Tuesday, February 18, 2020

#2308 "Jonses Lighthouse Parry Sound Archipelago"

This is Jones Island Range Rear Lighthouse as seen in September 2019. In 1891 Staff Commander John G. Boulton of the Royal Navy conducted a detailed survey of the various channels leading to Parry Sound using two open boats for shallow water sounding and his large vessel for deep water sounding. Commander Boulton discovered the area of the Parry Sound Archipelago to be dominated by "upwards of 4,000 islands and dry rocks". There was an important need for lighthouses to guide the ships into Parry Sound along the four channels leading toward the port. I do not know if anyone has actually counted all of the rocks and islands but Georgian Bay is now renowned as sixth Great Lake featuring more than 30,000 islands and 2,000 kilometres of shoreline. Navigating this inland sea would require some lighthouses for sure.

Charles Mickler of Collingwood, who had built the Pointe au Baril Range Lights in 1889, was awarded a $3,165 contract to erect the five lights. He carried out the work during the 1893 season. The five lights were placed in operation on September 29, 1894. Thomas W. Huff served as the first keeper of Jones Island Range and was paid $400 annually. The Jones Island Light is located on the south-west point of Jones Island about 2,900 yards southeast from Gordon Rock light. The light is a fixed white light, elevated 63 feet above the level of the bay and should be visible 8 miles. The building is of wood, and consists of a square pyramidal tower rising from the roof of a rectangular dwelling house and surmounted by a wooden lantern. It is 50 feet in height from the ground to the vane on the lantern. The house is painted white with a red stripe 3 feet wide down the middle of the side, facing the channel.

Head Keepers: Thomas W. Huff (1894 – 1901), Edward Taylor (1901 – 1910), Ernst A. Greer (1916 – 1917), Joseph G. Dixon (1917 – 1919).

I drew the building with the brush allowing for artistic impression to creep in with any imperfections. The feeling of the place needs to enter the work and that can be stifled when one tries for photographic perfection. I especially enjoyed the soft red maples on the edge of the point. I would visit this lighthouse again in a painting #2329 "Jones Island Lighthouse Point".

For this and much more art, click on Pixels. Thank you.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

#2307 "Parry Sound Forested Shore"

The trees of the Parry Sound Archipelago are heavily flagged by the persistent westerly winds off Georgian Bay. This wall of pines on the edge of the rocky island suggests that the ecosystem is healthy. Flagging of trees require average annual wind speeds of 20 kilometers per hour. Branches tend to grow with the mean wind direction. Branches on the windy side also tend to be stunted or turn to grow downwind. Although these trees are individually leaning a bit with the prevailing winds, collectively they are standing up quite well. We can learn a lot from trees.

Contrary to president Reagan's dramatic declaration in 1981 that "trees cause more pollution than automobiles", trees are our friends. Here are just a few of the many reasons why.

  • Trees absorb CO2, removing and storing the carbon while releasing oxygen back into the air. 
  • Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases such as nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone. 
  • Air borne particulates are filtered out of the air by trapping them on the leaves and bark of trees. 
  • Trees reduce runoff by breaking down the rain drops thus allowing the water to flow down the trunk and gently into the earth below the tree. This in turn helps to prevent erosion. 
  • Numerous studies have shown that patients with views of trees out their windows heal faster and with fewer complications. Children with ADHD improve when they have access to nature. 
  • Exposure to trees and nature aids concentration by reducing mental fatigue.

The facts are indisputable and cannot be bought by lobby groups. This forested shore in the Archipelago helps to make Parry Sound an even better place to live.

For this and much more art, click on Pixels. Thank you.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

#2306 "Parry Sound Reflections"

This granite point had been scraped clear of soil by the last ice sheets that at one time were one to two kilometers deep above the Parry Sound Archipelago. Nature is resilient though. These small pines still thrive and prosper in the cracks of the granite. They are certainly much older than their diminutive size might suggest. There are also many colours and shapes to be found in the cracks of those rocks.
A friend invited me to his cottage so that he could reveal the real Parry Sound and the 30,000 Islands of the Georgian Bay Archipelago. Archipelago is a fancy geographical term for a chain or group of islands scattered across a body of water. Canine Cove on Parry Island was home base for a few days and I painted and explored with my friend.

Tom Thomson and members of the Group of Seven painted in the area for a while around 1914. Parry Sound slumped a bit in economic activity shortly after World War I when J.R. Booth built the rival town of Depot Harbour on nearby Parry Island. An accidental fire destroyed the entire town of Depot Harbour on August 14, 1945.

The body of water that gives the town its name was surveyed and named by Captain Henry Bayfield in the 19th century. Captain Bayfield named the area in honour of the Arctic explorer Sir William Edward Parry. The modern town site was established In 1857 near the Ojibwa village of Wasauksing which means "shining shore" which was located at the mouth of the Seguin River.

