Christopher Kovacs - Fine Art
July 13, 2024   7:11 am NL Time

On the Rocks

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On the Rocks


Status of Original Painting – For Sale

All prices are in Canadian dollars

Size: 13.25 x 20  inches

Price: Inquire

Medium: Watercolour on 300 lb Arches


Icebergs are a beautiful sight to see in Newfoundland and Labrador. This one has run aground off the rocky coast near Bay Bulls and Witless Bay, about 30 minutes south of the city of St. John’s. For perspective, this berg was still over two meters in height, which means that it extended as much as 18 meters below the surface (since about 90% of the mass of an iceberg is submerged). It also managed to sway up and down with the waves and groan ominously. Getting too close can be dangerous because icebergs may flip over unexpectedly, or have a large piece split off (calving), creating a sudden large wave that can swamp a boat.

A painting’s title often comes to me spontaneously as I’m working on it, but in this instance I sought inspiration from a glossary of iceberg terms. Some might call this a bergy bit although Environment Canada says that’s for an iceberg that rises less than 5 meters above the surface . The multi-towered shape is called drydock, which seems more in keeping for a ship out of water. The spiral aspect on the right would allow the term pinnacle. The visible part of an iceberg is the hummock while the submerged part is the bummock, but those are not familiar terms. An iceberg scours the sea bottom on its way to becoming grounded or running aground. In the end, the simpler “On the Rocks” suggests many things: the iceberg, its surface, the cliff behind, the sea bottom, and ice bouncing in an alcoholic drink. Indeed, iceberg ice from Newfoundland can be purchased and is also used by distilleries to make vodka.

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