OLD PERLICAN HARBOUR SERIES 12”HX36”W, GLAZE OIL, CANVAS ON A CRADLED PANEL
There is a certain kind of summer evening in Old Perlican, when the world feels magnificent. The world is a magical gold. Every sunset is different – with very different colours and different patterns, lighting and structures - depending on the exact evening. The best sunsets come after not so perfect days. There must be significant clouds through the day. After an overcast, very cloudy or rainy day, Old Perlican is rewarded with the sun peaking brilliantly beneath the cloud to give the day a glorious ending. On special evenings, it turns the harbour to metallic gold.
OLD PERLICAN HARBOUR SERIES, 24”Hx36”W, GLAZE OIL, CANVAS ON A CRADLED PANEL
In the spring in Newfoundland, Old Perlican Harbour fills up to the brim with ice pans that float down on currents and winds from the Arctic. Each small member of the ice flotilla is a mini–iceberg, complete with enormous, looming, underwater structure of solid ancient ice. Each piece of ice is an utterly unique sculpture, God-made with the most beautiful composition of forms, curiously coloured in subtle tints of purple and turquoise. These exquisite wonders float aimlessly, wafting in and out of the bays and harbours, unpredictable in length of stay in any one spot. It never ceases to amaze me how the harbour can be empty and a few hours later be full of ice pans. It is roulette… they might stay a week, a few weeks, or longer - or not at all. The stakes for fishermen are treacherous if the ice pan movements are misjudged. The harbour, in the meantime creates a fairly safe haven for boats and their crew to wait them out. It takes a lot of optimism, prudence and patience to play out this game of roulette that the pans and weather play. With any luck, the bounty of fish waits too, on the other side of the risk.
OLD PERLICAN HARBOUR SERIES, 11”HX14”W, GLAZE OIL, CANVAS ON A CRADLED PANEL, FOR SALE
OLD PERLICAN HARBOUR SERIES, 36"HX48"W, GLAZE OIL, CANVAS ON A CRADLED PANEL
I just simply love the water and the colours. How many colours can be in water, reflecting beneath a white boat? And how beautiful, diverse can the colours be within the white hull of a boat?
This work-horse of a boat defies its humble stature, juxtaposed against the racy and slick ripples of water; it elegantly dances with light and colour by means of its radically modified hull. It might be practical to alter the form of the side of your boat to make hauling lobster pots easier, but who would guess you would be creating such beauty by doing it? And there is the paradox, right there.
OLD PERLICAN HARBOUR SERIES, 24"HX18”W, GLAZE OIL, CANVAS ON A CRADLED PANEL
This harbour is full of relationships. Human relationships here are long and meaningful. Relationships between commerce, family, spouses, children, parents, neighbours and co-workers all intertwine in the harbour for the entire lifetime of residents here. A social phenomenon born of this lifelong, rich and integrated social environment that I find so compelling is that of extraordinarily sociable men. This is Gord Cram, delivering a quip, by the harbour.
OLD PERLICAN HARBOUR SERIES, 36"HX48"W, GLAZE OIL, CANVAS ON STRETCHER
Every boat has her place in the harbour, her function, her quotas, her crew, her number and her history. Each boat is known by all and is loved and cared for by her owners. I love all the boats in Old Perlican Harbour, but particularly love the tiny skiffs that undauntedly help their owners brave the variables out there on the sea. They are as reliable as a best friend. The harbour is broken down roughly into areas for each size boat. Most of the small boats have berths in this area. There is a tight community amongst their owners both in the safety of the harbour and out beyond it.
TRINITY SHORE SERIES, 30"HX40"W, GLAZE OIL, CANVAS ON STRETCHER
I have been fortunate enough to have reason to go to Newfoundland in January, and experienced some winter in this beautiful harsh land. I was struck by how the house in this painting pulled me into this incredibly foreboding landscape. I am compelled by the paradoxical dance in Newfoundland of the relentless harshness of nature and the proportionally relentless human nurture. To me, this painting speaks to that. There this house sits, tucked into the shore, cozy and feeling safe against its wild, blustery and bone-chilling environment. It sits perilously on this hill, with only a single wire connecting it to the rest of civilization via wind-bent poles. Is the light on the porch lit by the sunset or by a light in the front of the house? The house pulls me in, either way. I am caught by its welcoming human spirit.
