Racing through the summer…

Today was the perfect summer day.
A cool morning spent waiting for the sunlight, to break through the ash tree’s canopy, and  settle just where I wanted it on the clotheslines, which had been strung with a white cotton sheet, and clipped with Ted’s pin…Herself, as model, went about watering the garden beds in between bursts of light, and I spent the time picking asparagus beetles off of the fronds.

Then, Finn and Herself headed up to the park for a walk, while I headed inside to work up the sketch, and review the photos, before a quick sanding on the studio porch to get the panel ready.

Then I heard the beep of a text to ask if I wanted ice cream for lunch…and off we went for a beautiful drive through the high summer hills and that rich creamy Reeser’s cone of bliss.

Then a spur of the moment stop at the Old Trail Variety Store on the way home, where we always find something we don’t need but might someday find it’s way into a painting or two. Today it was a couple of old hand forged cooking tools and some impossibly deep red drinking glasses. Stay tuned there.

Home to a dry panel ready for the first pass of paint, and a chat with neighbor Sue who was kindly mowing our lawn and smiling at her grandchildren who had arrived to swim and romp through her yard like kids used to do on a summer’s day. And off went She Who Must Swim, up to the lake, for her afternoon adventures.

A few hours of peaceful painting…and now it is late, but the sky refuses to give up the day, and, having checked in with the Vineyard Gazette for news of the island, I read that today was the running of the Chilmark Road Race.

Since this year’s show included the painting, The Road Race, I thought it was time to check back in here and connect those dots.

The Road Race

I just love the hometown feeling of this summer island event. And the winners get 5 lb lobsters ! That almost makes me want to…well…no. But here’s a taste of victory…

Pot Luck

I’m headed home now, the log cabin is hosting movie night and I’m in charge of the popcorn. Here’s hoping you have had at least a handful of these summer days to add to the memories…
Here’s a link to the full article about the race, but I’ve copied it here to read.

Click Here to Read Article…

Fleet Feet And Tradition Are Heart of Chilmark Road Race

  • Ivy Ashe
  • Saturday, August 9, 2014 – 6:14pm

- See more at:

Sheridan Wilbur, 17, of North Smithfield, R.I., woke up at 5:20 on the morning of the 37th annual Chilmark Road Race. She piled into a car with her family and they drove to Woods Hole. There was a bus from the parking lot, the boat ride over, a bus to Chilmark and finally a bus to the starting line of the race.

After that Sheridan needed only her feet, crossing the finish line in a brisk 18:24.55 to earn the top women’s time in the race, placing 13tth overall. Though the rising high school senior has taken first place in her age group before in her four years of running the route, she’d never won the whole thing. But on Saturday morning, she finished with both a victory and a personal best.

“I was running with another woman for the first two miles,” she said after the win. “I started to break away from her then.” The famous hills of the topographically challenging race start to appear at about that point, but as Sheridan said, “As soon as you get to the top, you have the ocean view and you think, oh, the finish is close.

“It was cool just to break the tape.”

David Melly, 21, of Newton, knows exactly what it’s like to break the tape too. The winner of the 2011 race, Mr. Melly blazed to a sub-16-minute finish (15:43.31) to take first place once again. A rising senior at Cornell University, where he competes on the cross country and track squads, Mr. Melly said his familiarity with the course helped secure the win.

“In this race I was pretty much just chilling in second place until the last mile,” he said. “The hills become your friend. You can use them to your advantage.” In the final stretch, everyone has the same advantage: the packs of cheering spectators on both sides of the road, forming a veritable tunnel of support.

“That’s so much fun,” Mr. Melly said. “More than anything else, I think that’s why I keep doing this. It’s the best finish. It’s very, very gratifying.”

As per tradition, the winners of the men’s and women’s races collected massive five-pound lobsters from Larsen’s Fish Market as their prizes. The winners of the kids’ divisions each earned a pair of chicken lobsters. When nine-year-old Jack Lionette of Chilmark stepped up to collect his first-place lobsters, race organizer Hugh Weisman noted the “pretty amazing” time nine-year-old Jack had run: 19:58.

