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“Nova Scotia Blue”

© 2019, Watercolour, 22” by 14”


One of my favourite national Canadian icons has always been the Bluenose schooner. A few months before I painted this, I finally realized my long-time dream of painting the classic Nova Scotian ship as she appears on the Canadian dime, and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to do it again! As much fun as I had painting her on the dime though, it was still fairly restricting because I was limited in how the ship looked on the coin. I wanted this new painting to be another in my series of boats inside bottles, and I wanted to have the Bluenose in full sail in deep water. I also wanted to have a background that was just as iconically Canadian as the ship, so I chose the famous Peggy Cove’s lighthouse. If you’ve ever been to Peggy’s cove, you’ll know that there are as many nooks, crannies, and puddles in the rocks as there are tourists, and that those holes are all full of water. Because of that, one of the most popular ways to photograph the lighthouse is to line it up so that the tall building is reflected in one of these small bodies of water. I decided to do the same, namely in the puddle located on a flat rock that is located just to the North of the lighthouse.


I composed the painting so that the Bluenose would be sailing inside the bottle as the bottle itself is perched just to the side of the puddle with the neck of the bottle and the tip of the lighthouse reflected therein. Then, I designed it so that the foreground would be in focus while everything in the background would be just slightly fuzzy. I also composed it so that most of the natural lines in the painting (from the rock edges to the clouds) would point directly towards the ship inside the bottle.


I used a few tricks in Adobe Photoshop and InDesign to combine elements from about a dozen different photographs. Then, where I didn’t have good source images to work with, I made my own. Such as putting the bottle in front of my TV with an image of the rocks so that I could see how the curved bottle distorted the background, or when I shone a light through the bottle with a cut-out of the ship pasted to it so that I could see how the glass would cast a shadow.


All in all, this was a painting that came into my mind simply demanding to be painted. From start to finish, it took a mere three weeks to conceive of, compose, and then create it, mostly because I just couldn't seem to stop! I’ve never been this single-minded about a painting before, to the point that I put off a number of other projects just to finish it!


I'm very happy with it, mostly because it's unlike anything I've done before. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, using much brighter blues than usual.

Nova Scotia Blue


Reproductions of my art are available printed either on paper or canvas. Both formats are signed by me, the artist, and are high quality, full-colour prints of a high resolution scan or photograph of the original painting. All prints are inspected to ensure that the colours match the source and created using inks that are guaranteed to resist both fading and UV light.


Paper Reproductions

These are printed on high quality paper to give them the look and feel of the original painting. In terms of the dimensions listed, please keep in mind that they are approximate. Since I custom mat and frame the prints myself, I reproduce them at specific sizes so that when they are matted to standard matting dimensions, the mat-board borders are consistent widths on all sides. It’s because of this that I highly recommend that you upgrade to the matted version (seriously, go do it now).


Now, if you've ordered a print that is not a standard sized when matted, then I highly recommend that you go back and order it in a frame. As described in the sister section Frames, I do all my own framing using reclaimed wood and am affordable.


Stretched Canvases

If you want to avoid matting and framing altogether, then I suggest that you order the canvas option. I stretch the canvases myself using reclaimed wood and, with a profile that is an inch and a half thick, the art will make a strong statement on your wall.

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