HEAVENS SERIES, 24”HX24”W, GLAZE OIL, CANVAS ON A CRADLED PANEL
I am mesmerized by the spectacle of nature. There are infinite details within details within details that pull me in and hold me in rapture. The design paths are endlessly detailed – like looking into a moving kaleidoscope. I can visually barely hang on - barely compute. This sublime experience of God’s world that occurs for me is what I try to speak of in my artwork. I am sharing what is most sacred to me – the humanly connective experiences to our Maker that are available for the taking, if I am open enough to them. The Kingdom, the Power and the Glory. These I encounter, revere and delight in whenever possible. They are incomprehensible in magnitude, and yet I can perceive them somewhat, in my most limited human way, if I make my heart and eyes and talents available to them. Human powers are very limited, but the resources of the Force who made us are infinite, nearby, available and will open up - like breaking clouds - to authentic human openness. This has been my most sacred experience.
GULL RIVER SERIES, 60"Hx48”W, GLAZE OIL, CANVAS ON A STRETCHER
Can you catch the minute details when you glance into a river, say, under a willow tree? To your conscious mind, maybe some. To your unconscious mind – maybe all are perceived, but if they are, we can never know it.
I spent considerable effort as a child trying to “catch” with my eyes the shapes within and on top of water. Water has always fascinated me. I was always almost able to see the shapes as they perpetually morphed just a little bit quicker than I could perceive them properly.
As an artist, I have spent considerable effort, still, trying my whole life to “catch” what I can almost perceive about water. With the methodical, endlessly refining approaches of Renaissance glaze oil techniques that I utilize, combined with a camera that will finally hold those shapes still for me, I am able to be much more successful than I was as a child to “catch” them. But, if anyone stands still and “opens” themselves entirely to the marvel of nature in front of them - as I did – that person DOES succeed, on the most important level.
Maybe perception is on two levels. You know everything, but you know hardly a thing – all at the same time. Maybe that paradox is what creates my sense of wonder. There is an energy – a striving between our all-knowing spirit and our ever-seeking conscious mind. Maybe our unconscious understanding is as fluid, mysterious and elusive as water itself.
GULL RIVER SERIES", 36"HX48"W, GLAZE OIL ON, CANVAS ON A STRETCHER
In Ontario, this classic vista view can be found on any or all of our major rivers. Is this the Saugeen? The Muskoka, the Burnt or the Grand? It could be any of the above and I have had patrons swear that it is “their” river. And it is, if they are from Ontario. This classic view shows a glorious Ontario summer day, with that specific blue sky, those specific river trees that grow in our beautiful province, and that flat, swift flow of our pristine water. I love the Gull River. I have painted so many faces of it. This face, however, is the classic, vista, grand view. The tension on the water surface from that swift flow creates a maximized reflective mirror for all of the beauty that surrounds it. The shape of the river banks create diagonals that invite us in. The trees are of perfect proportion. It is the ultimate landscape, with every Romantic, Classical and Abstract component. It makes me feel wonderful, despite myself.
RIVER SERIES, , 36"HX36"W, GLAZE OIL ON CANVAS ON A STRETCHER
This painting is a quintessential subject-matter for oil glazing. I was able to have a field day with the colour qualities that can be so wonderfully manipulated with glazing. Some colours called for the harness of stained glass-like transparent glazing that enabled them to richly glow. Others called for infinite, ever so subtle echelons of diffused softness. This subject called for everything my skills could muster.
I find shards of light within water a transfixing thing to watch. I could sit by the water and watch them all day (and, actually, I have - many times). I love their lightning rhythm, dancing light and incredibly diverse and beautiful morphing shapes. They fill me with a profound peace.