“Holy smokes,” someone in the crowd said. “Damn,” said another.

Jack, who also won his age division last year, said he was “definitely trying to break sub-20,” and had been “sprinting the whole way.” He credited part of his success to a pre-race dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, and ultimately has his sights set on the course record itself (14:38).

Though Jack was the youngest Vineyarder to cross the line first, Michael Schroeder, 19, of West Tisbury took the top overall spot for Islanders, finishing 11th with a time of 18:14.8. Emma Mushnick, 26, of Vineyard Haven, posted the fastest Vineyard time in the women’s race, running a 20:46.85 to take 61st overall and third in her age group.

This year’s field was the largest in race history, with more than 1,600 entrants completing the 5K course. Some were familiar faces, like the purple-shirted MacMaster clan from Pennsylvania. This year, 29 MacMasters took part in the day’s events.

“This year we’re stretching it into in laws,” Keegan Skidmore, 31, said before the race. Mr. Skidmore is himself a recent MacMaster in law, and did the family proud by placing seventh overall and second in his age group.

One group wore pink tutus and matching antennae-like headbands, which complemented the official black race shirts they wore.

“It’s our 10th year running it this year,” said Jessica Donahue. “Last year, when we were running it we decided we needed to do something special.”

But whether a competitor, a spectator or a volunteer, everyone at the Chilmark Road Race finds a way to make it their own.

Susan Brown of Edgartown hadn’t run the race since 1980.

“Today I am 70 years old, one month and one day,” she said. “My goal was to finish, and finish in under an hour. And I did it. I’m still standing.” Then she was off to collect her award, for placing third in her age group, before heading home to celebrate the milestone.

Nathalia Garroway, (22 months old) wearing a floppy sun hat and too-big race shirt, toddled across the finish line with her parents Christopher Garroway and Nadia Popova.

Mr. Garroway and Ms. Popova had intended to bring their two-month-old along as well, ultimately deciding it was too hot for the infant to be outside. But Nathalia was up to the challenge.

“She only stopped once to pick some flowers,” Mr. Garroway said.

Only last week…

It was a stellar time on Martha’s Vineyard. A magnificent gallery opening with wall to wall kind and generous patrons of the arts, bookended by two amazing weeks on the wildly changed and stunningly brilliant Chilmark bluff.

I’ll have more to say about that and this, but for now, I have to kick the studio up into high gear to get ready for the next show…stay tuned.

Here are just a couple pics of the exhibition and smiling faces of dear ones who shared our island hearts…

4 Featured Artists, Wendy, Don, Heather and David, as we get ready to shake some hands.

4 Featured Artists, Wendy, Don, Heather and David, as we get ready to shake some hands.

gallery2 gallery6 gallery7 gallery 1  gallery 4

Wendy, Herself and David making everyone feel welcome.

Wendy, Herself and David making everyone feel welcome.

Mr. Morse plying his trade.

Mr. Morse plying his trade.

Ted, wouldn't have missed it.

Ted, wouldn’t have missed it.

Family traditions ...

Family traditions …

The gallery's next generation...

The gallery’s next generation…

The Follansbee Family full of fun.

The Follansbee Family full of fun.

And a wonderful whirlwind reunion with Goddaughter Emily.

And a wonderful whirlwind reunion with Goddaughter Emily.

Notably missing are photos of the rest of the Granary Crew, Sheila, Adam, Sara, Nancy and Adam, the second, who were far too busy working hard to keep that place hopping. We are deeply grateful for everyone’s support up there…both humble and proud to be a part of their stable…as it were.

More to come as I sort through the ten thousand or more photos taken. The camera is still smokin’.
For now…I gotta go hit the brushes…
Be happy all.





Looking forward

A cup of chowder out back of Larsen’s on a perfect vineyard day. Show opens tomorrow night and the buzz is going around the island. I’m getting excited. May you all have a safe happy weekend full of art!



