When we visited Newfoundland the first time, we pretty much stayed around the Avalon Peninsula. Of course, we hoped to see whales and puffins, so a trip to Bay Bulls was on the menu. The day was sunny and off we went.
As the crowded tourist boat started out, we passed long lines of cliffs; everyone seemed to move to the prow but I had already become interested in the cliffs and the water. It must have been around noon (or noon:fifteen in Newfoundland...) and the sun was shining straight down into the sea, which was shot with turquoise and jade. Elegant shapely white-trunked trees, many long dead, clung to the sides, and near the water's edge were the shadows' secret darknesses. It had a warm Mediterranean feel.
As the boat continued out toward the deeper water, I remained interested in the deep-toned and stained intricacy of the rock formations and continued to take picture after picture. Then suddenly, it seemed, cloud cover pulled down the shades and the entire scene changed. The palette changed and rusty reds and the drab greens of algae and mosses now predominated. Part of the world's mantle must have shifted at some distant point in Geological Earth Time and this section had swung sharply down towards the water or perhaps been thrust up above it. The terrain was rough, cold and unforgiving. Northerly.
When we returned home and I looked through the hundreds of digitals, these two stood out. I painted them on 30 x 30 canvases, intending to hang them as a pair. For obvious reasons, that didn't work. Who would ever believe that I had seen these two scenes only a few minutes apart? They had nothing in common beyond size, rocks and water.
A good friend and enormously talented artist, Simon, was interested in the second painting and offered me one of his brilliant urban paintings in exchange; it too is of a dull day -- in fact one of pouring rain -- but the predominant shade is deep turquoise. When I was four my best friend and I used to argue about who was going to be "Mrs. Turquoise" that day. I won about half the time; now I'm batting a thousand every day.