I’m in love with the Northern Atlantic Coast. When I learned of a watercolor workshop package with artist, Evelyn Dunphy, at a remote historical lodge, including accommodations within private cabins on two lakes in the southwestern wilderness of Nova Scotia, I signed up for the adventure.
The drive from Halifax to the lodge wound through lush green, rural landscapes from Nova Scotia’s east coast to its western coast. Famished and sleepy from leaving home at 3:00 am to catch my flights, I was thrilled to find a Tim Hortons along the way.
The cabins, while certainly rustic, were surprisingly appointed with firm mattresses and lovely Lands End or LL Bean style bedding with plenty of good and plump pillows. There was an abundant supply of crackling dry kindling and quartered logs on each porch. Each cabin had its own dock, just feet from its front door.
The lodge offered the American-plan dining experience as part of the watercolor workshop package. We enjoyed our meals and each other’s company in the bright, airy room: breakfast, lunch and dinner. The dining hall was painted a beautiful, celery-colored paint, with sky-lights, hanging quilts and a canoe or two as part of the decor.
The lodge’s entry contained Stickley-style rocking chairs, a Victorian-style sitting room and an eclectic library off to the back with a screen door opening out to a flower-bed adorned with brilliantly red wildflowers.
The workshop was held on the screened-in veranda off of the dining room. From where I sat, my view was across the lawn with the first lake in the near distance. The beautiful breeze blew, sometimes softly, sometimes stronger, while we painted.
Evelyn Dunphy is one of those rare, wonderful instructors. She’s also a fantastic artist who’s won more awards than I can recall. She was patient, thoroughly answering our questions and giving personal attention. She provided us with a most comprehensive folder and live demonstrations chock full of tips and practical information.
The last day, I had to leave by 7:00 am for the drive back to Halifax to begin my return journey home. I doused the last burning embers in my fireplace and set off down the dirt road. As I left, the night-time mist was still hugging the lake as the dawn’s early light began filling it with sunshine, one shimmering ray at a time.