I tried to do this painting twice. I have driven by this place near Bracebridge, Muskoka, hundreds of times. I stopped to photograph it on a dark, rainy November afternoon – last year. I tried painting it then and it didn’t work. So I left it.
A year later, I was compelled to communicate the mood of a cold November sky and decided to try again. I suppose that inspiration and emotion operate in their own way, and in their own time.
The painting was donated to Muskoka Arts and Crafts to raise funds for the Arts in Muskoka. The “Who Art Thou” show offers artwork, all 8×10, for $45 dollars plus taxes. The names of the artists are hidden on the backs, so when you buy one, you won’t know who painted it until it comes off the wall.
The fundraiser opened on Thursday night to the usual big crowd and was a lot of fun! I bought two myself – one by Amanda Greavette (a local artist that I already collect) and a beauty by Gretchen Jeens. The show opened November 20 and closes this afternoon at 5pm.
My little painting was bought by a really nice lady, whose name I wish I’d asked for. She seemed very excited to get the painting and that makes me really happy. Two good things….
The second part of Thursday evening was spent at the Gravenhurst Book Store. Gravenhurst born and Governor General Award winning author John Ibbitson was in attendance for a reading and book signing. His award winning book, The Landing, takes place in the Gravenhurst area, and in and around Muskoka.
The story is about Ben, a 15-year-old boy with a passion for the violin and one summer in the mid-1930’s that irrevocably changes his life. One of the main characters is Muskoka itself. There are locals and cottagers, steamships and launches… and a shocking, true historical event…. I read the book in one sitting and I loved it! I was so caught up in Ben’s story. The details put the reader in touch with a time before roads and electricity; a time shortly after the struggle of failed farming and the end of the sawmills left original settler families searching for new lives, new ways of surviving. I was carried through a sea of emotions – the excitement of dancing at an island party, new friendship and the crushing sadness of loss and a growing hope amidst all of these events. It is a cleverly written story of more that just a boy’s coming of age and finding his dream; it is also a story of the lives of a generation and a time quickly slipping away.
This is at the top of my recommended list. It is truly a work of art!