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"January Fog"

“January Fog”

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

Warm, but windy, had me in the lee of the low cliffs by the Herring Creek on Menemsha Pond. Besides bobbing Red-breasted Mergansers and swooping seagulls, the fog wrapped me up in silence. The tide was low and the boulders had soft edges in the shadowless light. When finished, I rewarded myself with a chocolate chip cooky from just up the road at Orange Peel Bakery…

"Snow And Ice"

“Snow And Ice”

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

With no back up plan, I was taking my chances driving all the way out to Quansoo Beach hoping to find a view to paint. It was beautiful getting there with the fields along the way covered with recently fallen snow. At the first field I parked and took a photo of the shadows across the old farm road which bisected it. Oh, it was wicked cold out there and I knew any painting done would be from inside my van. This became crystal clear when I saw my car keys locked in the van and I had to find my hide-a-key under the car with cold, bare hands. Coming near the end of the dirt road I realized that no one had driven this far out since the snow storm two days ago. I rounded the last corner out of the scrub oak and shrubbery into the clear, grassy area next to the creek behind the dunes. What usually is a large expanse of parking by the bridge was being crowded out by the high pond and creek water level covered with a few inches of ice. It was a soft, brackish ice and I dared not cross it even just to get on the bridge. But the light was magic, reflecting evening sun off the new wood of the repaired rails and deck of the bridge. The dark, low lying snow clouds added a rich element to the lightness of snow on sand and tawny, winter’s beach grass…

"In The Cool Of Winter"

“In The Cool Of Winter”

“In The Cool Of Winter”, this is a small painting, 6″ x 8″, oil on canvas panel. $595.00 USD

I was late scouting for a location to paint and got here at Cove Road just at sundown. With no more light on land and water reflecting sky, both water and sky were luminesce. Silhouettes began to form the land as color and detail receded…

"Abandoned"

“Abandoned”

“Abandoned”, this is a small painting, 6″ x 8″, oil on canvas panel. $595.00 USD

This abandoned boat by the Old Hunt Place has caught my eye for a few months. With the fog coming in and out, then in again, it seemed like a good, overcast day to paint here. I found some bluebirds on the way and otters and a large flock of Canada Geese patrolling along the waterway behind the dunes. All the while I was serenaded by the sounds of surf just over the horizon…

"Short Beach Light"

“Short Beach Light”

“Short Beach Light”, this is a small painting, 6″ x 8″, oil on canvas panel. $595.00 USD

The first sunny evening in a while found me on the shores of Menemsha Pond. These rocks reflected back the last few minutes of the sun’s golden light before it set. Under these conditions at this time of year, the pond has a particular blue sheen as it reflects the evening sky…

"Holiday Light"

“Holiday Light”

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

Happy New Year! I began this right after Christmas, but family festivities kept from finishing until now…

"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…

"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…

"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…

"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…!

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