New Work "Call of the Bugle" 2019 36"x36" oil on canvas
“Call of the Bugle”
The allure of the island of Newfoundland for artists lies in the isolation, uniqueness, and rugged beauty of all aspects of it’s character.
The landscapes, seascapes, architecture, people and the substance of the culture offer endless inspiration for those who tell it’s stories.
James Millers work begins with core principles of classical art. Fundamentals that were ingrained into his approach during his studies at the Ontario College of art in the early 80’s.
That foundation has given him the ”visual voice” to speak about a tapestry of stories that involve this rugged, harsh, beautiful place.
That explains the essence of his new work, “Call of the Bugle”.
It began with his interest in the uniqueness of the bugle, the shape, the metallic textures, the color and reflective light.
During his initial studies of it, though, the bugle began to take on a deeper meaning.
James studied its structure and explored, through drawing, the imperfections, dents, and scrapes in the instrument.
He realized it had a story and a significant purpose in its existence.
The story lies in the symbolism of what a bugle was used for. There are dozens of bugle calls for military order and soldiers are trained to instinctively react to its call.
The call to arms in Newfoundland during both world wars was overwhelming. Everyone felt the duty to serve and Newfoundland lost many of it’s finest and strongest people.
In the history of the island, though, this was the way of life. It was extreme and there was always a “call” to step up and take on the challenges of survival.
As a people it became ingrained into our spirit.
“Call of the Bugle” is more than a call to arms. It is a metaphor for a “calling” in life. Those whom have the fortune to hear it, and follow it, are steadfast in their response.
It is the call to pack the most important personal belongings, sharpen the inherent skills and strengths that have been passed down, and begin a long and challenging journey.
Those who hear it, know the sound.