After reviewing my present inventory of original paintings, drawings and pastels, which numbers well over 100 pieces, I decided to work on several different projects that have been on the back burner for too long. I’ve been painting full time for over 45 years so a bit if a change of pace was in order. Last year I had an opportunity to talk with David Suzuki when he was visiting Perce and Bonaventure Island; my wife had taken him and his entourage for a guided walk on the Island. Something he said during our conversation has stuck with me and that was that we old-timers need to leave a record of what we’ve seen, what’s been here during our lives so that younger generations will have some reference to past riches since so much is vanishing at an increasingly rapid rate. The notion of leaving a record of things I’ve seen has always been at the back of my mind when composing my paintings. But I have also kept quite detailed journals of my bird and wildlife observations and adventures, starting when I was a young teenager. Looking back over some of my notes from the 1960’s and 70’s illustrates just how much has changed and how much has been lost in the intervening half century. This got me thinking that I should make a serious attempt to work up my data into some usable form, but that will be a long term project as there is quite a stack of binders and notes to go through.....and it’s all long-hand written notes!
But returning to this year’s exhibition; why the title, ‘’HALF N’ HALF’?
My reputation since the beginning of my career has slotted me into the genre of wildlife artist. Wildlife artist, for better or worse seems to have stuck. It is true that especially during my formative years much of my time was dedicated towards painting wildlife and especially birds. However, for the past few decades, my annual production has often been roughly half birds and half landscapes, or architectural studies and other subjects. So Lucie and I made a careful selection from all available works to make a show that would feature about half being bird paintings and half representing local architecture and other non-wildlife subjects. There is a wide range of works here representing many years’ efforts that gives a good representation and diversity of my subjects and style. There are examples dating from the 1980’s to the present.
LUCIE’S HAND-MADE KNITTED WARES:
Lucie displayed some of her handiwork last summer and these were quite successful and well received by our visitors. Over the past winter, she was able to make substantial additions to her collection adding a fine selection of berets, mitts, tuques and hats in a variety of styles and colours, many with her own patterns and designs. To see some of Lucie’s handiwork, there will be a page on the web site to give examples. Hand knit wares
STAINED GLASS by FELIX WISEMAN:
In addition to our daughter’s multi-talented abilities in fine wood working, drawing and design, she has recently taken an interest in producing items in stained glass. We have a selection of her handiwork on display for the summer. Some images of her work can be seen Stainglass
Showing again this year are carefully selected groups of colourful specimens and rarities from our life-time collections of minerals and insects.
One of my pastimes has been collecting World War II model aircraft along with a fairly expansive reference library covering all aspects of the two World Wars. As a kid I built lots of kits but this activity was supplanted by my interest in nature and other things that took precedent in my teens. This however did not curb my interests in collecting and continuing to build my personal library. In recent years, I decided to once again try my hand at building some kits. In the many decades that have passed since building my last kit, a great deal of evolution has taken place in the modelling world. Kits and all aspects of the hobby have reached a very high level of sophistication. Many hobbyists and professional builders alike are creating some very impressive works of art these days. As a kid, I’d get together with friends to build a few kits over a weekend. Now I find myself taking anywhere from several weeks to months to complete a build. With all the materials and references available today, there is quite a steep and fascinating learning curve in rekindling this old hobby. Some of my recent attempts of once again delving into this long abandoned activity also fill a small cabinet in the gallery this summer. Incidentally, these models can be an excellent reference tool that I have utilized in making some of my recent depictions of WW II aircraft, another of my ‘sidelines’. Time permitting, I’ll get some images of the models on the web site and images of some related paintings can be seen here (war planes) in the mean time.
THE PRINT COLLECTION & ***** SPECIAL OFFER *****!
In addition to original paintings we now have a broad selection of over 200 limited edition lithographs and giclée prints available. As a SPECIAL BONUS for anyone purchasing one my giclée prints this summer, you will have the choice to pick any one of my earlier lithographic prints for free (note, the offer is the same if one’s first choice happens to be another litho). This SPECIAL is limited to one per person. This is a limited one time offer subject to availability as these are all numbered, limited editions representing some 24 different works. Please note that this offer pertains to unframed editions only; framing is additional. All prints are produced on 140lb acid-free paper. Listed below are the lithographs available for this SPECIAL OFFER, each with its corresponding catalogue number and reference to the web site:
Cat # Hawk owl
The print images can be seen on the web site, or preferably, take the time to visit the gallery and see everything in person.
Other items available in the gallery this year include a wide selection of greeting cards produced here in our studio. These can be purchased individually or in pre-selected 6-pack groupings under various subjects such as; Warblers, Ducks and Marine Birds, Hawks and Owls, Architectural Studies of local Historical Homes, Perce Rock, Land and Seascapes, and various others. Or conversely, you may want to select your own 6-pack from the single stock.
We still have a limited number of books( see a few pages)about my art work available and due to a lucky discovery, were able to procure a small supply of a booklets about the Gannets of Bonaventure Island that was written by Lucie when she worked as a biologist for the park. This charming and informative little volume has long been out of print and has been much appreciated by anyone interested to know more about the lives of these fascinating birds that make up the largest nesting colony in the Americas. Originally this booklet was produced in both French and English versions but we were only able to get some of the English copies. For more details about either of these publications, please refer to the web page. (A few pages from the booklet)
So, when visiting the glorious Gaspe, all are welcome to stop in. Entrance is free and we are open every day from 9:00am to 6:00 pm. Other services offered include custom Museum Quality or Conservation Framing and packing and shipping can be arranged for any of your purchases if so desired.
We hope your visit through the Gaspe will be enriching and rewarding. We look forward to seeing you.
Best Regards & Enjoy!
John & Lucie