December 2020 – Newsletter 5

Chris Wright Newsletters

Welcome to the December newsletter. It has certainly been a challenging year with the chaos and disruption from the pandemic. For the most part I remain optimistic as I believe resilience is the key to managing troubles. I certainly will not forget the extensive human and economic toll, but from a personal standpoint, I firmly believe I will look back at this year as one of personal and artistic growth along with the many new, and strengthening of existing connections, to artists. I believe that art is an important component of a healthy community and in particular this year, an important tonic.

With this final newsletter of the year, I wanted to thank each of you for your support and inspiration through 2020 and to wish you a Merry Christmas. See you in January.

This following articles are indexed for your convenience:
John Nutter Glass Studio
Exploring Granville Island
The Shipyards to Mosquito Creek Marina

John Nutter Glass Studio

John in front of his sand blasted creations

I recently had the good fortune to meet the renowned glass artist John Nutter at his Granville Island studio. John has created impressive glass artworks over many years including Escape to Stella Polaris Kelowna International Airport, Tree of Joy Investors Group office Winnipeg, and various pieces at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre Vancouver. He was also part of the team with Bill Reid creating the Spirit of Haida Gwaii.

John graciously accepted my request to spend a morning in his studio, to photograph him and some of his artwork, while chatting about his career. Thank you very much John!

I love the warmth in this portrait of John set against one of his glass artworks. While John may not have a natural smile, he is a real joy to chat with…open, friendly, and so creative!
Eagle Shield, John Nutter

return to index

Exploring Granville Island

Granville Island is a photographers paradise with numerous eclectic buildings, nooks and crannies to explore, artists studios and shops, and a very welcoming environment to artists. It was repurposed from industrial use starting in the late 1970’s through the 1980s and continues being a great artist and local market hub. I have visited several times this year and I always come away feeling excited and inspired by the new found photographic treasures.

Under the Granville street bridge is the Kids Market. The early morning lighting was casting beautiful shadows while illuminating the bridge’s steel lattice work.
This was one of the first things I saw on this trip and it needed to be captured! The interplay with light and shadow, vertical to z shape to angled shadow lines and the heavy to light structures was most inspiring.
Interstellar Travel. In a passage way leading from a street to False Creek, alongside the old Emily Carr University are overhead industrial lighting illuminating it. I have walked this passage way on previous trips and always enjoyed looking at the possibilities. On this trip I decided on an approach to capture the lighting and I was most pleased with the resulting abstract.
The low angle morning light created the most wonderful shadows and I stopped at this location and enjoyed watching the interplay of heavy shadow lines with the illuminated abandoned railway lines.
I will admit that I am borderline obsessed with shadows and thus have this heightened awareness of them. I can’t begin to describe how excited I was on this visit to see these sinuous but heavy tree shadows reflecting on the metal clad building…add in my love of the intrigue with what lies beyond doors and it was a most joyous time!
The sun, having risen higher, cast bright circular shapes from overhead lamp globes onto one of the shops. I was taken with how those play against the square window vignettes and the textures on the building and ground.
Pastel Reflections on Steel. I liken photographers to kids on an Easter egg hunt, always looking around at the rich possibilities! I noticed the orange and red tones reflecting in the sun illuminated plate steel. My yellow jacket added to the composition and I quickly had this pastel like abstract created.
As sunset neared, I noticed how the low angle sun cast the railway lines to bronze. The interplay with the curve and the straight lines was very interesting to me.
A collection of neon signs welcomes and directs visitors to the island.
People Watching Fireworks. I was very eager to produce an abstract from the night and Christmas lights at Granville Island. I had an area of beautiful lights almost to myself so I could take the time to work on producing something unique.

return to index

The Shipyards to Mosquito Creek Marina

Looking northward along the Burrard Pier towards the shipyards and North Shore mountains.

It was on a cold clear morning that I made my way over to the North Vancouver waterfront to photograph the morning light and fog. I started at The Shipyards and was totally taken with the lighting, fog, and frost. It seemed to transform the subjects I was familiar with from previous trips into totally new subjects.

At the end of the Burrard Pier is one of the best water level views of downtown Vancouver. With early morning light, the Harbour Centre rises out of the fog while ships wait at anchor.
I have looked at the Burrard Pier from this shore side vantage point on previous visits but this time it was pure magic! The sides were brightly lit while the normally busy background was obscured with fog. The high tide reduced the height of the pier which seemed to assist with the balance and massing of it.
The frost on the wood docks, while a slippery challenge, really added to the whole look of the compositions. The bolts formed a distinctive linear pattern set off against the frost.
This is a composition that in the past I would have passed on given the extreme tonal range. I looked at it for a bit and then decided to go for it. I must say how pleased I am with it, from the bright fog backlit by the rising sun to to the inky black water, it just sings for me!
As part of celebrating the shipbuilding heritage on this site, one of the massive cranes remains. I noticed how the strong light on the side of the crane was creating interesting, creative, and colourful reflections on the water.
Not only was the lighting amazing, but the tide was high and it was interesting to see how much better this view of the Lonsdale Quay Market was with the tug boat and docks at near the same level as the building. The reflections in the slack water just added to the beauty.
I was pleased to see the upper level deck at Lonsdale Quay was open and even more pleased to note the interesting vantage point of the outdoor eating area. Each person or group is in their own little bubble. The strong orange and yellow lines further groups the people.
Quay Mosaic. As I was leaving the upper level deck, I noticed the outdoor pierced floor covering and knew there had to be an abstract there. I worked a few different assemblies before deciding on this composition.
A short walk east of The Shipyards and Lonsdale Quay is Waterfront Park. I normally walk along the seawall path but on this visit I approached from the street side and thus had a different perspective on the Cathedral sculpture. I was struck by the interplay between the sculpture and the large cloud form above the office towers.
Mosquito Creek Marina is adjacent the park and has some fantastic houseboats, colourful and with barrel roofs. It also provides a clear view of The Lions (“Ch’ich’iyúy Elxwíkn”) and when there is snow on them and the sky is blue, magic happens! I actually looked at this vantage point earlier in the year and knew I would have to return in the winter time.
Liquid Reflections Meeting. While photographing The Lions, I noticed the most beautiful reflections in the water and tried a few approaches to capture those. People strolled by on the seawall while I worked through a few approaches, lost in my own creative bubble! I am pleased with this unique and colourful abstract.

return to index