Christopher Kovacs - Fine Art
June 25, 2024   12:54 pm NL Time

Quidi Vidi Wharf

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Quidi Vidi Wharf


Status of Original Painting – Sold at Charity Auction

All prices are in Canadian dollars

Size: 15 x 20  inches

Price: $1,100

Medium: Watercolour on 300 lb Arches


These fishing stages and boats are in Quidi Vidi, a small village with narrow streets that is part of St. John’s, Newfoundland. “Quidi Vidi” is most commonly pronounced “kiddy-viddy” but I’ve heard other locals call it something like “qwi-duh-vie-duh.” The body of water shown here is Quidi Vidi Gut, which forms a protected harbor that opens out into the Atlantic ocean. The “Gut” is connected to nearby Quidi Vidi Lake, which is the setting of the annual Royal St. John’s Regatta, an event held annually (subject to weather, wars, and pandemics) since 1816.

Quidi Vidi was established in the 1600s by cod fishermen from South Devon in England. They resided here during the spring and summer before heading home in the fall, but gradually more and more fishermen chose to stay and establish permanent homes. Several national historic sites are found here, including batteries built by the French in 1762, more batteries built by the British during the Napoleonic wars, and Mallard Cottage, a home established by a fishing family around 1820 which now houses a respected restaurant. Quidi Vidi Gut is also home to the Quidi Vidi Brewing Company and the Quidi Vidi Plantation (a store that displays works by local artisans).

An article from the CBC discusses the uncertainties about the origin, pronunciation, and spelling of the name Quidi Vidi, including the tall tale that it’s Latin because Julius Caesar came, saw, and pronounced it a beautiful site.

I took the reference photo several weeks ago in July. We took a spontaneous outing to stroll about, enjoy the summer weather, and have an outdoor lunch from one of the restaurants or food trucks nearby. I didn’t have my good camera with me, but my iPhone served the purpose quite well.

I first painted Quidi Vidi Gut some nineteen years ago in 2002 (see below). The angle in that scene was straight on to the fishing stages in the middle with the brewery on the right. The view in the new painting is from the far left of the original, and focuses on the fishing stages. Those fishing stages and the wharf have changed a lot over the years.

Some people say my style never changes whereas others say it has changed a lot. Comparing these two paintings provides an opportunity to decide. What do you think?

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