The province of Newfoundland is Canada’s easternmost province, located on the Atlantic coast. The most easternly point of North America can be found here and as a result, it was the first place discovered in North America by Norse Viking explorers.
The Strait of Belle Isle separates the province into two geographical divisions, Labrador and island of Newfoundland. This culture-rich area has its own dialects of English, French and Irish languages as well as Innu-aimun and Inuktitut, which are both aboriginal.
For many centuries, Newfoundland has been a haven for the fisheries industry. As a result, colourful homes dot the coast of the province making this a vibrant place brimming with inspiration for artists and tourists alike.
We recently traveled to Newfoundland to visit with well-loved artist Ed Roche, who paints the (appropriately titled) Newfoundland calendar for Pine Ridge Art along with contributing his beautiful pieces to a variety of our gift ware and stationery. We must say we were overwhelmed with this stunning area, and couldn’t recommend traveling there enough.
Ed Roche has been painting stunning portraits of island life for 25 years. Born and raised in a small coastal town a half hour outside of the capital St. John’s, Ed grew up surrounded by wilderness and rugged views of cliffs and waterfront vistas.
Ed studied at Memorial University in St. John’s and after a time working in education, Ed began to paint, inspired by his travels around the province to see the various landscapes and communities. He first painted in watercolour and produced studies of found objects, the coastlines and his family’s home. Soon Ed began working on developing a signature style and experimenting in various mediums, and eventually settled into the vibrant palette possible using acrylic paint.
The artist describes his painting philosophy:
“You start with a blank canvas. And when you finish painting, the goal is to be left with an image you can walk into…you have to be able to recreate the energy of a community. And without that heart and soul, well, it’s just another painting.”