Canada’s birthday has come and gone but the party is still going over here! I’ve now hit the official half-way mark in my Canada 150 series and am moving into the Maritime provinces. New Brunswick posed a challenge as it doesn’t have many official symbols that fall within the animal/nature related subject matter that my illustrations are based around. Luckily for me, the composition for this piece was one I could see quite clearly in my head.
If this is the first post you are seeing in this series, you can read more about it on my previous posts here. Now on to the symbols represented and a few process shots.
The title of the piece is a translation of the Latin Spem Reduxit, which is the official motto of New Brunswick.
Bird – Black Capped Chickadee
This small, distinctive bird, was adopted as the provincial bird in 1983. The New Brunswick Federation of Nationalists held a contest that determined it the winner.
Flower – Purple Violet
The Purple Violet became the official floral symbol of the province in 1936, through the combined efforts of the Women’s Institute, Lieutenant Governor, and province’s schoolchildren.
Tree – Balsam Fir
In 1987, the balsam fir was adopted as a symbol of the province. Best known as an ideal Christmas Tree, it also plays a strong role in the provincial lumber industry and manufacturing of high-quality papers.
Unofficial – White Tailed Deer
The white tailed deer makes an appearance on the province’s coat of arms. Since the deer was featured quite prominently as the official symbol of Saskatchewan, I included just the antlers intertwined with the other symbols, to reference its importance without it being a repetition of the other piece.
Balance in a composition is always very important. I wanted to create a symmetrical piece but with subtle nuances that were not quite as rigidly mirrored. (This composition is actually partially based on a painting I did in a dream I had, but that’s a story for another time.) Though the black capped chickadee is a small song bird, I wanted to show it as having a strong presence. The Maritime provinces in Canada are among the smallest but New Brunswick is the largest of the cluster of three.
I hope you are enjoying the series and the insight into my creative process with these pieces. Share with me in the comments what your favorite has been so far!
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