Shipwrecked Treasure

Acrylic on Braced Baltic Birch 35” x 35” x 2” 2013 (Age 17)

 

The inspiration for this painting came from the nautical features found in many small fishing towns along the East Coast of Canada. While travelling through the Maritimes, old but vibrantly painted fishing shacks wrapped with fishing nets and lines of multicoloured hanging buoys became a common scene. Poking around taking photos and looking for unique architectural features, I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw this old rustic ship doorknocker. Later, after doing research, I found out that this tall sailing ship was actually the 16th century Galleon, which had been used for exploration trips and in war fleets. Like the fate of many of the Galleons, taking artistic license I felt that this little ship knocker could be figuratively shipwrecked on one of those dilapidated shacks, unable to move but still fairing quite well in comparison to the weathered wooden door it was affixed to. By placing the ship on the left side facing the window on the right, which looked out through another window to the ocean, I felt it could subconsciously summon the thought of it sailing through the window and onto the water. The long shadows, a recurring theme in my work, added some interesting abstract shapes and helped accentuate the texture and the three-dimensional planes. I have always been enamoured by the aesthetic appeal of surface textures such as wood grain and peeling paint. In this painting, although most of the hues are neutral and muted, I enjoyed applying the chromatic emphasis on the door. The teal peeling paint and reddish orange wood seemed to harmonize together because of their complementary relationship, and helped draw attention to the Galleon doorknocker, which in turn subtly reflected those colours.

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