20 x 8 watercolour
From the sea to the streets runs the wandering fog,There is something about an expanse of water that begets more water in other forms. Mist or fog obscures the view, taking away definition and draping itself over the rocks and trees as well as the water.
like the steam from a steer interred in the cold,
and long tongues of water accumulate, covering over
this month that, in our lives, promised heaven.
- Pablo Neruda - Love Sonnet Number 85
Living on the northeast Avalon Peninsula, fog is often blanketing the coastal towns creating 'mauzy' days. The small coves and bays where fishermen sought shelter and created homes still stand, untouched by time in terms of geography and the look of rocks and trees and water.
The peninsula was one of the first European inhabited areas in North America, with the first permanent settlement established at Cuper's Cove in 1610. Sir George Calvert was later given a large land holding on the peninsula. The initial colony of Ferryland grew to a population of 100 becoming the first successful permanent settlement on Newfoundland island. In 1623 Calvert was given a Royal Charter extending the Royal lands and granting them the name Province of Avalon "in imitation of Old Avalon in Somersetshire wherein Glassenbury stands, the first fruits of Christianity in Britain as the other was in that party of America." Calvert wished to make the colony a refuge for Roman Catholics facing persecution in England. In 1625 Calvert was made the first Lord Baltimore in recognition of his achievements.Admiral's Cove is one of the small settlements on the Avalon, near Ferryland and it is here in the sheltered cove that this watercolour depicts. The fog is just starting to form on the horizon and is softening the headland. In an hour or less, the foreground starts to become hazy with fog, taking colour with it and creeping into your clothes and hair with cold and damp.
Capturing that magical form of water at its various stages is complex, as it changes before your eyes in both shape and colour. I love the softened look to the sea and land that fog creates and the mournful, incessant sound of the foghorn warning ships they are too close to land.
Many of the traditional lighthouses are now gone, replaced by fog alarms instead. The foghorn works with laser technology. Two laser-beams are transmitted far upon the ocean. If the beams can not intersect - the fog horn is triggered to sound-off. Huge, crashing waves, causing mist, can sometimes trigger a "false-alarm" sounding of the horn.
I prefer the romantic notion of rotating lights and humans manning lighthouses, perched on a rock face in the fog.