At the end of a long, twisty road through some of Canada's finest natural beauty, lies the tiny historic village named Killarney. Though widely known currently as a gateway to the expansive and beautiful waterways and islands that lie offshore, there was a time in its' past when the village was a vibrant, bustling fishing port. There remains a smattering of visual clues pointing back to these times, such as this well seasoned vessel and the old buildings it now rests between.
As a painting subject, I was drawn the strong colour compliments of red and green that work so well together. Also the distinctive white rock Killarney is famous for that is seen immediately in the background.
Many of the farms scattered around this part of the world contain a part of the property that remains unworked, reffered to as as a bush lot. For me these are priceless treasures and for a number of years I resided on a local farm that included a lovely bit of forrest, some in hardwoods, some in softwoods, with a meandering creek that ran through the middle. Daily walks with my sidekick Brownie allowed me to really become familiar with the place, as I watched the different types of days and different seasons colour the scene with variety and beauty.
On the day of this painting, the sun was setting early, filtering through the bush, causing the remaining foliage to sparkle in the light, while the trees cast long shadows across the adjoining field.
If you look closely you will also see 2 visitors in the background, who would occasionally appear about this time of day.
On a road trip to drop off a commissioned painting this past winter, I spotted this old bridge hidden among some brush just off of the new highway. Of course, I swung around for a better look, and there stood another fine example of a bowstring bridge, examples of which are still found scattered throughout the province. While familiarizing myself with the scene, I was delighted to see the old building just up the river on the edge of a pond, which once served the local farming community as a feed mill, and decided it needed to be part of the composition.
With the painting evolving as a very limited palette type, I pondered the notion of including a burst of colour to play with the balance of the piece and the idea of adding a bright red cardinal came to me.
This particular stretch of Manitoulin Island shore is very familiar to me, as a child we would camp in the nearby campground, and follow this rugged shoreline out to the old lighthouse site. Every visit back feels like reacquainting with an old friend, the terrain seems to have not changed at all in that half century. Of course those rocks have been worked upon by the cold, clear waters of Lake Huron for more years than I could ever imagine, changing little by little with the passage of time.
I find myself lingering while back here, mesmerized by the colours, sounds, shapes and quiet all around, especially on a moody, foggy day. I wanted this painting to give the viewers the same feeling, and cause them to pause and just soak it in, like I did!
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