We better damn well see some whales in the morning.” Herb blurted.
“I just hope we make it off this condemned rust bucket alive,” said Neville.
Miss Bliss looked into her glass of wine, swirling it round, she stated wistfully, “I would love to see an iceberg radiating colors like a Lawren Harris painting.”
“He’s my favorite of the Group of Seven,” I replied, feeling a compulsion to respond to someone who had some knowledge of the arts.
“Yes, I love his work,” replied Miss Bliss, “but Tom Thomson had the quintessential essence, the integrity of the Canadian vision of landscape for the others to follow. Those striking, harsh, rebellious brush stokes were so foreign to Canadian canvases until Thomson.”
“Possibly,” I responded, really just testing the waters of debate, “but isn’t their brushwork technique just a rip-off from van Gogh?”
“That’s preposterous, I wish I was at home right now and I’d get my art books,” Miss Bliss retorted feeling somewhat stimulated at the topic but not knowing enough about the comparison to continue without reference.
“The Group of Seven did a lot for Canadian landscape and art,” I said, proffering a time of peace rather than hammering a point. “I’d love to have one of Harris’s iceberg pictures on my wall.”
“What about that picture with three stripes the government bought a few years ago?” asked Herb. “I’ve seen kids do better art and we paid two million dollars for it.”
“Heck, I’ll paint four stripes and sell it for a million.” Neville added which gave him and Herb something to clink their drinks together at, like celebrating a triumphant rhetorical statement that was foolproof.
“I rather like Barnett Newman’s ”Voice of Fire”, but I know it’s not for everyone’s pallet. “ I replied, sort of getting the last word in, not going down in defeat, just lying low. Taking in a deep breath and stretching I knew I was done for the evening and politely excused myself. It was well after midnight and I wanted to be up early in the morning to take in as much of the sightseeing adventure as possible.
After a quick wash in the tiny lavatory I laid on one of the bunks. The boat was gently, hypnotically rolling to the rhythm of the ocean. “See you at seven bells, last one up swabs the deck, mateys,” I heard someone say in the distance. The background was a constant drone of vibration. Drowsily I listened as everyone made their way to bed.