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This is based on #1784 Mattawa Pines. I really liked the smaller painting a lot and thought that it deserved a larger format. When one starts a new painting you need to feel aspirations of making it your new favourite - better than anything else who have ever done before. You hope that every brush stroke you have made in your life up to that point, were all be just steps to this new canvas and the brush strokes you will soon be applying to it. It is good if not essential to have these dreams. Sometimes dreams come true. Sometimes the canvas can become a nightmare. This canvas went really well and I had a lot of fun with it at the start.
The story behind this scene follows:
My son and I and a group of new friends were paddling down the Mattawa like Big Joe Mufferaw in mid June 2016. This view was from the first day is in the eastern end of Trout Lake outside North Bay. It had rained hard the night before but the dawn brought overcast stratus and some light drizzle - perfect. We took the southern route and had the time of our lives! There was enough water to run all of the rapids except of course for the major falls.
Big Joe Mufferaw was a French Canadian folk hero from the Ottawa Valley, perhaps best known today as the hero of a song by Stompin' Tom Connors. Like Paul Bunyan, he made his living chopping down trees. The name is also sometimes spelled Muffero, Muffera, Muffraw, and Montferrand. The last spelling is more common among francophones; anglophones who had trouble with it used one of the other spellings.
In addition to being the subject of many Paul Bunyan-esque tall tales, Mufferaw is sometimes enlisted as a defender of oppressed French Canadian loggers in the days when their bosses were English-Canadians and their rivals for work were Irish-Canadians. In one story, Big Joe was in a Montreal bar, where a British army major named Jones was freely insulting French Canadians. After Big Joe beat the major, he bellowed, "Any more insults for the Canadians?"
February 23rd, 2018
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