East Looking West

This commission has long been a work in progress

You see I knew the client would be back in Saint John for Christmas. And so I dawdled quite a bit. Actually a lot.  I did the photography last summer and started the painting earlier this year.  The sky took me an unusual amount of time.  I really worked hard to achieve the degree of perspective with the clouds receding in the distance.

I love this place

As a child we first lived in Red Head after moving there from Cape Breton.  The rocks along the dike were much smaller back then and often overwhelmed by the waves during a storm surge.    Our father would time the waves and then make a run for it on our little VW Beetle.  Often times a wave would crash over the car. The car would jolt sideways a bit and there was no way the wipers could be effective.  Often the waves were accompanied by a litany of expletive deleteds!  And the defending logic that the salt water was not good for the car.

The process was both thrilling and terrifying to my little girl self.  To this day I have dreams of being stranded on the Red Head side of the dike and have to figure out how to navigate across.  I always do find a way across by the way, but it is often full of peril.

East Looking West by Helen Shideler

I was thrilled to be asked to paint this location

The skyline, Partridge Island, the Bay and the beach were really fun to pull together.  The detail on the Island was so much fun to paint.  I love the way it turned out.  The foreground beach almost painted itself.  I painted the rocks last - one at a time.

Happy to say "East Looking West" is now a completed painting.