Her first posthumous life began with Jon’s family forty-five years ago. Bridie didn’t get a lot of use, perhaps because her first outing (in Algonquin Park) involved a snowstorm in August. That consigned her to a spot in the backyard under an enormous oak which, when it succumbed to old age, landed on her. Jon and I claimed the body and decided to fix the old gal. The canvas skin was irreparable so we set out to fibreglass her. I do not recommend this. First of all, it added 15 pounds of weight and NOBODY wants a portly canoe. To make things worse, the process of fibreglassing killed the grass in our backyard; we spent the next five years with a canoe-shaped dead zone. So Fatso is now a flat-water day-tripping kind of gal, redeemed only by the elegance of her lines and the transparent siennas of her hand-built frame. Always a good girl, never fast.
Rounding out the wedding party are the pale coltsfoot leaves (which I softened because I found them too strong) and dark but glowing river rocks. Of tertiary interest, they are present but unobtrusive and reward the eye with some low-key interest. Check.
The biggest problem in this painting was unity. The water near the canoe was so slow as to reflect blocks of sky; further to the left, however, the current picks up and breaks the surface into myriad wavelets. Thanks to the input of three dear friends, all of them good painters, I was reminded that the sky blue needed to be substantially present there as well. They also reminded me that the bride sets the palette so the sienna needed to appear more often in the painting. Check.
I think we are might be ready to head for the church.