Coming and Going

Halifax Harbour near the south end of the penninsula is a very busy place. Ships loading and unloading everything imaginable. The cargo of a continent.

I have been visiting this shoreline and making paintings along the way for quite some time. The sketches are on small boards which are easy to work on in these locations. Each trip brings a new view with ships moving around the clock.

As an artist I am drawn to the changing patterns, the perspective and the sheer scale of this massive enterprise.


The brook on the far side of the tracks has proved to be a great spot to paint. It is close to home and can be reached in a few minutes as the weather allows. This time the air was chilled as the days were short and time critical as night approached. Working as quickly as possible and wet on wet as the paint was not drying I finally approached the edge of landscape as rubbing.

I had begun making rubbings during college studies. At the time I had been making intaglio and lithographic prints while reading art history and seemed to see nineteenth and twentieth centuries artists locked in an epic battle with one another for the eyes of the public. Each group pushing the efforts of the last, documenting the rush to the future through paint.
Common representations were changing. Everything about painting came into question. Subject, colour and paint application as well as the picture plane were questioned and shattered right along with the world itself. Painters gave themselves the ability to see all sides of an object or idea at once.
The confussion of events and the idea of layers of colour and form on a two dimensional surface united for me in rubbings. I likened the speed and process that revealed the image to very modern and ancient ideas all at once. It seemed like a perfect fit for me and I wanted to translate the final effect to the landscape image.

Amythest Cove

Late last summer we spent the afternoon on the beach. I was able to make this sketch of the cliffs we had just climbed down. I think they go straight up about 300 feet so the ropes that are in place are a great help down and up. We hit the tide just right and spent the afternoon listening to the water rush by.