The second ocean freighter of spring arrived in Toronto today. The first one to dock at the Redpath Sugar Mill quay was the Tundra. I took this picture on March 28, the day of my last blog update but; I didn't want to be confusing then and... there is something strange about a ship bearing sugar from the Caribbean called Tundra.


I'd paint it except what I think is cool and poetic doesn't happen visually. There is nothing visual to connect "Tundra" with "sugar" and no hint of "spring thaw".

To name an ocean vessel, Tundra, the owner would have to be thinking outside the sweet boxed package deal of Canada. Toronto is 23 degrees of latitude south of the arctic circle.

Sugar and Spice.

I can imagine the Tundra docked in Kingston Jamaica. Down there the name is hot chocolate romantic, a land of milky white wealth oozing maple sap.


LandSea03 (Sentier de la Grande Traversee) acrylic on 24 x 36 (61 x 91 cm) stretched canvas.


That "grouse" in LandSea03 is a ptarmigan. He was changing his colour from browns to whites for the winter when he led me to his special place on a mossy log while his flock pecked gravel grit for their gizzards on the Grand Traversee foot trail across the Gaspe. That's how I know he was not a grouse, some of his feathers were changing to winter whites. Ptarmigan live in the tundra where they exist at the bottom of the food chain. In the east the tundra occurs farther south than in the west. The alpine tundra summit of Mont Jacques-Cartier is only 1200 meters above the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In the Rocky Mountains, at about the same latitude, the mountain tundra begins around 3,200 meters above sea level.

Toronto is about the same latitude as Portland Oregon.

The latitude of Toronto is about 43 degrees and Kingston is about 18 degrees or; Kingston is about 25 degrees of latitude south of Toronto.


Why would workers splitting logs for bridges on la sentier de la Grande Traversee make a spillway for fun and why would a ptarmigan stomp on a special place on a log until the moss cannot grow there?

Can, as the Automatists of Quebec believed, a painting be sound tableau?




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