During the last two weeks, I have taken my camera and brushes to Cavendish, North Rustico, Dalvay Beach, Savage Harbour, Blooming Point and St. Peters Bay on Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province. Though it is May, the weather is mostly wool-sweater cool, with the occasional breezy sunny day. The potatoes are being planted and the daffodils and magnolias are blooming. However, it can still get down below freezing at night. But the light! It is a photographer’s and painter’s jewel-of-a-life-time in the early mornings and anytime before ten o’clock on this fine island during the month of May. Working our way along the north shore towards the east, let’s have a look and see what we have for you in the albums.
Cavendish is the setting for the fictional Anne of Green Gables stories and these stories are the most commonly referenced attribute when I mention Prince Edward Island. I found that it was impossible to resist a wee ramble up to the Cavendish cliffs with its rather tame wild rabbits (there are signs NOT to feed them but, from the behviour of the rabbits, I don’t think this is heeded).
Sitting with the view at Cavendish PEI is for my mother who deeply enjoyed “the Anne books.” I, on the other hand, humbly admit, to never turning a page in even one of these books.
When I whispered this to someone in a tweet, she replied “I am pretty sure you can get your Canadian citizenship revoked if this gets widely known… or get voted off the island.”
Okay, I will think about reading them… maybe this fall or winter when I am working in the studio on larger oil paintings of this area. After all, I really don’t want to get dangled off the cliffs of Cavendish.
Something to think about while I am waiting for the ground paint to dry for a quick plein air painting sketch.
As you can see, in the few minutes between photographs, the clouds are moving so fast that the sea cannot settle on a colour. I love this about the sky and the sea and how they talk and sometimes even shout at each other.
Pulling on my heavy wool sweater, sleeves rolled up, I work as quickly as I can. The waves coming ashore provide a diversion from my stiffening fingers.
I end my reference work with “Shores of Cavendish in May PEI” 8 x 10 inch acrylic sketch on gessobord.
I could stop here and it would be a complete blog post. However, this is not wise. I do not have much time for blogging. Even though the post will be long by the time I am finished, we had best continue. This is a good time for you to get a beverage of choice and snuggle right into the adventure……
Earlier on this same morning, long before it was warm enough to want to stand still and paint, I meandered around North Rustico which is just a little further to the east of Cavendish. Pleased with my reference images, I am not sure yet if I will make it back for a painting session. It was about 7:00 am or so when I took these.
North Rustico bathed in early morning sun PEI
There is nary a fishing boat in sight at the Warf because lobster season opened on the 1st of May.
Seagulls Nest Rustico Harour PEI
North Rustico Lighthouse PEI where red sand drifts up from the shore and onto the dirt road.
Continuing east, over hill and dale along the coast, a person will eventually arrive at Dalvay Beach. On this particular day I am joined by CBC Host/Producer of Mainstreet PEI, Karen Mair, who does an interview with me for a 5-6 minute guest appearance sometime next week on her show.
I am a happy painter – more red sand and warm hues to work with.
Dalvay Beach PEI 9 x 12 inch acrylic sketch on gessobord
I am sure that one can’t truly claim to have been to Prince Edward Island unless they have ground red sand between their teeth after being blasted by a cloud of grit on the beach or stomped the red mud from their shoes before going in doors. This was my plein air adventure on Mother’s Day.
A friend who moved to Charlottetown three years ago took me to her favourite beach at Blooming Point. It is a warm day with fog drifting in off the water. The filtered light is perfect!
My friend walked with her dog and read while I painted.
Blooming Point Beach PEI 8 x 10 inch acrylic sketch on gessobord
There is a large painting to come from these reference materials of Blooming Point. I can feel it in my bones!
Then there is this one day where the wind howled and I had to hang onto the car door to keep it from coming off its hinges when I stepped out to take photographs. In fact, 92 % if the island’s power was generated by wind on this day. Despite the wind, the afternoon light was stunning.
The relationships between land, sky and sea has never been stronger.
Shores to sea, Savage Harbour PEI
St Peters Roman Catholic Church built in 1927 next to a ploughed field PEI
The red field brings up the third aspect of Prince Edward Island notoriety – potatoes!
Fields of red St Peters Bay PEI.
Well, there you have it! A few snippets from the past couple of weeks. There is more of course but it shall wait for another time. I feel as if I have collected what I came to gather. Now? I am on bonus time – with still another month left to explore! I am beaming widely and relaxing into our adventure here on the east coast of Canada. So, I leave you with this novella-length post and I am off!
What creative adventure are you relaxing into today?
© 2016 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.
Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.
Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch
From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada
For gallery and purchase information about Terrill’s photographs and paintings go to http://terrillwelchartist.com