A couple of years ago I started a painting on panel to recall my fond childhood memories of summers in Newfoundland, affectionately known as "The Rock". To start, I called my Mom to brainstorm on ideas for themes that ought to be included.
My mother was born and raised at South Dildo, Trinity Bay. This is a small fishing village where my Grandparents spent the better part of their lives. My Grandfather Malcolm Hollett was a fisherman in the waters of Trinity Bay, and I went out with him in his fishing boat on more than one occasion to help with squid jigging, hauling lobster pots and going after cod. We pulled up the odd Sculpin too, the ugliest fish known to man.
Just in the past week or so I decided to dust off the long-neglected panel to pursue the finishing touches. Mind you, it still needs a bit of work, but I think it is coming along nicely.
At last count I came up with a grand total of twenty-four references to Newfoundland in this painting. There are probably a few more but I may have lost count.
Tell you what. I will run down to my studio and take some detail shots to see if I can tally up all of the pictorial references to the Rock...one of my favorite places on the planet. Be right back.
|An iconic ice-berg floats benignly in the northern waters as a Viking ship slips by enroute to L'anse Aux Meadows, one of the earliest recorded points of contact from the Old World to the New.|
|Lans Aux Meadows is situated on the northern tip of the Avalon Peninsula, where the first hardy souls dug in to settle alongside some of the richest fishing grounds on the planet.|
|Puffins are just one of a menangerie of strange and exotic species that call Newfoundland home.|
|The iconic 'I <3 NY' is slightly modified in this instance when the shot-glass of the fine, world-famous Jamaican rum known affectionately as 'Screech' is raised to toast a continuation ad infinitum of good times on the Rock!|
Hauling lobster pots are a time-honored tradition, life-style and livelihood for Newfoundland fishers who harvest some of the tastiest lobster in the world out of the chilly waters of the North Atlantic.
|Lobster pots rest between deep dips into the frigid waters off the coast of Nfld.|
|Heading out to the fishing grounds. Godspeed and happy jigging!|
|A squid fisherman shows off an exceptionally large specimen. In the past, squid was used mostly as bait for lobster pots but in more recent times, the squid has been recognized as a delicacy in its own right. Calamari anyone?|
|'Bake-Apples' are one of a wide variety of berries available for picking in the lush evergreen forests and boggy marshes of Nfld. These are a wonderful treat that my Grandmother would 'put by' in Mason jars for the winter months.|
|Always proud to don the 'Sou'Wester' I allowed myself to be present in the form of a little self-portrait in lieu of a signature in this painting.|
This just in.
My Mom chimed in today with a clarification that I thought I would share: "Your 'Tribute' is amazing, I thoroughly enjoyed viewing it. However, I do have one minor (not really) correction you should probable make to your preamble. Your grand-father didn't fish off the Grand Banks for lobster. Instead, that's where the larger fishing schooners fished for cod fish and as you may remember your grand-father had only a small fishing boat that he used for on-shore fishing. Sure he trapped lobster in later years, but you must remember, as far as I know, they hang out in more shallow waters around rocks. (I may be wrong about the rocks, but I seem to remember something to that effect). One other little detail. The custom around the Christmas visiting is called mummering to-day, but years ago it was called jannying. By the way it is making a big come-back, especially aroung St. John's, where there is a mummers' festival, which I think is in its fourth or fifth year. There was a very interesting article in a recent issue of the Downhome magazine. You could probably access it on their web page if you're interested."