Sunday, 26 January 2014

Tree Drawings

"The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others just a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself." - William Blake

Olive Trees #1, coloured pencils, 24" x 18", Steven Rhude

Olive Trees #2,  coloured pencils, 18" x 24", Steven Rhude

Orchard in Scarborough, pastel, 18" x 24", Steven Rhude

Abandoned Orchard, graphite, 24" x 18", Steven Rhude

Spruce Branch #1, graphite, 20" x 20", Steven Rhude

Spruce Branch #2, graphite, 14" x 22", Steven Rhude 

Apple Tree, brown chalk, 24" x 18", Steven Rhude

Willow,  red chalk, 18" x 24", Steven Rhude

Embankment in Scarborough, red chalk, 18" x 24", Steven Rhude

Olive Tree Trunk, brown chalk, 40" x 28", Steven Rhude

Italian Field, silverpoint, 18" x 22", Steven Rhude

Island of Paxos, Greece, silverpoint, 18" x 22", Steven Rhude

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Wednesday, 15 January 2014


Observance, Job's Cove, o/c, 40" x 40", Steven Rhude, Emma Butler Gallery

As I see it, there is a modern exuberance of shape and form to the boat, the buoy, the shed, and the lighthouse. Qualities both abstract and figurative. Ironic, since these objects predate modernism by centuries. So in them, there is a sense of the minimal before the minimalist. Modern before the modernist. Formal before the formalist. Their maker’s intent wasn’t to create something beautiful; more like something utilitarian. However, it just so happens their intent was beautifully realised.  

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Monday, 13 January 2014

Changing Place Names

Study for Job's Cove, oil on copper, 10" x 14", Steven Rhude

NL GenWeb

Historical information

Conception Bay North - Devil's Cove

Name Change Petition (Devil's Cove to Job's Cove) 1812

The following is from "Place Names of the Avalon Peninsula of the Island of Newfoundland" (1971) by E.R. Seary, which also states that this petition was published in "'The Royal Gazette and Newfoundland Advertiser' on 11 June 1812 and subsequently".

Devil's Cove, 29th May, 1812.
We the undersigned Inhabitants, conceiving the utility and benefits resulting from an early conception and sense of Religion instilled into the tender minds of our Children, and of the rising generation, do unanimously resolve to change and alter the barbarious, execrable, and impious name of "Devil's Cove", into the ancient, venerable, and celebrated name of "Job's Cove"; and that the public News-paper of St. John's will publish these our resolutions three different times, so that every person in the Island may come to this knowledge, and none may plead ignorance, by saying, when they pronounce "Devil's Cove", that it is from want of knowing better how to preclude any tergiversations, or vain excuses. After the publication of this Act we do declare, that our resolution is fixed, and that this Cove, which underwent the appellation of "Devil's Cove" these 50 years and upwards, to the scandal and detriment of God's honour and veneration, be altered and changed, and every one for the time to come, and always, will call it after the names we freely give it, to wit, "Job's Cove". - And that all persons may hereafter take notice of these our resolutions, we sign our names.

© Barbara Pederson & NL GenWeb

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Reaching Old Perlican

"The distances to the winter houses varied. Some families moved only two or three miles; this was the case at Cape Ray. At Old Perlican, families went inland about eight miles." [1]

The Practice of Winter Housing - by Maureen Hanrahan, Special to the Telegram, 1/3/04

Reaching Old Perlican, o/c, 24" x 24", Steven Rhude, Emma Butler Gallery

Reaching the Town of Old Perlican, he got out of his car. It was mid day and incredibly hot. He was fair skinned and had to watch it. While remembering how his wife would say "you burn taking the garbage out!", a mangy old dog came up and circled him. Its ribs were showing. What the hell... he could use a tour guide, so he named him Dry Bones. What a sorry looking dog.

Perlican Island was as barren as the dog. An interpretive panel informed him it was a nesting ground for the Black - Legged Kittiwake. How exotic. Thirsty and hungry, he drove back up the street to the combined gas, grocery, and wine store, and purchased some baked chicken, fries, a large bottle of water, and a bottle of Chianti. Dry Bones was still waiting when he returned. They shared the lunch together in the Memorial park. Dry bones liked fried chicken. No wine for Dry Bones, just water - he had that reformed look about him.

As he looked at the red fish store, he bet winters were hellish here - so exposed, even in these days of miracles and wonders. There was the permanence of institutions and mandatory schooling now. But it wasn't always like that.

In 1708, English historian John Oldmixon wrote of Newfoundland: ""The Climate is very hot in summer and Cold in winter; the snow is on the Ground 4 or 5 Months; and the English in the Northern Parts are forc''d to remove from the Harbours into the Woods, during that Season, for the convenience of Firing. There they build themselves Cabins, and burn up all that Part of the Woods where they sit down. The next Winter they do the same by another, and so clear ''em as they go." [2]

He explored the wharves and fish plant. Big bucks here in boats, gear, and fishing. The marina reminded him of something one would see in Florida, not Old Perlican. Lots of fibreglass and chrome. Dry Bones wasn't much welcome around the boats, so they walked some shoreline and then headed back to the park. He made some notes in his book. Then he filled a small pail with the rest of the water for Dry Bones and decided to set his sights on Grates Cove.

He watched as the dog disappeared in his rear view mirror. Dry Bones would have to stay - none the less, he was from old Perlican.

Notes; [1,2] The Practice of Winter Housing -  - by Maureen Hanrahan, Special to the Telegram, 1/3/04.

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Shed Ghost

"So one of us would take him for a drive a few miles along the highway, then pull to the side and ask him if he knew which way to go. He would always direct us back to his house, without one wrong turn and would be over joyed when, rounding the last turn, his house would come into view. For some unexplainable reason, when he entered the home his brain would not process the familiar surroundings he had lived in for so many years, and refused to believe he was, indeed home. Then the cycle would begin again. Sadly, or thankfully some would say, for him, he passed away.  

Almost a year afterwords, I was walking down our driveway to retrieve the mail. Halfway down the hill, to my utter astonishment, I saw uncle Harvey, dressed in his corduroy jacket, and the toque on his head, step off the stoop of his back door, and walk to his work shed, and disappear inside."

From Ghost Stories of Newfoundland and Labrador - Edward Butts  

Study for Passing Through Dildo, oil on copper, 7" x 10", Steven Rhude
Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS   

Friday, 3 January 2014

The Dykelander

The Art and Science of Dyke Construction

Their dykes are made of large Sods of Marsh cut up in square pieces and raised about five feet higher than the common surface, of a competent thickness to withstand the forces of the tides, and soon grow very firm and durable, being over spread with grass and have commonly foot paths on their surface.

Otis Little, 1748 

Study for The Dykelander, oil on copper, 14" x 10", Steven Rhude

Steven Rhude, Wolfville