I recently came across the works of Labrador native, 27 year old Scott Pynn , and I was lucky enough to be able to ask him a few questions about his life and work as an artist. A self described "Average Joe", Scott used to work as a roofer, a carpenters assistant, and a lumberjack. The latter he said was “the most interesting because I would spend all day cutting down trees and then go home and paint them back up again”. Scott’s been painting since he was young. He was inspired by his grandfather, also an artist, who specializes in painting steam locomotives. He taught Scott when he was “just a young pup” beginning with the basics of composition, color, and perspective: “It was the greatest gift he ever could have given me.”
Art is not a choice for Scott- it is something he must do: “I have always been compelled to make things and feel disconnected from myself when I don't have a creative outlet. I sometimes joke that if I never painted my mind would explode, it's hard to pinpoint what inspires me; it's a mixture of everything, nature of course being a big part. But I guess what I strive for the most is to describe in paint those indescribable feelings you get so often in life. Like on a crisp fall evening when the leaves are crunching under your feet and you can smell wood smoke in the air, or that feeling in your stomach around Christmas time. You know the feeling I'm talking about, everyone does. Sometimes I'm inspired by very big things like a thunder and lightning storm and sometimes it can be as small as watching a drop of rain slowly trickle down the stem of a daisy.” Scott has had a variety of shows in the last few years in Labrador, New Brunswick and Alberta, and more are in the works. Currently he has the largest Facebook Art Group with over twenty-five thousand members and growing. He is “thrilled” with the support he has received fellow Newfoundlanders.
I have some really beautiful pieces of art in my small collection of Newfoundland works- and I picked each because they spoke to me somehow. Of course, because I live off Rock now, these pieces mean so much more to me: they are a comfort. But my feelings towards Scott's pieces were very different: I haven't reacted to art work so viscerally in a long time.
I lived in Wabush, and Goose Bay for a few years as a child- and it was a golden time for me. I was a happy kid then; my family loved it there. I don’t often think of Labrador because my time there was so short. But when I first saw Scott’s work, I found myself whirling back to that apartment on Cormac drive…to the woods beyond where I would toboggan, ski-doo, build snow forts, and make snow angels in the deep of the whitest snow. I remembered the magic of the Northern Sky, with her rainbow of lights swirling in dark- the trees bowed by the weight of the snow, themselves awed by celestial majesty. Scott’s work brought it all back in a bittersweet rush of nostalgia; made me a little weepy. But then, that is what great art does.