The Canadian Arctic; a vast, austere and, until very recently, impenetrable, world of rock and Ice. Baffin island, captured in the paintings below, is one of the largest and most dramatic land masses along the historic Northwest Passage. The early European explores were suitably impressed by its breathtaking Grandeur and endowed the most striking peaks they encountered with particularly fitting epithets. To say this is a Mythical landscape is no exaggeration, and to illustrate the point, the names they chose: Thor, Asgard, Odin and Overlord were nearly all taken from Norse Mythology. The appropriately named Thor, pictured below in the center of the painting, stands over a mile from base to summit and is the highest vertical granite rock face in North America. It is so large that our usual senses of size and distance do not apply, one only begins to get a sense of it's true height when ice and rock falls can be seen tumbling downward, in slow motion, towards a point of impact somewhere on the lower slopes. When the free falling debris finally does make contact it explodes violently, and in eerie silence. The faint, and very obviously distant, sound takes an uncannily long period of time to travel across the expansive valley. Only then can one fully appreciate the true scale of this ancient landscape.
"Summer Nights" Auyuittuq
"Summer Nights" Auyuittuq
22" x 56"
This painting is the largest arctic piece I have created to date; it portrays one of the most dramatic scenes in Autuittuq National Park. During the summer months the sun never sets on this mythical landscape. Like the tooth of some giant animal Mount Thor stands alone at side Pangnirtung Pass (known more recently as Akshayuk). Clouds form at it's peak as moist sea air is thrust upwards
by the granite walls - Even at midnight sunshine bathes the summit of this towering, rocky spire.
5½" x 10½"
Just outside Iqaluit, on the shores of Frobisher Bay, a small cemetery marks the resting place of many who challenged this inhospitable landscape and attempted to make it their home. A serene summer sea dotted with pack ice is a strange contrast to the geometry of these little white crosses. Beautiful and unthreatening during the summer months, this is another world entirely for most of the year.
At the foot of Odin
"At the foot of Odin" Study with Snowy Owl
5" x 13"
Done as a study for a larger painting, which has not yet been completed, this painting captures a little of the real contrast in this land. Barren and desolate on first appearance the far north teams with wildlife. Ultimately sustained by the bountiful water which surrounds these rock worlds, Polar bears, Caribou, Musk Ox, and many smaller animals and birds thrive in their Arctic world. In the summer, a profusion of wildflowers lend colour and warmth to the cold gray stone and glacial till.
5½" x 8½"
|Another scene from across Frobisher Bay, painted just recently for an exhibition at The Bondhead Gallery. A small Inukshuk stands in evening light among a profusion of arctic flora. Exhibition details: Shows and Events
4½" x 5½"
|Fireweed, just one of the wildflowers that flourish here during the summer months. This piece also created for the Bondhead exhibition. Exhibition details: Shows and Events
18" x 26"
Created in 2003 based on an earlier study, this painting pictures the headwaters of the Pangnirtung Fjord. Standing vigil at the head of the pass is Mount Overlord, gateway to the interior of Baffin Island, the mountains of Pangnirtung Pass and the Penny ice field.