Thanks to Holly and Roy Stewart for sending me these pictures they shot of me while I was doing an oil sketch of the view of Canoe Lake from their dock.
Every year we get together with family for thanksgiving. This year we did it at my brother Daniels and his wife Kate's farm near Orangeville, Ontario. Fall colours were spectacular and so nice to be able to share this precious time with those Tess and I love so much.
Family is important to an artist. So important and meaningful to have relatives who are supportive and believe in what you are doing. I'm so proud of them all.
Today I was on a day trip to deliver two of my oil paintings to a customer in london Ontario. In order that i might avoid going back home through Toronto Rush hour traffic I decided to take a detour up north a bit to Goderich on lake Hurons shore. A part of Ontario which is referred to as Ontario's west coast".
When I was a child I attended a family camp with my parents and sister near Goderich, I was curious to see the town and the lake again.
On arriving in the Town center it was plain to see that I had entered a war zone. In the very center of town, known as the Courthouse, virtually every single building had sustained damage from the bomb that had been dropped on the town.
In reality there were no bombs. In fact, on Aug 21, 2011 a storm blew up from Lake Hurons waters and cut it's path right up the steep embankment and right through the center of town continuing on up a side street as if carefully bulldozing by plan each and every home in it's path.
I drove around the town circle as it goes in one way all around the courthouse. Not a single building was spared from the twisters touch. Every single building had windows boarded up, cracks in walls and in some cases only foundations remain.
I also noticed one building actually functioning under a banner which read "We are open for business". It was a Hotel with a restaurant on the ground floor. I went in a sat down at a table by the front window so I could continue to look at the destruction. The waiter attended my table and took my order and I could not resist asking where he was the moment this tornado hit?
He said it was a Sunday and most people were out of their homes in other parts of town shopping or doing other things. Had it have been a week day the town center would have been packed with office workers, court staff, etc. My waiter told me he was on his way home from a trip to Sarnia one hour away. He said the towns people were in a state of shock and dazed when he arrived.
One thing that I could not help but notice today was how many trades and general workers were present in the devastated areas. As well, the presence of new wood, fresh paint, and reconstruction going on everywhere. I was amazed at the revival of the town of Goderich and despite the damage and pain there was a strong sense of renewal.
While much was lost, including one persons precious life, there I was witnessing the rebirth a town.
Here are the photos I took while there today: The last two photos show the deceptively calm lake as it was today, what a contrast.
I cannot let the passing of Steve Jobs go without saying my two bits.
For thirty years I did my utmost to expose my paintings to as many people as possible. I used conventional Galleries and agents. Without going into the politics of that whole game I want to devote this post to the Steve Jobs effect on my career as an artist.
By making the internet as available as he has with Apple products and challenging others such as IBM and Google to better themselves...Steve Jobs and Apple have singlehandedly opened the door for an artist like myself to put my work in front of thousands of faces each and every day. Therefore virtually sidestepping the gallery system, with some respectable exceptions.
Thank you Steve Jobs, I will miss you. But your legacy lives on.
The Artists Journey
This is my blog page and it is where I get to be the opinionated man that I really am. The views are my own.
I invite your replies and comments, on my virtual welcome mat.
This sketch above became this finished painting below
The Pine Tree Painter.
How did I become known as the Pine Tree Painter? You could say I paint a lot of Pine Trees, that would be true. I paint a lot of other things too, but Pine Trees, Spruce Trees, Birch and others seem to be a continuous string in what i do. I just like the way they stand there like a custodian of the land. or a greeter to nature. So, I continue down the path with the Pine Tree Painter name on my head, It's ok.