Friday, March 29, 2013

The Grand Puffins of Newfoundland

So this is what I’ve been feverishly working on for the last few weeks. It’s my largest painting to date (excluding theatre flats).

It probably requires a little explanation.

The very successful advertising campaign for Newfoundland Tourism inspired it. The ads made me wonder (playfully) about how we got to this point in time where tourism on our North Atlantic rock is a booming business.

I imagined the early days of the campaign... way back to the 1890s where a group of well-dressed gents (Victorian Mad Men?), in a building somewhere off the Thames in London, sat around a large table covered in tumblers and snifters of scotch mulling over the possibilities (but mostly mulling over the scotch) of creating an allure for this cold and foggy rock.

“It’s nothing but fish and fog,” says one.

“Right, right,” others say in agreement.

The snifters get passed around again, glasses clink, cigars are lit and a luncheon order is placed.

Little progress is made.

Amid a feverish conversation of yesterday’s cricket match, a loud crack silences the room.

At the end of the long table, an exasperated Scotsman leans in.


After an awkward silence, a staffer is called to the room.

“Jenkins, telegraph the muralist. We’ve got a job for him.”

And thus was the origin of the “The Grand Puffins of Newfoundland” campaign.

So that’s where my brain’s been for the last few weeks.

The Grand Puffins will be one of the pieces showing at Hava Java throughout the month of April in a group show with Nick Kokis and Bill Ryan. If you’re in downtown St. John’s, drop by and check it out!

The Grand Puffins of Newfoundland
Oil on canvas
36" x 48"

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