During a recent visit to the Low Tide Gallery in Bridgetown, N.S., I encountered the colorfully vibrant work of Denny Lunn. He is a self-taught artist who first took up painting in his mid-70s and whose style is best described as being within the folk art tradition.
Lunn lives in the Annapolis Valley area and, like many folk artists, his subject matter reflects his community, which for him are the coastal and agricultural landscapes of Nova Scotia. These are scenes that I suspect many Canadians are familiar with — depictions of the maritime shore, lobster and fishing boats, winter skating and hockey, and cows in pastures that joyfully capture the province’s landscape in bright colors. For Lunn just about any available surface suffices as a canvas for his art, including fishing buoys, shovels, hand saws, paddles, milk buckets, baking tins, rocks, driftwood or any other utilitarian or natural object readily at hand, with every nook and cranny becoming filled with glorious detail.
Some of the imagery takes artistic license and doesn’t fit with the actual landscape but nevertheless conveys a consistent imaginative sensibility. Thus, in some of Lunn’s paintings snow-covered mountain peaks hover in the background while boats sail along in summer waters.
Low Tide Gallery proprietor Steve Skafte, who is a writer, fine art photographer and genuinely nice fellow with terrific insights and is passionate about the authenticity of Lunn’s art, deserves great credit for helping bring more attention to Lunn. Skafte created the above documentary video and this coming Sunday, July 30, his gallery will kick off a showcase of Lunn’s work. It will be well worth visiting if you are nearby. When Canadians think of folk artists, fellow Nova Scotian Maud Lewis frequently comes to mind (the Nova Scotia Gallery of Art has an exhibit of her work) and she was certainly one of the country’s more prominent such artists. I believe Lunn deserves to be in her company.
More about Lunn’s work and the gallery is available on the Low Tide Gallery Facebook page.
I wonder if he travels to Vancouver, last year I saw of his work in one of the shoppes.
Great to hear!
As far as I know, he never has! But I’ve sold a number of his pieces, even shipped some out from Low Tide Gallery, so there’s no telling what journey they’ve made since.
Too bad he didn’t start painting much younger. Just think of what else he might have accomplished.
Yes, but I think he’s enjoying himself a great deal.
For sure. I was selfishly thinking of all the pleasure he could have brought to the public if he had started painting sooner.
His paintings are amazing!
Thanks very much for writing this! It’s been a real joy to share the work of Denny Lunn, also to film him and write about him. Few folks are as totally genuine as this man. I appreciate you passing him on out into the world.
Hey, Steve, thanks! Keep doing all the good things that you’re doing!
LOVE the folk art in Nova Scotia. Our house is still adorned with many wonderful pieces from the time we lived on the Atlantic coast. Thanks for introducing Denny. His art makes me smile.
Caroline, thanks for sharing this. 🙂
I really enjoyed that film.
Very cool art !
Hi Brett Thanks for the post about Denny Lunn, Steve Skafte and Low Tide Gallery. I watched the videos about Denny and purchased some of his artwork because I think his work is fresh and straightforward. And Steve Skafte is pretty darn charming, too.
Chris Masterman chrismasterman.com @c_masterman
Hi, Chris, that’s great to hear! I agree about Denny Lunn’s art and Steve Skafte. Best, Brett
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Very nice! Love the colours used 🙂 Can’t wait to see more blog posts from you soon!
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