Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Three Points of View

This is one of my favorites for a number of reasons.

While travelling through the Caribbean in 2007 we stopped into Fort de France on the French island of Martinique which looking at the map below, we can see it is in the southern Caribbean between the islands of Dominica and St.Lucia.

For those that haven't been to Martinique, I believe it is as "Old World France" as you are going to experience outside of the actual country of France. The streets are as you would expect, extremely narrow, just wide enough for a single lane of traffic. That physical limitation does not seem to stop some from "trying" to make it into a 2 lane thoroughfare. So maybe they have to drive up on the sidewalk to get where they are headed. A minor detail apparently.

The streets are populated with a wonderful mixture of commercial establishments selling everything one would expect in a busy European downtown, including what seems to be a baguette shop on every corner. Because Martinique is a territory of France, products from the "mainland" are plentiful and there is a certain "electricity" in the air so-to-speak making you feel as if you have just travelled back in time.

Some of the streets further away from the commercial shopping district are mainly residential in nature, but again, the efficient use of real estate so often seen in the Caribbean carries on in those area too. I suppose one has no choice but to get along with their neighbours who are clearly in close quarters. I imagine that there is no such thing as family secrets here.

I came across what we now call "Three Points of View" on one of these narrow "Rues" while exploring the city that day and while I saw a number of similar compositions of windows, some with shutters, some without, it was this one that immediately caught my attention.

In much of my work I use a technique which I call "A Study in Contrasts" where I look for scenes with a mix of dark vs light, calm vs calamity, and in this case, soft vs textured. The rough texture of the cement parging and exposed brickwork is contrasted with the smooth surface of the mahogany shutters. I find scenes with these opposites very attractive.

As an artist I can allow myself the freedom to "imagine". My imagination is influenced not only by physical world around me, but I think there is a also bit of romance mixed in there too. When I saw these three windows, I was struck by the fact that only one of the shutters was open. Had they all been open, or closed, I would have walked right by without giving it any thought. But the fact that only one shutter was open, now that was intriguing!

I can imagine one or maybe many people through the years, elbows resting on the window sill having a friendly chat with a passer by. Or maybe it wasn't so friendly. Maybe it was more chastising than chat! Who knows?

All of these details real and otherwise are what inspires me to try to capture what I see in front of me. In this case I think I was successful.

Where Did The Name "Three Points of View" Come from?

My wife Joyce is an incredibly important part of this business. Along with designing the framing solutions for all of our canvases, she does the actual framing of every piece as well. She also handles what I call "a thousand invisible jobs" that are not always seen, but are vital to the business. If that wasn't enough, she is also the one that comes up with the names for all my pieces. I have seen her spend days trying to come up with just the right name for a piece. Such was the case here......... however as good as she is, sometimes things don't happen the way you want them to.

After about three days and nights of trying to come up with a name for this piece she was stumped. Nothing was coming.....

Now before I go any further, I have to tell you that thank goodness Joyce is so good at coming up with names because quite frankly, I am hopeless at it. If it was left to me, I might have a collection with exotic titles like, "Flower One, Flower Two, Bird One, Bird Two..... you get the idea. Hey, you can't be good at everything!

So, where did "Three Points of View" come from? Well amazingly enough, after three days of trying Joyce said, "I honestly can't think of the right name for this". Somehow, some way, I blurted out, "Three Points of View" with absolutely zero thought behind it. "That's it" she said! Now to this day I don't know if she really thought it was the perfect name or if she was just too exhausted from three days of thinking about it, but there you have it.

"Three Points of View" is a limited edition of only 100 canvases and as of this writing, the edition is getting very close to selling out.

For sizes and pricing please CLICK HERE, or call the gallery at 905-562-0068 for further information.

As the late, great Paul Harvey would say, "Now you know the rest of the story......"


The Kenneth Lane Smith Gallery
Jordan Village, ON -905-562-0068
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