Fish Rock (oil on canvas 5 x 7 in.)

10 September in the morning finds me sitting atop "Fish Rock" in Rockport, Ontario, on the St Lawrence River, looking down on the low,  eastward extension of the rock as waves slosh and comb its fringe of bright green algae. I am participating in the annual "paintout" of the International Plein Air Painters. There are about twenty of us, painting boats, buildings, islands, docks... and in my case, rocks.

The narrow street through the eastern part of town is backed upon its river side first by marinas and then by white frame houses that present blank rear walls, back doors and garages to the street... but most of these unprepossessing dwellings on the river side of the street have elegant fronts on their gardens and yards overlooking a sparkling expanse of blue water, graced by islands, busy with boats, and framed by the distant sunlit southern shore.

Fish Rock is a traditional swimming spot. I am told that everyone who grew up in Rockport swam there. Fish Rock itself is a great round granite boulder encrusted with lichen, a high diving spot for the bold. You can see eastward edge of it at the bottom of my painting. The rock that I am looking down on is lower, smoothed by sandy storm waves, preferred by folks who want to launch into the waves from a lower level. 
A White Oak tree and a White Pine shade the ground cover that borders the lawn where I walk back along the path behind the boat house. A ground cover of bindweed that sprawls over a few Sumacs and crowds out the Virginia Creeper. A bank of Jewelweed is half blossomed and half fruited. The Bumblebees are still nosing into the pendulous orange flowers, and I gently pinch the fattest of the dangling torpedo shaped fruits to set off a satisfying explosion as pale seeds go flying and a long translucent green strap snaps itself into a baby fist faster than I can see how it's done.

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  1. Terrific! Aleta captured the feeling behind the rock and the waves!


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