Painting on historical slate
Canoe lake in summer
approx 11"x16" oil on slate
I have had many opportunities to paint on many different surfaces. Most i turn down on account of it being a bit tacky, or very tacky. For example, I simply will not paint on a mug or plate, etc, etc.
This week I was presented a surface like non other. A contractor/client/friend working on a 110+ year old Rosedale, Toronto home, presented me with two well worn slate shingles from the old house roof. Some are in the process of being replaced. He suggested I might like to render a painting on them. I have to admit that my first reaction was to shrug it off, but the more I thought about it the more the idea appealed to me.
Here was two pieces of old Toronto from the turn of the century. From an area of the city populated with the most stately of old Toronto homes. The saying goes, "if these stones could talk, the stories they'd tell". That is the sentiment I am enjoying as I painted this first one.
1890 to 1910 is the era from which these roofing shingles come from and if my math is correct, this was about the time when the one and only Tom Thompson, and other members of the Group of seven would have been getting together at the Arts and Letters Club between trips up north by train and by canoe. So here in my hands are materials which would have been on the roof of one of the stately old homes that Tom Thompson, A.J. Casson, Lawren Harris and others very likely would have passed by on their travels up Yonge Street through the Rosedale area.
I will not have many of these shingles, perhaps four or five more. I will certainly keep a few of them, after painted, in my private collection. But some, like this one shown here are available for sale. Please contact me should you have an interest in collecting this piece of Toronto history.
This was Doris McCarthy. Let me say that really, while this was the person of Doris McCarthy in a picture from many years ago the actual Doris McCarthy could be seen in the many years of paintings she blessed the world with.
I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Doris at one of her many speaking engagements where she proudly showed her slides of her Northern trips to see the ice burgs. I had seen her work at the McMichael Gallery, and was totally amazed at her ability to translate her images to very large canvases. The experience was very real. The most compelling thing to me that has stayed with me to this day was the turquoise she used when showing the base of the ice burgs just below the surface of the water. It seemed so peaceful and yet electric.
There was the time when I drove down to the entrance to her Scarborough Bluffs home and just didn't have the guts to go in, just had to sit there in my car, feeling totally intimidated by this living icon of Canadian art.
She made an impression on this artist for certain.
Rest in Peace Doris McCarthy. We will miss you but your work remains with us all.
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.