 17 years (1921, 1922, 1923, 1931 & 1938). 

Fishing schooners became obsolete during the 1930s, displaced by motor schooners and trawlers. During World War II, Bluenose remained at dock in Lunenburg. No longer profitable, the vessel was sold to the West Indies Trading Co. in 1942. The vessel was stripped of masts and rigging and converted into a coastal freighter for work in the Caribbean Sea, carrying various cargoes between the islands. Laden with bananas, she struck a coral reef off Île à Vache, Haiti on 28 January 1946. Wrecked beyond repair, with no loss of life, the schooner broke apart and was abandoned on the reef.

In 1963, a replica of Bluenose was built by Smith and Rhuland at Lunenburg using the original Bluenose plans and named Bluenose II. The project was sponsored by the Oland Company and used the iconic vessel as a marketing tool for Oland Brewery Schooner Lager beer brand and as a pleasure yacht for the Olands family. Bluenose II was sold to the government of Nova Scotia in 1971 for the sum of $1 or 10 Canadian dimes. The replica schooner is used for tourism promotion as a "sailing ambassador". The replica has undergone several refits to extend her life. This vessel was decommissioned and dismantled in 2010, and an entirely new Bluenose (also named Bluenose II, since Transport Canada deemed it a "reconstruction") was built as close to the original schooner deemed necessary and launched in Lunenburg in 2013. (Wikipedia). 

Bluenose has adorned the Canadian 10-cent coin almost exclusively since 1937. It's featured on Nova Scotia's current licence plate and has appeared on four previously issued Canadian stamps. Bluenose is also one of the very few non-human inductees in the Canada's Sports Hall of Fame



 50 cents Canadian Stamp - 1929


Canadian dime featuring Bluenose since 1937


Centennial commemorative Canadian stamps, issued June 29, 2021 



The photographic reference for the painting was taken last September during a one week getaway in Nova Scotia. I could have done the bow of the ship which is even more iconic, but it didn't have the same visual impact and was far less detailed. The bow could have been done in a fraction of the time it took to paint all of this tedious details since I also had to be as accurate as possible. I did edit out a lot of rope that was coming in every direction to have a more aesthetic and clean look. 

Bluenose II, Lunenburg, NS, Sept. 2020

Captain Archibald Haddock from the Tintin serial by Hergé also celebrates an anniversary in 2021. He was first introduced in the comic strip (book) The Crab with the Golden Claws in 1941, 80 years ago. Captain Haddock is an alcoholic although he does sober up at times. His drink of choice is whiskey. I chose a Jameson bottle for several reasons. It has a tall ship and anchors on the label, the green color glass and the way it plays with the light. I also had a chance to visit the distillery in Dublin two summers ago with my son Jean-Luc, part of a 3-week European trip. 


 



My son Jean-Luc, Jameson Distillery
Dublin, Ireland, July 2019


This painting will be part of a small solo show entitled "Art-ifacts", hosted by the Fog Forest Gallery in Sackville, NB from October 13 to November 5, 2021.

Unfortunately, in order for the gallery to remain open during the pandemic while keeping everybody safe, the gallery director and I came to the decision that it was safer not to hold an opening reception. The public however will be able to visit the gallery at their leisure during the run of the exhibition. The gallery is open on Thursday and Friday from 10 am - 5 pm. or by appointment.

   

14 Bridge Street, Sackville,
New Brunswick, Canada, E4L 3N5
Phone (506) 536-9000