This Autumn I developed a series of paintings called “Inside the Battery” I spent two days taking photos.
This is the view from the harbour.

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It is a wonderful area that is very old. Much gentrification has happened over the years. There are many public walkways inside and some lead to the trail that goes all around Signal Hill and up to Cabot Tower. It was once a place teaming with people working at fish flakes for drying fish. Salted cod was our main export.

I painted 9 pieces in a two month period. My photos are very inspiring to me.  Most of the pieces can be seen here.

And a wonderful write up of the paintings can be found here.

So I am on number 10. I prepare a piece of masonite. It is 2′ by 3′. First it is gessoed. Then i decide what under colour I will use. I stick to the reds mostly. Then the image is drawn on. I block in the darks as you can see in this photo. I will keep painting in acrylic until I feel it is ready for the oils.

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Carcass 2 Process

I am inspired by old rotten boats and wharves and stages. They sadden me. A life now gone. A time I remember as a child and young adult. Our family would drive 4 or more hours to spend a week or two at my Great Granparent’s house in Newtown, Bonavista Bay, Newoundland.

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This picture was found at this website http://tinyurl.com/o59dg4h

The drive was horrendous enough fro me, a kid who got car sick. I would be popping gravol and stopping for the sometimes, head over knees, outside the car. We didn’t wear seat belts then so I would lie in the back, head on a pillow and count the telephone wires. Half of the trip was dirt road and the dust would be coming in through the vents of the car. Everyone smoked back then so I would be nauseous from that, fingers out the window to get fresh air. When we arrived I would, as readily as I could, start my adventure investigating the landscape. Across the road from Nan’s house was a bog that went on forever. I loved the deep dark dank and sweet earthy  smell and the springiness under my shoes. Now and then I would go down in the bog far enough to get my feet wet. The beach was close and I would delight in the group of Newfoundland ponies running wild. It was quite flat in Newtown. Lots of flat rocks to jump onto at the water’s edge. I would take a net down to Pop’s wharf. I’d walk the slippery rocks underneath  where the eels liked to live and I would catch them. Of course I let them go too. I loved the salty breeze and the smell from the cutting up of the fish in the stages.

That’s all gone now. I don’t think there is a working wharf there, there may be. Lots of new houses gone up as summer homes. No smells and sounds of fishermen coming in with their catch. Much of the coast here is now like that.

This new piece is a rotten boat left in the water. Gone to live with the fishes. No caring loving hands to guide it to work. This is the under painting. I like to work in acrylic until I get the image where I want it. Layers of tranparents, shadows and light. Then the oils come out.

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