Charlevoix , Boldt Castle, Magic of the Saint- Lawrence , having lived as a young boy in France, England and Germany father was RCAF i have always been fascinated by castles and architecture. Boldt Castles is on the American side of the Saint Lawrence for the wife who died before completion. Castle lay in decay for many years since been referbished
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Having lived in England France and Germany i am fascinated with castles and historical monuments. As a child my father would load up four kids every Saturday and take us on adventures in the French countryside. Ralph Scott, my father was fluent in French and conversed with the locals learning the their history. Most French towns and villages have been around for 800 years so a lot of history and folk lore was available for the telling. Old farm house and castles built of brick and stone last a long time and show off their battle scars. My student Stephano Savioli owned a tower in castle the top of the tower was blown off by a tank shell as there was snipper operating from that vantage point. I found shell casings in the field from World War Two.
I visited Quebec City on a cruise ship, rented a car and toured Charlevoix and Iles D’Orleans. Along the Saint Lawrence it was brilliant fall weather, the maples in scarlet, Silver Birch in gold with the backdrop of the evergreen forest and hills. As you drove higher up it became winter with the dazzling reflected light off the fresh snow. It reminded me of my child hood in France, the architecture being similar. The churches pointing to heaven in every town and village.
The Boldt Castle is on the American side of the Saint Lawrence River. Boldt was involved with the several high end hotels in New York where he made his fortune. Typical of his generation he had to build a castle as his legacy to demonstrate his wealth and power. However the story started out as a romance but ended as a tragedy. His wife died before the castle was completed and it lay in ruins until a public trust invested $50 million in its completion and it is a major tourist attraction.
Charlevoix or painters country is the subject of many Quebecois artist and visited by A.Y. Jackson of the Group of Seven. The architecture is distinctly Quebecois and all the colors of the spectrum are present. With large families the attics would be renovated into bedrooms with distinctive dormer windows, with the Catholic Churches pointing to heaven.
Along the Saint Lawrence and many wrecked ships are a testament to the harsh climate of the North Atlantic. U-Boats terrorized the Saint Lawrence in World War two sinking shipping coming out of Montreal and Quebec City.
As the cruise ship was leaving the city I did a photo shoot at the highest point, 11 stories high. The pleasure craft are nestled in the harbours, the stone houses and churches surrounded by a blaze of Fall Colors. The possibilites for paintings is endless as the landscape and architecture is very different than Vancouver Island.
I will be featuring my series called “The Magic of the Saint Lawrence” at our Vancouver Gallery. It will be interesting see the response. When I was doing shows in Calgary I remember scenes of Quebec were very popular. The paintings together with the art books telling the stories are sought by collectors. Also doing the flip art, contrasting the castle on one side and the villages on the other, I think is unique.
The use of a full spectrum of color lights up a home during the dreary rainy winters on the west coast. My work has been called “Happy Paintings.” I certainly have a lot of fun painting them. When I’m in my hot tub early in the morning the child in me rebels against painting another picture, then 3 hours later as the paint brush begins to droop, the child in me goes “You want to stop now!!”