Friday, 31 July 2015


Lightning, oil on panel, 24" x 24", Steven Rhude

Also true for painting.

"The creative act lasts but a brief moment, a lightning instant of give and take. Just long enough for you to level your camera and to trap the fleeting prey in your little box."

- Henri Cartier - Bresson

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

After the Storm

After the Storm, o/p, 24" x 48", Steven Rhude, Gallery78

Coastal storms can be horrific. They can dislodge the faith of an individual and through repeated dreams bring one back to the very event that may have caused great damage to an area or community. I still dream on occasion of a storm that struck our coast years ago. Rising water, unimaginable winds, thrashing waves all still pound away at the subconscious in the same way they probably influenced John of Patmos when he scripted his perfect storm.


But there is also the aftermath. Sheds dislodged from their original location and objects strewn about; objects that seemed to have been relocated from our original fit with the landscape by the forces of something other than just mother nature. Power outages and the requisite alternatives of wood heat and oil lamps for those without generators, are employed. Inventories are taken, and stories of the effects of the storm move up and down the community shore. Eventually relief takes over, and a routine is restored for all, until the next dream, and the next storm, a cycle always lingering on the horizon.

Steven rhude, Wolfville, NS

Sunday, 19 July 2015


Pleasantville, oil on panel, 24" x 48", Steven Rhude

For a while now I have wanted to do a painting which summed up my feelings about the decline of rural Nova Scotia. This one comes close since the gas station is so integral to commerce and the transference of goods. Gas stations are a little like parking garages, they are all mostly self serve experiences now that leave one pondering existential situations between place "A" and place "B".

 Encountering an abandoned rural gas station with a Yard Jockey perched atop a giant quasi Rubix Cube, I recall  thinking what it is I stopped to look at, or perhaps more to the point, through looking, is there a process or set of rules to  follow in solving a post modern problem such as this one. I don't believe there is. Hopper's gas station paintings are alive with people and his brand of solitude evokes a transition. Pleasentville can't do this. The problem is not black and white, and the rules keep changing as this is written. The gas pumps struck me as being wrapped as though conveying some sad Christo like joke being played out, with one tarp black and the other white. One can only guess what they are being preserved for as the tarps alter the angular form of the pumps.

The Yard Jockey, stoic - yet impish, glances away, as if anticipating another arrival that we know will never appear. The title "Pleasantville" (there actually is such a place in Nova Scotia) belies the true nature of this image. There is really nothing very pleasant about it at all.

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS  


Thursday, 16 July 2015


Waiting, Old Perlican, o/b, 24" x 24",$3,000.00, Steven Rhude

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Caitlyn Jenner - a recent work

Portrait of Caitlyn Jenner, oil on board, 24" x 24", $3,000.00, Steven Rhude

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Scene of the Crime

Post Cod Beach House, oil on canvas, 36" x 48", Steven Rhude, Gallery78

I've learned over the years not to be spoon fed. Strip away the superficial associations that cling to certain objects like a weathered fishing shack or a fish box, and new worlds appear. Objects have always embodied certain qualities for me. Morandi's bottles are not just bottles. So why should a fishing buoy just be a fishing buoy? There is a whole world of icons outside our traditional Judeo - Christian appreciation. Call em secular icons, or whatever. But they exist and have etched their way into our culture as Maritimers. And they will go on existing in our lexicon of symbols no matter how they may be branded by marketeers. What may be seen as repetition could also be seen as diversity - yet subtle with respect to a salient range of objects depicted. To put it simply, the table top in still life painting is a stage, the objects are actors, and the composition conveys performance. Objects in a landscape can be seen the same way if so desired. I didn't write the play. I'm just a witness to it. If the story repeats itself, perhaps it is because I haven't understood it completely or it doesn't have an ending I'm content with - if there even is one. So I keep going back to the scene of the crime, because a crime definitely has been committed. 

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS