Artist Galen Mercer lives along the Battenkill in West Arlington, Vermont. Canadian by birth, he’s the grandson of two painters and the son of another, so it’s kind of in his blood. Here are three of his most recent works. He describes the project this way:
Painting Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula over the years, color continues to increase on my palette and these recent scenes are characteristic. The broad nature of the rivers and their steep-walled valleys mean contrasts are more acute, shadows more interesting and effects of atmosphere more varied than in most other places I visit. Among the prevalent cool tones are found many rich and warm shades–ochre and tannin stained riverbeds glowing beneath the sun, luminous trunks of cedar and spruce which draw attention to the slopes, mountain ridges catching and gathering the first or the last light of day.
These latest works are rather various in theme, with an overview (or “souvenir,” as 19th century landscape painters referred to them) of the expansive and marvelous Baie des Chaleurs, a color study of a guide’s canoe, encountered traveling upriver one day along the Cascapedia (in fierce, noon glare the register was high enough that the boat’s forest green exterior seemed nearly white) and a large painting depicting early morning anglers and the strange things dawn and shifting fog does to transform color, light and the shadowy masses of mountains. We’ve all been there . . . .