Back30 Road Vista Comox Valley – Acrylic on Canvas


Dimensions 30 × 40 in


The back road 150 years ago was only a trail. It was the only way to get from courtenay to komox. The dike had not been built in the whole area. Today is called a Dyke Road was a floodplain.
In this painting, I painted the old farm houses. They could talk. They would tell amazing stories. Generations of farming families have lived there and raise their families only 5% a British Columbia is arable land. Even the arable land unless it is floodplain is rock and gravel left over from the glaciers. It is only have used in farming to grow grasses to feed animals. Therefore, dairy farming is important and beef.
What are my favourite stories is old Don, the dairy farmer. He had a young hired hand he told the boy don’t make pets out of the dairy cows. He had a love affair with one of their heifers, and she took over as the alpha of the herd. She realized old Don was also an alpha. She waited till Don was in a stall and then she knocked him over and it was on top of him all 800 pounds he was suffocating. Fortunately, hired hand managed to get him out from under the massive beast. Very quickly she suffered from lead poisoning, a shotgun blast to the head. Take me a while to figure out our cow could get lead poisoning?
Farming on the floodplain, had its issues. Flocks of trumpeter, swans, snow geese, and Canada geese and ducks populations would feed on your crop. Eventually ducks unlimited. Purchase the property as a wildlife refuge.
I would drive this road to my art shows at the little red church in Comox. They did art shows your in Covid, which was very successful. The virus cannot be transmitted out of doors. I set up my outdoor studio and painted pictures most of the time. People would stop by to chat and then he would purchase prince books or paintings. It was particularly lucrative in the summer when the tourist were there.
I remember many of the farm kids when I attended Courtney hi school their ancestors have been there since the 1850s. In the 1960s kids had a lot more freedom than they do nowadays. If I decided to go swimming in the puntlwdge river, they lived in Comox. I would get my backpack and snorkel put my come out on the road and get a ride in the courtenay then we would walk to Courtney spend the day at the river tubing swimming snorkeling, jumping off Indian rock walk home gorgeous blackberries stick my thumb out get a ride home. Remember snorkelling and there is a large cutthroat trout feeding on grubs coming down Morrison Creek. I had fishing line to hook. I found a stick attach the line put on a worm sit in the middle of the rushing waters. Push the stick to the bottom it’s still there patiently suddenly when that big throat hit set the hook and had trout fried in butter for supper.
The rolling hill to the left of the glacier is where the old forbidden plateau ski hill was located. I hated attention church. It seems unfair. He went to school all week and then Sunday mornings you were drilled with Christian propaganda however in the winter I would purchase a ski pass for $20 at Courtney recreation. $20 was a lot of money when you were making $.20 an hour babysitting Sunday mornings in the winter instead of going to church I would grab the boards and my dad will drop me off at the ski bus and courtenay and I will spend the day skiing. Often it would be a temperature inversion the valley would be socked in, however, the ski hill would be in blazing sunshine. When we got to school on Monday morning, we would have a suntan people thought we’d been to Mexico.
In the foreground of the painting are the primary colours the fields are yellow the buildings are blue, and the doors and windows are red in the middle distance are the greens and the river flowing through and the cool green at the courtenay bridge. Village a Cumberland is at the base of the hill With a bright red triangle of the united church. Next is Comox lake at the base of a glacier. The sun is setting on the horizon. The diagonal lines of the farm sweeps across the horizontal line which has a calming effect, then a game, moving onto the diagonal, and up to the glacier, which again is horizontal . Sharp lines, define the farm houses in the foreground and the forms gradually get blurred cooler as they disappear into the background. This is called atmospheric perspective and linear perspective. The painting is acrylic paint which drives flat since it is water-based. The acrylic paint comes from the oil barrel and the colours therefore or brighter. Oil paint is organic and it’s softer, but take so much longer to dry.
I Quebec City art show is coming up. It will be interesting to see how they respond to these images of Vancouver Island.