Thursday, September 21, 2017

Pure Maple Syrup

14 x 11", acrylic on gessoed birch panel 
painting #246, 2017

Canada is celebrating it's sesquicentennial this year, also known as the 150th anniversary of Confederation. I felt an obligation to do a painting as my way to acknowledge how fortunate I am to be living in such a wonderful country. I did the photo study for the painting during one of our last snowfall earlier this spring. The can is sitting on the top of a wooden rail of a small footbridge located fittingly in Mapleton Park, here in Moncton, NB. The out of focus diagonal dark stripe in the background is of a small stream.

The sap from Maple trees to make the syrup was first collected and used by the indigenous peoples living in northeastern North America, and the practice was adopted by European settlers, who gradually refined production methods. The Canadian province of Quebec is by far the largest producer, responsible for 70% of the world's output. Vermont is the largest producer in the United States, generating about 6% of the global supply. (ref. Wikipedia).

For this painting, I was inspired by Andy Warhol's serigraphs of Campbell Soup and used this rather generic Maple Syrup Can that has been around as long as I can remember. These are available nationally through Wal-Mart. While I was doing this painting back in April, my son Jean-Luc pointed out that he had just seen a video of a Montreal street artist named WhatisAdam who had done some Pop Art, Andy Warhol-esque like artwork of the same can but parodied it to "Pure Maple Sizzurp"....Simply Brilliant! (click HERE to view). This summer I also saw the same can used as a maple scented candle holder for purchase in a local pharmacy. 

The syrup from this can is from Decacer, a distributor located near the Québec-New Brunswick border in Déglis, Québec. With this syrup, we made Maple Taffy. With the help of a candy thermometer, you boil the syrup until it reaches a temperature of 112 °C (234 °F). You then spread it over fresh snow. When the taffy starts to harden, you roll it up like a lollipop with a Popsicle GOOD! 

This painting will be part of a two-person show this fall being held at the Fog Forest Gallery in Sackville, NB. 

Harvest by Yvon Gallant and Alvin Richard
October 12 - November 8, 2017
Opening reception - Thursday October 12, 6:30- 8:00 pm

Fog Forest Gallery
14 Bridge Street
Sackville, NB, Canada
(506) 536-9000