For this and much more art, click on Pixels. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

#2305 "Parry Archipelago Cirrus Sky"

There is typically a hole in the surface winds behind the larger islands. The calm water reflects the islands, rocks and trees more like a mirror. The choppy reflective surface of the waters exposed to the westerly winds offer more of a shattered reflective view. The trees of the Parry Sound Archipelago are heavily flagged by the westerly winds off Georgian Bay. The cirrus in the sky foretold of the approaching autumn storm that would arrive the following morning. The cirrus is strong out in broad lines parallel to the warm conveyor belt flow of the upper jet stream. I theorize this banding as identical to Langmuir Streets but only in the fluid of the atmosphere and not in the water. The smaller gravity wave banding embedded on the larger atmospheric Langmuir Streets are perpendicular to the wind direction like waves of a lake.

The sun was getting low on the western horizon. The twilight was already blanketing the land well to the east in rosy light. It is often challenging to deduce the rosy twilight skies in the distance. There is only thin cirrus in the horizon but it looks convincingly like altostratus.

The sky always has a lesson to teach if we only take the time. This quiet and reflective landscape makes me want to slow down and smell the wind... or the roses.

For this and much more art, click on Pixels. Thank you.



Sunday, February 9, 2020

#2304 "Georgian Rugged Shore Pines"

The rocky shores of the Parry Sound Archipelago would be tough on a canoe. There are a few sandy beaches but not many. The rugged granite still display the cauldron days when it was molten rock. The pines continue to be shaped by nature. The westerly winds blowing off Georgian Bay continue to try to blow them over and sometimes they succeed. Even the swirls in the granite look like they were shaped by the wind. I would paint this same location in #2318 "Parry Sound Archipelago Mares Tails". This shoreline displays the windswept beauty of a natural landscape. My goal was to capture the natural and rugged beauty of a place that has not changed much since the last ice sheet melted away 11 thousand years ago. The brush strokes are broad and unpolished like I was standing on the choppy water painting the scene.

Samuel de Champlain was the first European to explore and map the area in 1615 and 1616. In contrast Champlain called it "La Mer douce"which means the calm sea but he was certainly referring to the freshwater and not the wave action.

Those arcs of cirrus in the sunset sky foretold of an autumn storm approaching. The sky does not keep any secrets if you take time to look. For this and much more art, click on Pixels. Thank you.

Friday, February 7, 2020

#2303 "Windswept"

The trees of the Parry Sound Archipelago are heavily flagged by the westerly winds off Georgian Bay. Even the swirls in the granite look like they were shaped by the wind. All of nature is wind-swept by the strong and persistent winds off the broad expanse of open water of Georgian Bay. It is a terrific and inspiring place to paint.

Wind-swept is an adjective meaning open or exposed to the wind. Related words include cold, bitter, wet, blustery, stormy, brisk, boisterous, gusty, desolate, austere, dreary, chilly, grim, damp, freezing, chill, biting, bleak, breezy, piercing, exposed, unprotected, bleak, bare, desolate and probably many more. For me the adjective is synonymous with "natural beauty".

Here is the back story behind the Parry Sound Archipelago Series of paintings.

A friend invited me to his cottage so that he could reveal the real Parry Sound and the 30,000 Islands of the Georgian Bay Archipelago. Archipelago is a fancy geographical term for a chain or group of islands scattered across a body of water. Canine Cove on Parry Island was home base for a few days and I painted and explored with my friend.

Tom Thomson and members of the Group of Seven painted in the area for a while around 1914. Parry Sound slumped a bit in economic activity shortly after World War I when J.R. Booth built the rival town of Depot Harbour on nearby Parry Island. An accidental fire destroyed the entire town of Depot Harbour on August 14, 1945.

The body of water that gives the town its name was surveyed and named by Captain Henry Bayfield in the 19th century. Captain Bayfield named the area in honour of the Arctic explorer Sir William Edward Parry. The modern townsite was established In 1857 near the Ojibwa village of Wasauksing which means "shining shore" which was located at the mouth of the Seguin River.

For this and much more art, click on Pixels. Thank you.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

#2302 "Pine Flags on Georgian Bay"

Christmas gets very busy at Singleton Lake as it should be. This was the first painting of the New Year 20-20. I was hoping for a perfect vision of the coming year of applying oils to canvas.

The trees of the Parry Sound Archipelago are heavily flagged by the westerly winds off Georgian Bay. The trees take the survival approach of bending with the wind. Why fight it? Life is typically better if you just go with the flow. Nature will always win in the long run and that is as it should be.

This was a foggy autumn day on Georgian Bay and my friend Cam was showing me the sites of the Parry Sound Archipelago and trying to find me some special painting material. I like wind blown trees. I also enjoy bright red soft maples on the shoreline in autumn. The choppy water of Georgian Bay was also intriguing. This subject matter worked for me. It was fun.

This is the first of the Parry Sound Archipelago series. There are many more to come.

For this and much more art, click on Pixels. Thank you.

#2308 "Jonses Lighthouse Parry Sound Archipelago"

This is Jones Island Range Rear Lighthouse as seen in September 2019. In 1891 Staff Commander John G. Boulton of the Royal Navy conducted...