Lake Superior Provincial Park, Lake Superior. 30” x 18”, oil on canvas, 2003

Superior’s rocks break through lucid waters at many places along its varied, rugged shoreline. Every time I see their intricate textures and diverse colours, I’m drawn to look closer. Surrounded by jade-like liquid, the clarity allows for a view into a mysterious and cold underwater world.

Perched atop a rock point, these observations led to my midday attempt at capturing these alluring qualities of the great lake. As I was setting up to begin work on this piece a little bit of serendipity took place right before my eyes.

For this stretch of the coast friends who had two young daughters the same age as ours joined us. While they played together, and the ladies were about their business, James was roaming the waters with his lovingly rebuilt canvas covered canoe. I had eyed this work of art since he first put it in the water. I have always had a fondness for canoes and the way they can silently transport to magical places. Hearing a deep, yet gentle, thump caused me to look up. Oblivious to what I was working on, James had brought the canoe to shore for a break. And, no word-of-a-lie, it was right where you see it in the painting! Although I love canoes, I had no intention of pursuing it in one of my canvases on this trip. However, looking at my composition, which I was already pleased with, and then looking back again at the freshly altered scene, I just couldn’t resist the newly added focal point. As it was by canoe that I learned to truly appreciate these waters in the first place, it seemed proper to have it be part of the landscape in which it belonged.

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