Wednesday, 7 September 2016

More of Haida Gwaii

I hung my paintings in the North Shore Unitarian Church on the first of this month, they will be up until the last week of September. There are 37 paintings in this exhibit, it fills the sanctuary of the church.

I finished the last painting the day before and was readying it for hanging very early the next day before filling the car with paintings, tags, tape, and everything I needed to hang the paintings.

Here are the last paintings I finished, it is a dyptic; a varnished watercolour duo called "Pecking Order".

I will explain more about what a varnished watercolour is later in this post.


While we were visiting Haida Gwaii early this summer we took a day trip with Moresby Explorers.

The full day trip left from Moresby Camp by zodiac and stopped at World War II logging operations, and Church Creek; after a picnic lunch on the beach we got back into the zodiac and headed out into Hecate Straight and to the main stop of the day at the ancient Haida village site of K'uuna Llnagaay. (Skedans)
Todays blog covers the first half of the trip. We disembarked the zodiacs and our guides took us
into the forest.

Our guide Brian talked about the forest, plants and some of the history.
A very small fungus, but I cannot remember the name:

Many pieces of forest equipment remain and the forest has grown over and around them.

During World War II spruce trees were logged to supply wood for aircraft construction.


These are ancient boots:

Mathers Creek is the site of the former village of New Kloo,  also spelled Clew. The settlement was built in 1887, the people came from T'aanuu Llnagaay (formerly Tanu). Reverend Thomas Crosby helped build the new town, which was abandoned about ten years later when residents  moved to Skidegate. The area is sometimes called Church Creek after the place of worship that once stood there, an old cemetery remains on the site. (source- Haida Gwaii - Islands of the People by Dennis Horwood)

Only the perfect trees were logged, so some old trees remain:

Before and after lunch we did a bit of beach combing since we had not yet entered the protected park area.
We left a few stones balanced for the next visitors to view and rearrange. 
Views from the zodiac.


More of this trip next time.
I promised to explain more about varnishing watercolours.
First why varnish? It allows the watercolour to be finished without glass. When it is used for large watercolours it results in a much lighter product, and frames can be pretty expensive. This technique has allowed me to paint larger pieces.
I still do my watercolours on quality watercolour paper; the paper it either stretched over the same stretcher bars that are used for canvas or attached to a cradled wood panel. To stretch the paper first the paper is soaked and stretched over the frame and allowed to dry completely, the result is a taut painting surface. The second method I use is attaching (gluing) the finished painting to a wooden panel. Of  course the wood (stretcher bars or cradled panel) has to be sealed first so that it does not cause the painting to discolour. 
After the painting is complete and fully dry, I use spray varnish to fix the surface and then apply several coats of a water based archival varnish.
The finished piece can be displayed as is or mounted in a front loading frame.
I hope this makes some sense.
My exhibit of 37 paintings at the North Shore Unitarian Church is the largest I have ever done.
Here again is the link to most of the paintings in the exhibit:
Thanks for dropping by, happy Wednesday,