June Walker Wilson BFA
A number of winters ago I drove to the south side of St. John’s harbour, directly across from the downtown. The cliffs there are steep with just enough land for a road and a few houses.
The intent was to photograph the icicles hanging from the cliffs as potential inspiration for paintings.
Often the ice is not, as expected, clear but coloured by the minerals and soils in the water run-off. This is evident in my painting Poem #6.
Not only were the icicles beautifully shaped, but the thaw/freeze cycle had produced ice stalagmites in the snow below.
At the western end of the harbour, the steep road which winds its way up the community at the top of the hill, has rock walls on one side and sheer drops on the other. At one spot the water run-off from the land above creates a mini-waterfall, mostly frozen in winter, with just a trickle of water still flowing. It’s an exposed spot and I remember feeling cold but intrigued by the shapes of the frozen fall and the gentle snow covering some of the rocks and ice.
My tripod and camera were set up across from the waterfall and I had already taken a number of shots when two friends came down the steep winter road in their van. They just saw me before making a hairpin turn in the road. The passenger and I did a double take and then they were gone.
Winter Waterfall is one of the paintings which emerged following that day’s photo shoot, but the memory of its beginning will always be associated with the fleeting glimpse of my friends.
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