My watercolours from 2018 get a separate page as they marked a new beginning. It had been many, many years since I had worked with sustained focus. I was spending the summer in a trailer just steps from the shore of Lake Huron. It took awhile to awaken the skills from beneath the rust in my fingers. One day I went out to Black Rock, near Simcoe Point on the west side of Providence Bay, and the sketch I did there showed me I was getting somewhere. Soon after, I made my first hike east of the marina towards Providence Point and found the views that absolutely captivated me. I would hike out with prepared boards, make a number of loose sketches and photograph those views, then return to my camp. Once I'd finished those paintings, I'd go out again, each time getting a little closer to the point before I had to start sketching. Eventually, I began painting scenes from places around Providence Bay. Below are the 35 paintings I completed that summer. In October, I went south for the winter and kept painting from the trove of photographs I had collected.
"Fantasia for 2018", the last painting in the above gallery, was painted on New Year's Eve.
Back in September as my days at camp on Providence Bay were drawing to a close, at the urging of erin-blythe reddie, I showed my summers' work to Nicole Weppler at the Gore Bay Museum. Nicole, who I had been told booked her exhibits two years ahead, exuberantly offered me an introductory show for the next season.
In June, when I made the painting of the view from Black Rock and found my expression again, I began to dream of establishing myself as a working artist on Manitoulin Island. Nicole's offer took my dream one step closer to reality.
As evening drew on that New Year's Eve, I returned to the sketch of Black Rock, and seeking to celebrate a fine adventure, I painted a whimsical ode to the fine summer of paintings and sunsets and to the beauty of Manitoulin Island, where I planned to make a new home.