Artist Brian Scott had a studio in Cumberland for 20 years.
At the time, everyone in “Dodge” (as Cumberland was known by locals) had a nickname. One of the reasons for nicknames was locals couldn’t pronounce the names of coal miners who came to Cumberland from Eastern Europe.
Scott’s nickname was “Too Much Blue.”
Cumberland folk liked their art in muted greys so all that blue was way too much.
Scott was inspired by a visit to Amsterdam and saw Van Gogh’s painting “Starry Starry Night” and did a Cumberland series using shades of blue as the underpainting.
Being a diehard open-air painter, he would be out at night with a miner’s lamp painting night scenes, or standing in a snow bank doing blue paintings of Cumberland Christmas.
This series became hugely successful, shipping Cumberland paintings and Christmas cards worldwide for Vancouver companies operating worldwide.
Jeff MacDonald, an engineer with Husky Injection Mouldings in Hong Kong, actually came to Cumberland and met Bronco the mayor and loved the village.
Some of the locals were not so impressed. Scott was banned from painting some miners’ houses as they were upset by his outrageous colours. They disliked how their cottage painted CPR brown to disguise years of coal dust was painted red to get the artist’s much-loved primary colours. One irate local even threatened a lawsuit.
Scott has a new local cable TV show, appropriately called Too Much Blue.
His first show features a night scene of the harbour and how he uses blue to unify the bright primary yellows and reds and secondary purples and greens.
Scott will be hosting a show and sale at Filberg Park Saturday and Sunday, where he will be on hand to offer more anecdotes about his time in Cumberland, and talk about his new cable television show.
The show and sale runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.
Ten per cent of all sales will go to the North Island College Foundation.