October Winds

42″ x 72″, oil on canvas (2001) Sally’s Cove, Newfoundland, Canada

Originally begun as a much smaller painting in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, this image beckoned to be painted on a large scale after the experiences lived through that day.

We had gone to bed the night before with the anticipation of a long hike into the backwoods of the Tablelands. The park wardens were of great help as they mapped out a path to a cabin that was well off the beaten path, requiring us to cross rivers and follow tree lines to find it. All that changed however, when through the night the lamps on the night stands next to us (we were staying in a small A-frame cabin) woke us up from our sleep. The rattling and shaking told us that something was brewing out there. It turns out there was the tail end of a hurricane passing through south of us. This kept up into the daylight, when we decided conditions weren’t really suitable to take out our 9 month old Sydney. Instead, we opted for a drive up the coast, to see what was happening. That is when we discovered this scene in Sally’s Cove, which was really just a few buildings congregated together for the fishing season. I was struck by the contrast of this pier which continued to stand, whose logs looked like matchsticks in contrast to the ragin’ waves. After tying down the easle to the vehicle we were driving, and tucking in behind it for protection against the wind, I feverishly began to establish the piece. moments, shattering the greyness. As though angels themselves orchestrated the event, the scene became bathed in a fantastic light that caused me to stand there dumbfounded for a moment. It wasn’t much later that I realized this piece deserved to be much larger.

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