Magic of Saint-Lawrence, Boldt Castle – Acrylic on Canvas


Dimensions 30 × 40 in


Boldt Castle is an artists dream and rare in north America.   It requires serious wealth to build such a structure with such a variety of appendages.    This is a thing of the past.  Todays architecture is all about minimal, cost effective with little embellishment as that is expensive, over budget.   The bean counters rule and they don’t let their emotions run wild.   Profit and loss rule.  The rich build golf courses  and functional mansions or yachts to entertain clients and therefore a tax write off keeping the bean counters happy.   

Boldt was involved in high end hotels such as the Waldorf Astoria in New York.   To show case his wealth and power he built the castle on the Saint Lawrence on the American side.  It was a romantic gesture for his wife but turned into tragedy when she died.  The grounds rapidly turned to ruins as nature began to take back.  Much later it took $50 millions to rehabilitate the structures as individuals recognized its vision.  It has become a major tourist attraction.   

You expect a knight in shining armor  to come galloping on a white horse  over the oval bridge to save the damsel in distress and slay the dragon.   Like paintings, architecture evoke emotion.   To further my artistic appeal for emotion I feature the sunset and the moon rise.  The castle pierces the stars and the setting sun. 

A Castle such as this can arouse many  folk stories from  memories as a child.  The woman with the long hair at the window looking for her lover.   Robin Hood and maid Marian doing battle with the evil sheriff  in his castle that has to be assaulted by dubious, and dangerous means.    Saint George slaying the dragon, or Merlin with his magic wand and Gandolf, Lord of the Rings.  

The Castle has  turned into a series as the many angles offer different opportunities for artistic expression.  Different colour schemes evoke different emotions.  Then it became “flip art” as I did Charlevoix on one side and the Castello on the other.    Another possibility would be to have the landscape on the other side.  Nature, organic and architecture geometric composed of circle, square, and triangle.   People say do you ever run out of possibilities.   I keep a note pad next to my bed as I get many ideas in the middle of the night and write them down as not to forget.   

It will be interesting to see how the work is received in Quebec City.  A Vancouver Island Artist,  with a different perspective of the local geography and history.   As a child I lived in France, England and Germany  after the second world war when destruction was everywhere and everyone had a story to tell.  As a young boy i soaked it all up the emotion, the brutality, the bravery.   I have spent the rest of my life filling in the gaps.  The Crusader Castle at  Dover on the South Coast with the French Coast off in the distance.  Chartre Cathedral took three generations and 125 years to build.  The first two generations of craftsmen did not see the finished product.   It stands out for miles on the rolling French countryside pointing to heaven for the those whole live the faultless life.    luckily someone invented the confessional, cheap psychiatry for the peasants.

My business partner Erich Bertussi moved to Quebec City from Toronto and fell in love with the Quebecois.   We tore all the seats out my Mazda 5 art car and loaded up 50 canvases and he drove from Vancouver Island back to Quebec City.   It will be interested to see the response to my art car which I call the Cumberland Mobile, as it has paintings of the Vancouver island coal mining town where I bought my first house and studio in 1981.