Cyrenus (Sunny) Robichaud is my wife's uncle. A bachelor, he has lived in the small village of Inkerman on the Acadian peninsula all of his life. He has reached the point of having to leave his house, and it is left as it was when he was living there. The following are a few of the photographs I took recently.
I was fascinated by the narratives which could be revealed in each image of a long and simple life.
Over the summer I will be costing out renovations for conversion to a facility appropriate for painting instruction, lectures and small exhibitions.
This project is an idea generated by Virgil, Meredith and myself which would develop in an effort to provide instruction for painting technique and support of a somewhat classical aesthetic philosophy. This follows from our discussions over the last year while engaged in painting a portrait of Virgil, and which culminated in a series of blogposts and a pending book. Go to Beaverbrook Art Gallery for a review of this project, and philosophical background.
As is my habit I am away from the sturm, dust and drang of the metropolis for the summer. I have returned to Sackville for a reprise of last summers adventures.
The cast of this drama is the same.
My mission is of course to use the landscape for inspiration, and the production of a group of landscapes for a public exhibition this fall. But the relaxing quality of life is a bit in contrast to the usual pull of the need to accomplish and be busy. It takes effort to relax, an oxymoron.
Here's a couple of initial sketches. I plan to develop some studio work as well, and perhaps draw from some of the motifs from last summer. Go to
Virgil and I and Meridith made a trip to Portland with stops at Bodoin College and the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine. The mission had two objectives; one to initiate a relationship between the Portland Museum and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton NB- being that there are commonalities in terms of size, distance, and mission between the two galleries. The other was to begin forging an itinerary for a series of dialogues between Virgil and myself on a painting of our selection in the collection of a number of museums in the eastern US. The discussions are to be videotaped and distributed via the internet. The first and prototype of our talks has been completed at the Beaverbrook, on a painting by Graham Sutherland.
Another reason for the trip was that among the exhibited works which were currently on display was a major retrospective of the work of Richard Estes. Now, I am not a fan of photorealism and was prepared to be bored by gratuitous copy work, but I left with more positive feelings. Firstly, it reconfirmed my belief that digital or photographic images just do not provide enough information to carry the reality, message or weight of a visual artwork. One thing that had been missing for me, having never seen a work of Mr. Estes was surface, and scale (the works are mainly fairly large). Another perception was that the intricacy of the works bring the viewer to a heightened visual perceptive experience, and I feel (as I felt) that most would leave the exhibition with more visual awareness of the world than before. And as Virgil pointed out, the works are sometimes composite compositions based on the integration of more than one photographic reference, and so are creatively managed.