Status of Original Painting – For Sale
All prices are in Canadian dollars
Size: 14 x 20 inches
Medium: Watercolour on 300 lb Arches
It’s sunrise over the harbour of St. John’s, Newfoundland. Scattered clouds and sunlight have created interesting colors and contrasts, including how the bright orange sunlight illuminates parts of the ship on the left. In the distance, at the top of the cliffs in the middle of the painting, is the rectangular blip of Cabot Tower atop Signal Hill. It was a delight to paint this; I haven’t done many sunrise or sunset scenes.
The entrance to this protected harbour is called The Narrows because it is exactly that, a narrow, shallow, and challenging route with a width of 91 metres and a depth of 11.8 metres at the lowest normal tide. Piloting a large cruise ship or shipping vessel through this has been referred to as “threading the eye of the needle.” Large vessels are required to use the services of a harbour pilot through the Narrows and within the harbour itself. Just off to the right in the background of the painting, headed into the harbour, you can see a small boat labelled Pilot.
The St. John’s Port Authority describes the harbour as “slyly secluded behind dangerous curtains of rock and fog…might easily be overlooked by vessels passing by.” Although The Narrows is windy and treacherous with high waves, the harbour itself is quite calm due to the sheltering protection of the cliffs. The military advantages of the secluded and protected harbour led to efforts to guard it during World War II, including an extensive set of bunkers and gun emplacements on both sides of the Narrows, and a chain net to prevent U-Boats from entering. The remnants of those bunkers are still visible on either side of the harbour entrance.
I’ve done quite a few paintings of views in and around the harbour. One side of The Narrows is featured in “The Battery,” “Newfoundland Breach,” and “Precariously Poised.” The opposite side of the Narrows can be seen in my paintings “Lighthouse at Fort Amherst” and “Narrows Below.” Cabot Tower atop Signal Hill, the site where Marconi received received the first transAtlantic wireless signal in 1901, can be seen in “Cabot Tower” and “Storm Signal.”
Special thanks to my son Jamieson who recently took the early morning photos that I used as reference, and my wife Lisa who suggested the title.