December 2012

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"East Lucy Vincent Beach"

“East Lucy Vincent Beach”

“East Lucy Vincent Beach”, this is a small painting, 6″ x 8″, oil on canvas panel. $550.00 USD

On a cool, but windless evening I walked down the beach and around the backside of the cliff. I last painted here in the spring. It was surprising to see how much cliff had eroded in the last few storms since then. The dark hole in the top of the middle cliff is totally hollowed out down to the beach beside the brighter orange cliff. Another storm or two and that forward piece will fall into the sea…

"Menemsha Pond"

“Menemsha Pond”

“Menemsha Pond”, this is a small painting, 6″ x 8″, oil on canvas panel. This painting has SOLD.

The gray sky from the last few days and the wet weather have accentuated what colors there are in the winter landscape. Darks are darker and they push the lights to seem lighter. Everything will change once the sun comes back, drying the darks to a lighter value and adding shadows and bright light areas. Right now, I can’t wait…

"Tea Lane Sheep"

“Tea Lane Sheep”

“Tea Lane Sheep”, this is a small painting, 6″ x 8″, oil on canvas panel. This painting has SOLD.

Ownership of this farm has just passed from an old island family to a young farmer and a land-lease to a young farming family. Until last week the barn was half hidden by a large stand of bamboo. The foreground field, idle and uncultivated the past few years, will be transformed by the sheep, and later cattle, from this beautiful meadow of Little Bluestem grass to a more traditional greener, grazing pasture. I feel lucky to have painted this now, as it will probably not have the wonderful, winter orange of Little Bluestem again…

"Cedar Tree Neck Barn"

“Cedar Tree Neck Barn”, this is a small painting, 6″ x 8″, oil on canvas panel. This painting has SOLD.

This barn and property have intrigued me for many years. An old barn with an ocean view behind it, how delightful. If it had not been raining and I was stuck painting inside my van, I never would have chosen this view. But I’m happy I did…

"Sheriff's Meadow Fog"

“Sheriff’s Meadow Fog”, this is a small painting, 6″ x 8″, oil on canvas panel. This painting has SOLD.

Living in town for the winter has its bonuses like walking to the movies or a restaurant. But when I start to miss all the open fields and water views of Chilmark and up-island, I remember I have access to this little sanctuary behind the house. I have done 10 or 20 paintings around Sheriff’s Meadow over the years. Yet, when I think I have “found” the last painting I could ever create here, up pops something new due to weather, season, time of day, light, or in this case pruning and mowing off the path. I left for a walk around the pond a half hour before sunset. Usually I would carry my gear with me. This evening, fog was rolling by, there would be no sunset just a darkening of the daylight. So I walked empty handed. Half way ’round the pond proper is a spillway, bridge and this view of Butler’s Mudhole. Much tree damage had happened due to the last 2 storms. The caretaker’s clean up included brush cutting around and under an old, damaged willow to a dry bit of grass by the property edge. Stepping there to photo this view I knew I had a new painting to do. Having raced back to the house/studio to get my paints, I set up quickly and worked down from the horizon starting with the hedge and little bathhouse with my largest brush. Landscapes are fairly quick to paint, if you think about them for a minute. Most brush movement is horizontal, stopping only to clean brush and mix and change colors. The one thing which stops a quick landscape is a strong vertical item in the scene, requiring cutting in around the object and thus ceasing the flow of brushwork. The bathhouse, the only vertical, was tiny and did not slow me down. I saved the sky until last, in case it caught a blush of color as the sun set off in the fog. Canada Geese arrived in “v” formations looking for a place to bed. I held my ground until last light when geese moved into pond and fog rendered me invisible…

"Filly In The Field"

“Filly In The Field”, this is a small painting, 6″ x 8″, oil on canvas panel. This painting has SOLD.

This white horse has been tempting me to paint it for many months. In the mid to late afternoon of a sunny day, its white coat is really illuminated against the darkness of the wood beyond. Today was the perfect time to capture the horse on canvas. Even the deer hunters draped in orange who crept out of the woods behind it could not spoil the scene. (I was positioned at the side of the road and knew they would not shoot in my direction)…

"Winter Marsh, Sengekontacket"

“Winter Marsh, Sengekontacket”, this is a small painting, 6″ x 8″, oil on canvas panel. This painting has SOLD.

The sign by the parking lot said this was a duck hunting area this month. There were no other vehicles about. I parked and walked the short distance to the boat launch. No sooner was I at the water’s edge than bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang from the opposite shore. I guess either the time was ripe to fire or I had just stirred up a flock of ducks, or someone was really mad that I had appeared upon the scene. Luckily shot gun pellets could not travel that far, but it sure was loud. I walked back to my van as it started to drizzle and proceeded to back up to the water so the driver’s side was facing where I wanted to paint. I got out to put my gear from back seat to front and bang bang bang again. I never did see any ducks take to the air. Maybe they were all dead or the hunter was still mad. I managed to bag this view without further incident except for the on and off rain drops…

"Chappy Ferry"

“Chappy Ferry”, this is a small painting, 6″ x 8″, oil on canvas panel. This painting has SOLD.

The weather was cold and windy for this painting. When I went out the next day to finish it was off and on rainy. Had to sit and paint from my car both days, but at least I was warm…

"On The Boat"

“On The Boat”, this is a small painting, 6″ x 8″, oil on canvas panel. This painting has SOLD.

While wandering about on the north shore of the island, I came upon a marshy area which was off limits to deer hunting. As I don’t have any hunter orange to wear, I have been exceedingly careful during the 2 weeks of shotgun season to stay in and around any of the town areas. This exile from the larger wooded and open areas and wilder shorelines has helped me reevaluate points of interest I have been to and painted before but have never fully explored. This particular spot looks right out onto the ferry run and into the hole between Naushon Island and Falmouth, known as Woods Hole. It is a treacherous passage for motor and sailing vessels as the tides suck through the narrow channels between Vineyard Sound and Buzzards Bay, with rock edges and ledges constricting the narrow channel even more. To make it a bit more challenging for a boat, ferries lumber into and out of the port there almost every hour all day and into the evening darkness with little room to maneuver should an errant ship be in the wrong place at the wrong time trying to fight through a tidal surge, foul tide or heavy breeze. The title of this piece is the message most texted, emailed and/or called to one’s island family and friends after a long, white knuckled, car or bus ride racing through all sorts of traffic to get to the ferry on time. Drivers have been known to drive at 90 mph from NYC most of the way to Woods Hole, MA so as not to miss the last boat across, and you know who you are…!