Alqonquin Alligator 28" x 40" Mixed Media on Board $4500

Alqonquin Alligator 28 x 40 Mixed Media on Board

Algonquin Alligator

Alligators, a uniquely Canadian invention, were used in the early logging days. They were used to pull massive floats of logs across lakes using steam engine power, large chains and an anchor system. There is actually a restored one on display at the logging museum here in the Park. Alligator’s got their name from the fact that they were able to cross water, and when they got to shore they were able to use this same chain system to pull itself up and out of the water, across the land and into the next lake. Quite remarkable really. This is similar to what an alligator does, thereby earning it the name.

The canoe trip to find this alligator was one of my difficult trips of the project. All in an effort to locate and paint this woodsman of Algonquin’s past. There was a drought in the Park that summer which resulted in the water being very low. The Otter Slide creek was all but dried up. My paddle was actually used more as push pole than it was as a paddle. Having said that, it was a wonderful trip, and was so exciting to find and paint this piece of Algonquin’s lumbering past. There it was, laid to rest and hidden from sight on the shoreline of Burntroot Lake, in amongst the trees and remnants of an ole lumber camp from days gone by. Another era. A time of Tom Thomson.

Originally I had planned to finish this painting in full colour based on the study I did on site. I wanted to capture a certain mood in this painting. After a lot of drawing and planning I was ready to paint. It was in the process of roughing in a dark background that something stopped me. I realized, quite unexpectedly, that it already said what I had been hoping this painting would say. Something that had never happened to me before, nor after. I felt that by applying more paint I would risk losing that certain feel. That whatever it is that an artist determines is the reason for doing a painting. So I listened. I put my paint brush down and did not put one additional mark nor did I make any corrections, directional arrow marks and all. Some people may feel that I should have kept painting, but as the artist it told the story I wanted to tell. So I signed it. What do you think?