A summer view of Port Alice's waterfront park.

Port Alice park

Local artist Gordon Henschel explains his love for painting in Port Alice.

The best kept secret on North Island is a town that has been written off so many times and has risen to live again that it should be called “Phoenix”.  The town is one of the prettiest on the whole island and enjoys a community spirit second to none. The town is, of course, Port Alice.

I have painted Alice a number of times over the years, always trying to find a view that is a little different from the thousands of photos that have been taken by photographers from everywhere. Alice is so photogenic that it is really hard not to take beautiful, picture-postcard photos; and why would you not?  Especially true along their famous sea walk, where every turn engenders a great view of plummeting mountainsides along an inlet sprinkled with The Frigon Islands.

There are two other good reasons why I like to go to Port Alice to paint. Firstly, I love the drive past the rumbling Marble River Falls, up and over the pass with its myriad of gem-like lakes and finally downhill passing by a dazzling array of alders lined up like soldiers along the creek that runs alongside the highway. How many thousands of alders are there??? My second reason to paint in Alice is to have an excuse to go to the Victorian Steakhouse. Why is it that I always forget to take a lunch?

Port Alice gets really warm in summer (I swear they grow bananas). Often I have gone to paint there on one of our Port McNeill foggy mornings to find the sun had arrived early. The park at Port Alice includes the boat docks and rambles along beside the ocean for quite a ways. On this hot day I set up to paint at the opposite end of the park under a nice shady old hemlock, watching the park being enjoyed by kids from nine to ninety. I used all my “hot colours” to try to capture the moment, trying to hurry before the sun peeked around the hemlock. Then I would have to escape to the cool restaurant!

Gordon Henschel is a longtime North Island artist who owns a gallery in Nimpkish Heights. www.henschelfinearts.com

Just Posted

VIDEO: Stormy weather at Storey’s Beach

Envirnoment Canada has issued a wind warning for Coastal British Columbia

RDMW pens letter asking Pacific Coastal to reconsider cancellations

Board raises concerns over loss of flights to the region

Local Hero Awards coming to the North Island

“These people are making a difference in our communities and deserve to get recognized.”

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Grant funding denied for Fort Rupert Curling Club’s new roof, District on the hook for full costs

“I think we did our job in helping the curling club have a facility that is no longer leaking.”

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

B.C. out of the running for Amazon’s next headquarters

Toronto is the only Canadian city left in the running despite the province backing Metro Vancouver’s bid for new Amazon headquarters

B.C. hockey player nominated for Hobey Baker Award

Myles Powell is a forward at Rochester Institute of Technology

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Foreign workers sleeping in Alberta Burger King basement

Alberta Health Services said its inspectors found foreign workers sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant

Court application halts release of bread price-fixing documents

Bread price-fixing documents won’t be unsealed Thursday, Loblaw says

Pharrell and N.E.R.D to headline NBA All-Star halftime show

11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip hop-rock band N.E.R.D. will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles

Heritage Minister wants zero tolerance for harassment in entertainment industry

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly had two meetings to discuss harassment in the film, TV and theatre worlds

Newly freed Diab wants reforms to Canada’s ‘lousy’ extradition law

French authorities dropped terrorism charges against Hassan Diab who was suspected of taking part in an attack in Paris in 1980

Most Read