Hello and Welcome Friends,

  June, 2005
volume 3 number 5

It has been a while since I last wrote you. May and June have been very busy months for us. We picked up everything and move to Nova Scotia for the summer at the end of May. June has been spent getting settled with a bit of painting happening in between the gardening, getting ready for guests at our B&B, seeing old friends and taking care of the house. At 200 years old, the house is a perpetual project.

During the months leading up to our departure from Vermont for Nova Scotia, I had a couple of paintings in my head that finally made it to the canvas(es). I've been wanting to do a couple of large paintings since last summer. The feeling of painting with my whole body, sweeping large brushes on an expanse of canvas has been nagging at me. So the first thing I did when I arrived was to stretch two large canvases, 36" x 72", and get them ready to paint.

The first painting revisited my old friend, Carters Beach. For those of you who don't know this place, it is about 20 minutes from our home in Liverpool near Port Mouton. There are three beautiful crescents of sand that are breathtaking in their exquisite and graceful beauty. I have done at least six paintings of the place in oil and in watercolor and will probably do more over the coming years. With the six foot wide size of this painting, it is a beautiful subject to address.

"Carters Beach III" Oil on Canvas 36" x 72"

The next painting is one that I reworked from a year ago. The image is of Western Head Lighthouse, about 10 minutes from our home. The lighthouse stands on a wind-swept point of land that, in line with Coffin Island lighthouse, marks the entrance to the port of Liverpool and the mouth of the Mersey River. The weather is so harsh there that the land barely supports trees near the lighthouse. Fog, rain, snow, wind and heat roll over the granite tumbling down to the sea. The lighthouse has a large fog horn that faces out to sea. In foggy weather its blasts of sound are startling.

There are several reasons that I repainted this canvas. Most have to do with attaining a balance of color and tone within the composition. In particular, I had to repaint the sky and the sea. In the process, I ended up reworking the entire painting and now have a warmer tone to the whole thing. If you are interested in seeing the difference between the first version and this one, take a look at the June, 2004 newsletter.

"Western Head Lighthouse" Oil on Canvas 38" x 28"

I have painted some pretty atmospheric images over the years and wanted to address the second large canvas with a composition that incorporated that aspect of my repertoire. I borrowed a scene that I painted more than three years ago. I worked up a couple of simple sketches to create a new composition that fits into the long, narrow format. I drew out the composition on the canvas in charcoal and made adjustments while envisioning what I would do once I got started painting. As the painting progressed, there were many changes that I made to accommodate the very complicated relationships that developed.

Looking down over a steep precipice is a challenging perspective. I have used it several times over the years, but always find it to be anything other than straigh-forward. This, combined with the atmosphere of a foggy morning gave me plenty to be challenged by. In all, I am pleased with the results. I hope you like it too.

"Morning on the Coast" Oil on Canvas 36" x 72"

Here is a detail of the left hand side that will show you a little bit more of the detail. You might take note of the five seagulls in the right/center that are riding the winds below you as you look down on the sea. It's a little easier to see them when you are looking at the painting in person, three feet high and six feet wide.

"Morning on the Coast (detail)"

And that is all of the painting I have been able to accomplish since coming to the Maritimes. I have to admit that I have been taking some refuge in gardening at the expense of painting. The spring was very wet and quite cool (cold). But summer weather has finally come to Nova Scotia and I love to watch each new leaf, flower and curl of the vines as they reach for the warmth. I'll leave you with this picture of our little garden and our newly-added bug-free zone (the tent) in our back yard. The lilacs, roses, apple blossoms and many flowers have made our yard a wonderfully fragrant place.

Thanks for taking a look at the latest work. I do enjoy hearing from you.


William H. Hays

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The Artist's Loft Bed & Breakfast and Gallery, Vermont
103 Main Street, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301-4308  USA
802-257-5181  www.TheArtistsLoft.com

The Artist's Loft Fine Art Gallery, Nova Scotia
120 Main Street
Liverpool, NS B0T 1K0  Canada