of Maritime Life
Edinburgh Taxi (1988)
Painted from memory
in oils on canvas, this scene was inspired by my 1985 visit to
Edinburgh. This was my first visual encounter with the Scottish
city as I disembarked from the train.
You Lucky Dog You! (1989)
This colourful fantasy
image depicts one very lucky dog spending a summer afternoon of
leisure on a secluded maritime beach. This work is complementary
to Piss Off! , another "beach dog" painting,
which can be viewed at Stephen Outhouse's Wood Studio, Brighton,
Here's to those "dog
days of summer"!
Making Music (1997)
A fine large maritime
morning, the air fills with the sound of strathspeys, jigs and
reels. A colourful local left-handed fiddler belts out a few tunes
with his friend along the rugged western Cape Breton coastline.
Nova Scotia Crucifixion
(1991) The "Fisherman's
Cross" was the primary source of inspiration for this interesting
work. It also reflects some personal issues I was dealing with
at the time. Nova Scotia Crucifixion was selected by curator
Dr. Michael Bird for inclusion in the exhibit, Beyond Time
and Circumstance: Art As A Spiritual Vision held in 1992 at
the Lynwood Arts Centre, Simcoe, Ontario. I had four works in
the exhibition including, Wine of Oblivion, Wine of
Oblivion (sketch), Crucifixion on the Yardarm and this piece
described by some as "folk-surreal". In his catalogue
Introduction, Dr. Bird commented, "David Stephens integrates
both sacred and secular categories with his contemporary urban
interpretations of familiar Christian iconography".
Ode to a Friend
painting was completed in the wee hours of the morning in my Khyber
Building Studio, Barrington St., Halifax, N.S. My friend Lorne
Reid is the subject matter. Here I tried to capture the spirit
of Lorne and his work. He sits at his painting surrounded by several
of his fanciful images which I have attempted to present in Lorne's
style - in his honour. Lorne is wearing his signature "Oland's
Schooner Lager Beer "ball cap, a case of Schooner by his
side. The dog in the image is a stylized whippet. My parents had
two of these wonderful creatures and Lorne was captivated by their
grace, charm, and warmth of character. He included them in most
of his paintings.
As I completed this
painting, Lorne was on his death bed. When I returned home that
morning, Lorne's sister-in-law phoned to break the news that Lorne
had passed away just hours previous.
Lorne was the first
of several artist friends to pass on, most from cancer. Sid Howard
died the following year as did Donald Sabean and Wesley Hubley.
My old pal Wilhelm Hess, painter of Inverness also succumbed to
cancer. Photographer Michael Chisholm drowned while kayaking on
Christmas Eve - at 36 years of age. Harold "Dick" Tutty
was taken by cancer at age 75, his brother Gerald followed him
the next year - the cancer took his life, yet he lost his purpose
when he lost Dick. To date, Joe Norris , world renowned Lower
Prospect painter has been the latest of these creative individuals
to pass on. Thus, Ode to a Friend stands as a testimony
to the spirited lives led by these great and talented maritime
characters. They have touched my work and my soul, and collectively
remain an inspiration to lead the life well lived - happiness
in the pursuit of happiness.
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