|Ritchie Wharf, Miramichi NB|
I'd never been to that part of the province; most of my travels have taken me along the coast. After two ferry rides, I finally reached the mainland and took a less-traveled route due north (785) to Fredericton through fifty monotonous miles broken only by the occasional logging road. (It's not a place I'd want to travel at dusk or in the dark; I imagined vast herds of moose roaming dangerously across the road.) This dullness was broken, however, when I began to get fleeting glimpses of a brook with sandy banks. It was quite pretty, and I began to think of painting the picturesque.
After Fredericton, it was another two hours to my destination through little river villages along Route 8, which follows the Miramichi River and offers some lovely vistas. The landscape opens up near the town of Miramichi and is filled with rolling hills. Miramichi didn't exist as a municipality until about 15 years ago, when the twin river communities of Newcastle and Chatham joined. Prior to that, over two hundred years ago, Newcastle was settled by the Scots and, on the other side of the river and a little downstream, Chatham, by the Irish. These two mill towns had their differences, both political and religious - the Scots were Protestant and the Irish, Catholic - but they laid these aside for their mutual benefit. Once surrounded by farms now mostly gone, Miramichi has lately recognized the importance of culture and tourism along its beautiful river, and so groups like Miramichi Art Core have sprung up.
The group's home base is the Ritchie Wharf, which was home to a thriving shipbuilding and salmon fishing industry. Today, it is one of the town's many public parks and offers river tour boats, a playground, snack bars, coffee shops and gift stores as well as the Miramichi Art Core's gallery. The gallery is a quaint, two-story building that's a perfect space for showcasing the group's art.
|Painting at Ritchie Wharf; Miramichi Art Core Gallery has the yellow doors|
|View of the Trestle Bridge, 9x12 pastel|
|Miramichi River and Clouds (oil demonstration) 9x12|
|Pendlebury Lighthouse, St Andrews NB|
|Pottery Cove, 9x12 pastel|
|Painting at Pottery Cove, St Andrews|
Here, I teach for Sunbury Shores Art & Nature Centre. The building recently underwent a huge renovation, and I was pleased to see how much light now fills the space. They have truly maximized their view of the river. They also expanded their print shop, run by master printmaker Robert Van de Peer, and spiffed up my classroom. The Centre also houses a gallery, and currently on display is a show of instructor work. I have a piece in it, as well. The show runs until August 20.
|My painting is in the gold frame, just to the right of the large painting.|
This time around, my students in St Andrews were mostly local. (In the past, I've had students from as far as Calgary and Ottawa.) Despite the ongoing early morning fog and persistent daytime haze, we had a great time painting the misty Maritimes. Views of the town wharf and Pottery Cove are some of my favorites. It was a busy weekend, what with Monday being New Brunswick Day and a holiday. The town had lots of events going on.
|Summer in St Andrews, 9x12 oil (painting knife demonstration)|