Culinary and Artistic Rambles in
Somewhere between the lobster corn chowder and the pan seared Digby scallops, I started to speculate about what it would be like to live here. By the time I got to the lemon tart and fresh raspberries, I was discussing with my dinner companion the logistics of selling my home and moving here.
I was comfortably settled in a corner table of Tempest, a fine restaurant on the corner of
As we finished our main course, we watched the lawyer in his office across the street put on his suit jacket, hoist his briefcase and set out on his walk home. It wasn’t just the sight of a lawyer who still wore a shirt and tie, or a lawyer who walked home from work that was intriguing. I could imagine dinner waiting for him in a high ceilinged dining room in one of the large clapboard homes, maybe one painted white or pale yellow or blue, like the ones we had seen in the centre of town.
Others walked by – exercising their dogs, completing errands, just walking for pleasure as the sun turned the historic Acadian dykes to pink and gold.
The scene was a graphic explanation of why so many artists have either been inspired here, or have migrated here.
Artists are notoriously retiring in nature, however, and finding them can be a challenge. The Studio Map, a year-round guide to Arts & Craft in
Through the Guide, I found artists who worked in every media, from watercolour, oil and graphite, to glass, clay and wood. The map/guide is an inspired pairing of the descriptions of the art work and the location of the artists of
The Studio Map's directions to the homes of artists whose work is for sale are detailed, and often quirky. For example, visitors are led to Kathryn Gordon’s studio with directions like these: “At the Huey Lake/Mount Pleasant sign, turn left between the red barn and the white church. The studio is the fish shack at the very end of the lane.” Gordon transforms glass into one-of-a-kind beads that she fashions into wearable art in her ‘fish shack’ studio in Lahave.
The Studio Map brought me to The Tangled Garden in
The Tangled Garden is in fact a real garden, a living piece of installation art that visitors can walk through, ideally with a bowl of McClare’s freshly made lavender ice cream in hand. Her sculptures are a whimsical surprise along the garden paths. The cottage-like store displays her mustards, vinegars, flavoured oils and jellies as if they were works of art. On the top floor is George Walford’s studio, where he displays the large mixed media paintings he is doing right now, complex explorations of texture and colour. Formally trained at the
Right now is the perfect time to visit
Adriane Abbott, co-founder,with Beverley McClare, of the Studio Rally and Map, describes the guide as a ‘catalogue of characters’. “The artists on this map are sociable and derive real pleasure from the interaction and feedback your visit provides.”
She has this advice for the art loving tourist: “Take the back roads and the far roads. Laugh a lot. Don’t get mad at the navigator; delight in the fact that you are seeing the same incredible view twice. Eat well. Visit the studios, enjoy the people, and if their work moves you, for heaven’s sake, shop!”
My last stop was the iconic Peggy’s Cove. On the patio of the only bed and breakfast in town I watched the sun set behind
There is no lack of inspiration on this coastline.
If You Go
Studio Rally/Studio Map
www.studiorally.ca – the website has the studio map complete with photographs and a short description of each artist’s work and contact information, or you can request a copy by mail.
Nova Scotia Department of Tourism & Culture
Ask for a copy of the 2009 Doers’ & Dreamers’ Guide. I found Tempest, and the comfortable Tattingstone Inn in Wolfville through the Doers’ & Dreamers’Guide issued by Nova Scotia Tourism. The publication, over four hundred pages long, is one of the best organized and most detailed driving guides I have discovered anywhere. It tells you about museums, places to stay and sites to see along several routes around the island province. In addition to the well known Evangeline Trail, there is the