bed and breakfast offers a laurentian paradise for painters – montreal gazette – 2011
Montreal Gazette | By ROCHELLE LASH | September 3, 2011
The new Gordon Harrison B&B in the Laurentians mixes an appreciation of art and the pleasures of nature in a luxurious new lakefront getaway.
Connoisseurs of Canadian art would know Gordon Harrison’s impressionist-style landscapes from his gallery on Sussex Drive in Ottawa. Now there is another compelling venue for this cultural encounter. The artist and his partner, Phil Émond, recently opened a top-drawer B&B with an art gallery and a coaching studio. Named Pine Point Lake House, it’s on a secluded headland on Lac des Îles, 10 minutes outside of Ste. Marguerite du Lac Masson.
This gorgeous getaway cost $2 million to build and seemingly was worth every penny. It is a striking, luxurious contemporary, three-storey manor built of stone, wood, steel and glass. Designed for maximum exposure to the Laurentian forest and the clear, quiet water at its foot, Pine Point Lake House is an extension of a family property that was settled by Harrison’s great-grandfather in 1902.
Acting as their own designers, Gordon and Phil denied themselves nothing in creating this spectacular country home. The architecture, landscaping and interior decor are all superior. The B&B has wraparound glass terraces, five wood-burning fieldstone fireplaces and extra-wide staircases and doorways to enhance the spaciousness. Breakfast is dished out from a magazine-worthy designer kitchen with the finest fittings. And you’ll be eating off stylish modern china by Villeroy and Boch and Jasper Conran for Wedgwood.
Gordon and Phil run the B&B using two attractive rooms on the garden level for guests, particularly those who want to come for private painting lessons. The stunning suite, Laurentian Summerlands, has a king bed and a patio door to the lakefront. The Laurentian Symphony has twin beds and a woodburning fireplace. Both have extravagant perks like 1,000-thread-count sheets, flat-screen televisions and over-the-top bathrooms with wave-shaped sinks, fancy faucets and slate showers big enough for two.
Even with all this razzledazzle in decor and design, the artist in Gordon still is mostly interested in the natural aspects of this idyllic setting.
“The water sounds different all the time. From hour to hour, it changes from gently lapping against the shore to whitecaps whipping in the wind,” he said.
“And the foliage is a great inspiration. So rich and green in summer and now starting to turn into the fiery colours that I love to portray.”
The highlight of Pine Point Lake House is Harrison’s landscape art, a blend of an impressionist style with bold brush strokes and vivid colours.
The in-house gallery will present Fall Rhapsody, a collection of Laurentian autumn scenes, Oct. 7 to Nov. 18. A display called The Twelve Days of Winter will run Dec. 5 to Jan. 31.
Harrison has been called the eighth member of the Group of Seven because of his vivid depictions of Ontario’s Georgian Bay and Muskoka Lake. He also has captured the waters, mountains and forests of the Laurentians, Charlevoix, the Gatineau Hills and landscapes from the Rockies to the enchanting villages of Newfoundland.
He will talk about his artistic journey and his third book, The Colours of Canada, at the National Gallery in Ottawa on Sept. 14.
Guests “ooh and aah” when they see the artworks.
If you are truly smitten, you can buy a canvas, ranging from a tiny scene of Tremblant that sells for $750 to a large-scale portrayal of Gatineau Park with a price tag of $9,000.
Perhaps you would like to create your own work of art.
Gordon gives coaching classes and, after a full day of watching the master, drawing and brushing, even “neverevers” can generate their own landscape painting.
IF YOU GO
Ste. Marguerite du Lac Masson is a one-hour, 10-minute drive from Montreal. Take Highway 15 north, Exit 69 for Ste. Adèle and turn right along Chemin Pierre Péladeau.
Gordon Harrison B&B at Pine Point Lake House: 450-228-2539, 613-746-6853, gordon harrisongallery.com; 90 Chemin du Lac Violon, Ste. Marguerite du Lac Masson.
Price: $245 for one or $275 for two, per night, including breakfast, cocktails and appetizers. Picnic lunch and dinner are extra. Art coaching: $375 includes supplies and lunch, but not lodging.
Gordon Harrison Gallery: 613-746-6853, gordon harrisongalley.com, 495 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ont. Art Studio: 81 John St., New Edinburgh, Ottawa.