By Paul Gessell
You know it’s spring when Shawn McNevin has her annual exhibition of misty Newfoundland landscapes at Galerie McKenzie-Marcotte in Wakefield.
McNevin lives just north of Gatineau in Chelsea – in the winter – but spends her summers painting in western Newfoundland, where she has a cottage at Cow Head, near Gros Morne National Park. Each year’s crop of paintings is exhibited at McKenzie-Marcotte in the spring before the artist heads off for another summer of beachcombing, hiking and, of course, painting.
Each year, the canvases reveal tweaks in style and content. The landscapes, like much of Newfoundland itself, are people-less and often set on or near the seashore or some other body of water. But McNevin adds and subtracts colours from her palette each year, finds a new waterfall, headland, or forest to paint, experiments with abstraction and impressionism and always leaves the viewer feeling refreshed and eager to visit the Newfoundland scenery in person.
This year’s exhibition is called Changing Perception. My favourite work is called “Valley Mist.” Tree tops are shrouded by a bluish mist rising from some unseen body of water in a valley below. It makes you, the viewer, feel like a bird flying over that magical valley.
Galerie McKenzie-Marcotte is best known for the unique pottery created by the two owners, David McKenzie and Maureen Marcotte. Their colourful designs incorporate everything from the imprints of ferns and leaves to riffs on the paintings of 16th century Flemish painter Bruegel. They have literally been commissioned to create plates for heads of state and entire sets of dinnerware for foodies who desire crockery to dazzle the diner.
The gallery is a perfect Sunday afternoon drive for city folks looking for a springtime country destination. The exhibition continues until May 14.
Galerie McKenzie-Marcotte is located at 26 Sully, Wakefield, www.mckenziemarcotte.ca.