"For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)/ its always ourselves we find in the sea".
A lifetime can be seen, literally, upon the face of another. Every one of our faces has a story to tell, for within their features are the marks of accumulated experience and wisdom. They are a living chronology, a roadmap of what has brought us to this very moment. They are first impressions, fading memories and lifelong companions. As a painter I could spend a lifetime studying and painting faces, for they are like fingerprints and snowflakes, each one is unlike any other.
As soon as Cyril stepped out of his house with that fantastic hat on I knew I had to paint him wearing it. Cyril and Jim, two of David's good friends, had agreed to take us out to the small islands surrounding Wesleyville, Newfoundland. This excursion was a short way into my 16 days spend in Newfoundland last September. You can read more about my time spent in Newfoundland here.
As my good friend Jim (a different Jim from the aforementioned one) firmly states "the only way to really see a place is by water". Indeed, you really see how small a place can be when you view if from a mile out on the water. It was with great enthusiasm that I donned the galoshes that Jim's wife kindly lent me as the ground would be damp where we were headed. Galoshes are as ubiquitous in Newfoundland as moose. They're everywhere. We climbed into Cyril's sturdy Sea Runner boat and headed off to Bennett's High Island and Swain's Island.
On our way over to Bennett's High Island I took some reference of Cyril piloting his boat. I decided on a pretty heavily cropped study of his face after debating a larger painting with more of the boat visible. I simply wanted to paint that hat and Cyril's great expression. He is a benevolent man, a truly special person who extended such kindness to me while I was in Wesleyville. Jim too, offered his time and friendship, some homemade blueberry jam and a tour of his beautiful house circa 1860.
While on Bennett's High Island I chuckled when I saw Cyril on his cellphone-a true seafarer thrust into the present moment with cutting edge technology, getting a good signal on this tiny island perched on the easternmost point of Canada. It was a sight I shall never forget.
This painting is one of eight now that I have finished for the show in November. I have said before and I will say again: faces are landscapes, and landscapes, faces. Our faces are small little worlds inhabited by crevasses, creases and eyes like pools or the sea. Just as we spy a face in the clouds, a man on the moon, or smooth mountain range across weathered cheeks, so they are one in the same.
Take care and have a wonderful evening/day/morning, wherever you may be.
"Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air"
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
November 5-22nd, 2009
Abbozzo Gallery, Oakville, Ontario
Opening Reception November 6th, 7-10pm
If you are interested in seeing any of these paintings please contact Abbozzo Gallery. They will be happy to answer any of your questions.
Take good care,