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Anyone Can Paint! – Become a Local Artist on the GNP

Chef Gusteau‘s cookbook “Anyone Can Cook!” resonates as I enrolled in a local art class. I did not realize that “Anyone Can Paint!, but with an Instructor like George Bussey, it certainly feels like anyone can.

An email circulated by a colleague noted that George’s Art Studio was holding an painting class on Wednesday, June 8th from 6-9 PM. It noted that you would have the opportunity to paint a 18″X24″ painting with all supplies included for a mere cost of $30.00. I am interested in art, painting and continuous learning, thus, I did not hesitate to pick up the phone and dial 1-709-454-4070. I was greeted by a friendly voice at the other end, “George’s Art Studio”. I inquired about the class. Mr. Bussey noted they are kept to a minimum of 7 students to ensure that each student can get some one-on-one attention. I agreed to attend and circulated to my co-workers. I had one taker and we were able to carpool as St. Anthony is 150 km from Plum Point, NL.

George’s Art Studio is located at the Upper Level of the Viking Mall, St. Anthony, NL. He has quite the set up which displays his own art, a private studio/office for him to complete his own work, classroom and a small storefront for anyone needing art supplies.

On the wall was our painting – a harbour with iceberg and some trees. It certainly did not look like a beginners painting, but George assured us all that we could do it. The atmosphere for learning was warm and playful, with an opportunity to smile and joke with other students as we all hesitantly took some of our brush strokes.

 George taught us how to mix paint, accent, layer, use different brushes and let us know that we could not make a mistake as we could just paint over it. He reminded me of Bob Ross of PBS – as he made painting look easy. George was more than helpful and multi-talented.

Three hours of enjoyment flew by and at the end there was a completed painting. I was skeptical that it could be done, but with George maintaining a good pace and keeping us all on track we all did it! I am so happy with my first attempt at painting and can not wait to take my next class with Mr. Bussey.

George currently continues his night classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Drop by his Art Studio at the Viking Mall or call 709-454-4070 to reserve your seat and you too can frame your own artwork after one class!

I continue to be impressed with all the opportunity and talent that exists on the Great Northern Peninsula.

 Live Rural NL –

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

 

 

Island Adventures to Miquelon-Langlade…(Part II)

Traversing through the sea caves

The tour began at 8:30 AM at the docks in St. Pierre. We previously purchased our tickets at the Tourist Information Office the previous day for just 60.50 Euro (~$80.00 CDN). At the docks we were greeted by the “tour opérateur” Monsieur Jean Cloony and handed life preservers; then took our seats on a large zodiac with two powerful motors. The sky was a little grey, but the rain held and we had a very nice ride to a sea cave formation, where we crept inside and once beyond we saw a group of harp seals resting on the rocks of the island. It was quite a treat, to see these white coats watch as we passed on. Some decided to plunge into the ocean, maybe they were startled by the sound of our engines or just hungry. It has been a long time since I’ve been so close to such an animal.

Seals on rocks

The Great Seal Hunt has historical significance and plays a role even today as we continue to live our rural heritage. In winter I proudly wear a pair of seal skin boots. The leather was prepared, barked and tanned by my father. They are the last pair I will ever own that have his talent and craftsmanship. Although they are more than 11 years old, I hope to have them for the rest of my days. A future article will be dedicated to the Great Seal Hunt.

The zodiac ride was 40 minutes. We passed a few fisherman’s camps that were strategically placed between the cliffs, well sheltered from weather and perfect for launching a boat. We landed in Langlade to be met by friendly locals ready to pull our boat to shore. It was time for breakfast at “Chez Janot”, the only restaurant in town!

Chez Janot

After a cup of coffee and croissant we boarded an air-conditioned bus with seating capacity for 20 and bilingual audio. We visited Langlade, which has beautiful sites and is basically untouched and uninhabited (excepted during summer months). The population goes from 0 – 200 people. Some of these people have summer houses, but most are like Newfoundlander‘s, they enjoy camping! Our first stop was a lovely French garden. My grandmother certainly would have smiled seeing all the love gone into caring for the variety of flowers. We continued to view l’Anse du Gouvernement, the Bellai Bridge (which crosses the Belle-Riviere), the Ste Therese Chapel, the Belle-Croix, the Debon brook and a lovely view from the Petit-Barachois.

French Garden

We returned to Chez Janot for a French-style meal, which included wine and a dessert with coffee. Tres Bon! We continued the afternoon on the bus, we drove on a sandy beach and stopped by the campground. One of the proprietors invited us all to stop for an aperitif. This alcoholic beverage was mixed with sparkling water and had hints of licorice. It was quite pleasant! The people on this quaint island we incredibly hospitable to their guests. We continued on our way to pass several wild horses. The children on the bus stopped to feed them some bread. Even the older people were smiling and in love with these animals. A little further up the road, one horse spotted “Chez Janot” bus and decided he would come visit.

Sorry...I don't have fare...

This horse was either well-trained or just curious, because none of the others decided to come near. He received some treats and we continued on our merry way to Miquelon.

Miquelon and Langlade were once two separate islands. Since the end of the 18th century, they have been reunited by a sand isthmus on which a road was built. The drive from the beach in Langlade to the village of Miquelon is about 24 kms. Upon arrival to Miquelon, which has a population of about 600 people we stopped and viewed the church, craftshop and harbour. We walked the streets and saw the Cap Blanc lighthouse. There is a museum for those that are interested.

Church

After a day of discovery, we returned to the zodiac. We arrived in St. Pierre at 5:30 PM. This enabled us to relax and returned to our friend’s house before we would dine for the evening over some delicious French-style cuisine and good wine!

If you want a memorable visit to the French Islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon you must consider this tour, if you wish to really experience the entirety of their adventurous archipelago.

For more photos of my trip, visit my Facebook Group at: “Live Rural NL”.

From Live Rural NL – CCM

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