22 Jul, 2015 Painting Frobisher Bay
Tonight I return to a corner of Iqaluit off on its own: Apex. It’s a quaint and quiet area with hills behind it to the north, ocean to the east, and a big hill to the south that looks out over to all. We had a quick visit here on our first evening, and I am retuning now with my paints to see if I can capture it all to bring home. I’m particularly excited about the idea of trying to find a big view overlooking Frobisher Bay, looking far down the coastline toward the ocean.
I start in the logical place for such a view, near the upper edge of the hill looking east. Sure enough, I get a expansive view as expected, with a bluff at my feet reaching steeply downhill toward the ocean’s edge. But near that edge I spot some great chunks of ice, starting to be caught nicely by the late sun. Like a moth to the light, I begin my descent to explore the glowing ice further as a possible focal point for a painting. Twenty minutes later, I decide that the the big view is what I really want after all, but now I’ve used up some precious light exploring around. To save time getting back up, I opt for a short cut up the bluff. It goes well until about the 3/4 mark. That’s when things start to get uncomfortably steep. I see a clear route, and I’m almost within reach, but the camera back on my chest is pushing me away from the cliff, and the weight of my pack is pulling on my back too. I look down at the elevation I’ve gained, consider how this could end very badly if I push further, and make my retreat.
By the time I reach the ridge the long way, the shadows from the hill have crept forward, darkening much of the foreground. However, the sun’s further drop has only accentuated everything else as far as the eye can see, including the millions of smaller pieces of ice floating through the bay. The colours are fantastic. I crack out my easel and get busy. Things go well, but the winds coming directly off the bay are bone-chilling. I didn’t put on my long johns before coming out as it was rather warm, but now I’m regretting it. I brought them along, but I don’t want to take my layers off and expose my skin, so I just pull them on over everything else. There is no one around to see anyway, except for Ryan… who filming the whole thing.
The distant coastline, glowing orange in the sun, eventually turns back to its more muted shades of brown. The sun has finally set. I pack up, jump around to warm up, and start hiking back to the vehicle.