Safe Harbour II… A Journey

5 years ago… On a warm and sunny, end of September day, we were visiting Wellington, Prince Edward County for the Arts Trail. All year long, the County is celebrating Nature, Great Food, Great Wines, Artisans, Makers and Artists. For two weeks, to celebrate the beginning of the Fall Season, Art Galleries and Artists are opening their Studios to locals and visitors. After a memorable brunch with the most amazing Lake Ontario View at the Drake Devonshire, (A huge ”Coup de Coeur” of mine, which I will talk about more in a coming post), without any expectations, we entered The Side Street Gallery

At the top of the stairs… there were Paintings, a lot of them. And there was one… One that caught our eye. I should say, it caught Barry’s eye, probably more than mine. But his interest into a Painting almost abstract… certainly caught my attention… It was called Safe Harbour. From what I remembered you could see water, a stormy sky and the coast blurred in the horizon. It was mesmerizing, as Water has always been to us. Back home, the same year, I called the Gallery, it was still there, but it would have been a bit complicated, to ship it and we decided to pass… but it always stayed with me!

2 years later, with our new sailboat coming from Toronto, we encountered a Squall (sudden, violent and localized storm) that brought us 90km/h winds, off shore of Lake Ontario. It stayed with us, 15-20-30 min… I can’t really say now… I have wrote a Post about this, so I won’t go into all the details, but you can go read about it. Many hours the after the storm passed, a rainbow through a charged sky, appeared in the distance pointing to Cobourg Marina, our Safe Harbour, that day.

You can read the story about that day here

6.5 hours, between storm and rainbow….

3 more years passed, flash forward 4 months ago… We are May 13th 2020. Day 60… of a Pandemic that has changed our world in a flash of flights coming home. Its Morning, I’m still in bed and I am thinking about Barry’s coming 60th Birthday. There will be no big or small gatherings, no trips, no big adventures… and I’m thinking… what could I offer him that would represent this important marker in his life and this moment in our life together! If there was a time when we all needed a Safe Harbour, it would be now. The name, Barry’s fascination for it, everything about it! So I looked into my emails and I found the name of the Artist. Thanks to Google, I found a website, an email address and that’s how Safe Harbour II came to life.

I prepared an email in which I would tell our story and encounter with her Painting that day, 5 years ago. It was going to be a message in a bottle and less than 2 hours later, there was a positive response! I asked the Artist if the Painting had sold and if so, if she could paint a new Painting with a similar subject. There would be a stormy sky, deep blue waters, a coast that you could barely distinguish and light shining through the clouds of a tormented sky…

The Artist is Barbara Högenauer. She was born in Germany and was introduced to Arts, Museums and Art Galleries at a very early age. She likes to say it took some time for all this to permeate and that her muse has always been the Natural World. Through formal studies, workshops and studios but also through many canoe trips on the lakes and rivers of Ontario, she has developed and mastered her own unique Art. A distinct way of taking you from colorful abstracts to elusive landscapes.

She is sharing her life, her art and studio with her husband, Terry Culbert who is also a prolific and very inspiring artist who’s work is more ”whimsical” as he calls it himself. That day, 5 years ago, in the Side Street Gallery in Wellington, there was also another painting that caught our eye. It was called Soup Harbour (which is also an area south-west of the County. It has sold since then… but guess who was the artist… No other than Terry Culbert ! I can tell you there will be a whimsical painting in our future…

You can learn more about Barbara Högenauer and Terry Culbert, and discover their wonderful Art, on their website County Studio.

It took a few emails and two phone calls to create the Perfect Gift for my Perfect Love. Barry saw nothing, the anxiety for the result, the excitement, the measuring while he wasn’t looking. The place where it would hung, chosen accordingly and secretly…

On the his Birthday, the big surprised was revealed and the story behind shared. It was simply Perfect ! Last weekend, we drove to our Tranquillité and we planned to meet Barbara and her husband Terry in the parking lot of a Restaurant in Napanee and there it was !

Barbara Högenauer, Safe Harbour II, July 4th 2020

We not only got our amazing Painting, but met a wonderful couple that we will certainly see again when we get to return to our beloved Prince Edward County.

After a hard day of chores and a long but pleasant drive home, the first thing we did, was to hang our new addition to our home, so we would see it first thing in the morning light. And there it was, as it had always been there… Our Safe Harbour II !!!

Prince Edward County is our second home away from home, here’s what they say on their Website. You should take a look…

‘Prince Edward County is an island on the north shore of Lake Ontario, characterized by a rural lifestyle with an urban flavour. Our community of “neighbourhoods” — towns, villages, hamlets and rural areas – is interconnected by local civic pride.”

The County (as it’s fondly known) is popular for the famous Sandbanks beach and is a destination for “foodies”, winery touristshistory buffsnature lovers and boaters. Explore our scenic countryside along the Arts TrailTaste & Wine Trail, or Bay of Quinte Craft route (beer & cider).”

Thank you to Barbara Högenauer for the amazing Painting and for making this possible. Thank you to Terry Culbert for making it easier for us to meet you two. Thank you for the Maple Red with the Perfect Étiquette ! Art by Terry Culbert, commissionned for Sugarbush Vineyards…

To my Husband, my Love, my Friend, my Captain, my Safe Harbour…