Tree-trunks, Illumination and putting down roots for Canadian Coatsie

Well, its been a year here in Toronto and I have certainly put down roots, having had an amazing change of life and met so many wonderful supportive people, all so kind and interested in my paintings, not least of all my amazing wife.

Last month I participated in Le Symposium des arts (Art Symposium) at Domaine Saint-Bernard in Mt Tremblant, Quebec. Being married to a French Canadian helps tremendously – I am officially a Quebecois-in-law – and am slowly learning the language and the wonderful culture. Basically I nod my head and say “Oui ~ oui ~ oui” a lot and eat Brie… Jokes aside my Canadian family are wonderful and very patient with the new “Anglo” in the family – try calling any Australian an Englishman in any other way shape or form and there may e some type of disagreement… I’m happily forgoing any such inadvertent innuendo – when in Rome as they say – leap onto the pavement or be run over by a Fiat 500..!

It was such a wonderful weekend and I managed to jag a cash prize for the best work created at the Symposium – a gratifying achievement – especially given the field was filled with some well established local creative luminaries and talent which put me to shame, along with some fine exponents from other provinces, and as far-a-field as France.

The winner on the day in my hot-little-hands

So, being happy here in Canada hasn’t left me any less homesick for old Sydney town* and I’m thrilled to be returning home in October for the Nuptials of a good friend and the celebration of my amazing Grandmother’s birthday (the evergreen Joyce is turning 98 – still lives alone, in the home she and my grandfather built in 1947 bless her – great genes I hope to inherit).

So this meant painting a lot of scenes of Sydney which no doubt was a cathartic exercise for me. I’m choosing to celebrate this trip down-under by posting some of this work here over the next foreseeable proverbial few days… Or until I have more to show of Canada!

First up: the Manly Ferry Freshwater. A subject of a few paintings of mine (look a couple of posts back to see a painting of the "Collaroy"), this particular Ferryboat is named after the beach just north of Manly where my wife and I married, the very same restaurant my grandparents used to meet in during the war while my Grandfather – a Sergeant in the Royal Australian Army was manning a trench dug into the beach for a short time. I was a resident of “Freshie” a while ago for a couple of years – a great spot.

Manly Ferry Freshwater at Manly Wharf - Acrylic on Canvas
50 cm x 40 cm

The boat is pulling into Manly Wharf – running it’s engine in reverse, the prop in the bow (these boats have dual-ended prows and props) is churning up the water in Manly cove a beautiful iridescent green… I used to love watching this as a child, and I’m sure I’ll be just as fascinated by it when I visit there soon.

Watch this space my little Lemon-Drops. More to come.

(*Fond term for the city; not the crappy reenactment village fun park west of Gosford in the 1980’s)

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