Sunday, October 18, 2009

Changing Boundaries...and Times!

After completing the Nova Scotian subject....indoors....I honoured my determination by heading outdoors in the sunny...but colder weather to paint around the Oro-Medonte region. There was no scarcity of suitable material...just minutes from our gallery door. I wanted very badly to be alone and uninterrupted so I headed into bush to look for "interior woodland" subjects. I find the play of light and intense colour in this setting exciting visually...and soothing spiritually.

My first subject was a long forgotten...and now overgrown stone fence line...once a distinct boundary for a farm property. I always am overwhelmed and in awe of this type of fence...for it is entirely composed...often miles of it...of "erratics". These large Precambrian stones were deposited during the last glacial age in this region...helter-skelter both above and below the soil of the region.

In order to work the land, the farmer would have to move these stones manually with the aid of a hardy team of work horses pulling a stone sled...or for the larger brutes...a four wheeled mechanical stone raising implement...if it were available. I can't imagine the amount of physical effort required...on a hot June or July day to lift ...then carry these natural Henge objects hundreds of meters to construct a wall.

This would not be the end of this process either. Each year the Earth would cough up another batch of these hidden glacial relics to just under the soil's surface where the single bladed ploughshare would be brought to an abrupt halt...and the removal process would begin all over again. So when looking at the ancient linear is looking at generations of tilling and fence-making activity. In my is a historical link to our agrarian past...worthy of remembering and being left for future generations to appreciate. But in our greedy consumer society...there are those individual "entrepreneurs"...who harvest them and sell them to nurseries for decorative purposes in the yards of urban sprawl...far from their meaningful and rightful place of resting.

I'm a dinosaur ...I guess.I have spent my life learning about the Past...painting and recording it. Perhaps that is enough said in the end.Physical boundaries... even political borders shift. I will not however... shift my view away from a reverence for the efforts in the Past of those who lived, died and built this country with their sweat. They deserve to be accorded honour and Remembrance!

Good painting to All!


  1. I love the painting Bruce and I agree with the sentiments. We have the same sort of thing here with the miles and miles of stone walls. Sadly, with modern farming economics, they are being replaced with barbed-wire fencing which doesn't have the same sympathy with the landscape. Occasionally some old walls are repaired and, when I see the time it takes, I am filled with admiration for the farmers of the past.

  2. I'm with you there. Here in New England, stone walls have been stolen, layer by layer and shipped off to newly constructed housing tracts. I've heard the same about barns being dismantled and sent to someplace where some one with plenty of money can afford an 'originakl' barn. Hmmmmm.....
    I really like the 12x16 painting in the top right sidebar. Nice :D

  3. I forgot to mention PLASTIC fencing. Don't get me started ;)