Christopher Kovacs - Fine Art
April 17, 2024   10:21 am NL Time

Stone Grown

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Stone Grown


Status of Original Painting – Sold

All prices are in Canadian dollars

Size: 17 x 20  inches

Price: $ 750

Medium: Watercolour on 300 lb Arches


This incongruous scene caught my eye and simply demanded to be painted. The large plug of rock seems out of place, as if dropped there in an aborted terraforming project. Was it uprooted to transplant somewhere else, and then forgotten and left behind? Or was it supposed to be pushed into place where it is? The hardy evergreen has optimistically gone along for the ride and made the best of it.

I’m reminded of the Cities in Flight novels of James Blish, in which entire cities around the globe uproot themselves with spindizzies (combination anti-gravity devices and faster-than-light drives) in order to travel the stars and settle on other planets. Think of New York City, Toronto, and Melbourne as massive starships, with a globe of atmosphere on top and their undersides showing bedrock. Then think of space battles between cities, and rogue pirate cities… This painting could depict the test launch of a prototype spindizzy, strapped to a smaller plug of uprooted earth.

The scene is real and is in Bunyan’s Cove, Newfoundland, a small community between Port Blandford and Musgravetown, near Terra Nova National Park. The names of the original settlers are known, but why it got the name Bunyan’s Cove has been long forgotten. Maybe Paul Bunyan, the giant lumberjack of Canadian and American folklore, is responsible for its name and this massive plug of rock?

I’m often asked how I come up with the titles for my paintings. Sometimes they come to me spontaneously while working on a painting. Other times family and friends suggest better titles then I had in mind. And then I’ll hear suggestions, and I’ll riff off those to create something else entirely. It was the last scenario that led to the naming of this painting. I was focused on titles suggesting terraforming, colonists, or plugging, and then Lisa Dawe suggested “Set in Stone” or “Emerging.” That prompted me to think of “Stone Grown,” which I think quite nicely captures both the large plug of rock (as if it had grown out of the earth), and the tree and smaller growths clinging to it.

My thanks to Debbie Harnum for the two reference photos that I used to create this painting.

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