Well art fans,
we have a few last minute crisis to find work arounds for here in the studio today…
and the trailer is scheduled to roll outta here in less that 40 hours…

SO, the first thing to give is gonna be this high falootin’, wait-for-it, three at a time…roll-out -the- paintings, production thingy.

Framed and wrapped and taking up a LOT of space in the studio now, are all 16 paintings…waiting for the weather to cooperate so they can be loaded into the trailer for the big haul northeast.
You have seen the first six, and here, all together now, are the remaining ones…

Considered for your approval…The Granary Gallery Show 2014

Chambered Linens  -  36 x 24

Chambered Linens


The Road Race  -  20 x 16

The Road Race


The Carriage House  -  18 x 24

The Carriage House


King’s Highway Deep  -  18 x 24

Kings Highway Deep


Looking Back  -  92 x 48

Looking Back


Coast Guard Crow  -  40 x 30

Coat Guard Crow


The Wreck of The Betty  -  36 x 24

The Wreck of The Betty


Squibnocket Sunset  -  36 x 18

Squibnocket Sunset


Laylines  -  46 x 32

Lay Lines


The Watch  -  24 x 16

The Watch



And there ya go…
We will be at the opening on Sunday night July 20th from 5-7pm
at The Granary Gallery in West Tisbury on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.

Thank you all for viewing and for your continuing support.

It means more than I can ever say.

Yours in a flurry,









Vernissage 2 …

My first solo show, way back in 2001, was titled, Vernissage.

Wiki defines it thusly…A vernissage (varnishing, from French) is a term used for a preview of an art exhibition, which may be private, before the formal opening.Guests may be served canapés and wine as they discuss with artists and others the works in the exhibition.

Right about now I’d love to serve you up some canapes and wine but, since we are here in cyberspace, this will be a Virtual Vernissage.

You are cordially invited to preview the new paintings which will be exhibited two weeks from tonight at the Granary Gallery !

This year I am going to launch the new work in groups.

As I sat last winter, with sketchbook in hand and snowflakes flying outside the studio, and began to pare down the list of compositions, some distinct and new series began to take shape. Try as I might to fit them all under the umbrella of one theme, they pushed back and up and out and I gave up worrying about it and just kept painting.
What emerged after several months of work were a few smaller grouped ideas with the occasional common thread. I’m not sure if anyone but me will see those threads, but I’ll point them out along the way.

We start, yes, at the beginning.
The first three paintings I did were studies of barns, and wood, animals and earth.
So…from the ground up…here we go

Stable Light  -  24 x 30

Stable Light

Click on this logo below each painting to read their Painter’s Notes - 


The Hay Whisperers  -  24 x 36

The Hay Whisperer


Angle of Repose  -  60 x 40

Angle of Repose


Time now for a bit of my own repose…
tomorrow the journey continues…

Granary Gallery Season 2014

The exhibition of summer shows at the Granary Gallery opens tomorrow night…and I’m sending all manner of good art vibes to my pals who will start the season off with a bang…

Ken Vincent – Morning Has Broken  24 x 8 Oil on Panel

David Wallis  -  Morgan Whaleboat  28 x 39  Watercolor

Alison Shaw  -  Whaleboat, Gannon & Benjamin Boat Yard 2013

Dan West  -  Kingfisher  12×10 x 7 Sculpture

And a nod to our fellow art night pal John Hagen whose work is on display at the Granary and who will hopefully be ready to show new work very soon…

John Hagen  -  Plein Air Path to Edgartown Light  14 x 11 Oil on Canvas

In “depend” ence


Not sure if this is true for you
but as time marches on
I struggle less for independence
and tug more on the threads
that pull us all together…
Travel safe this weekend my friends…

so much depends

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

William Carlos Williams


Ted and Pete as Muses

Ted and Pete have made quite a splash in their Cover debut on the American Art Collector Magazine this month, and I thought you would like to see some of their other inspirations as Muses.

Over the years, they each gave me the great gift of seeing the island of Martha’s Vineyard through their eyes. Both had DNA spread liberally across generations and rolling fields and they had an eager student of island history in my eager ears.

Ted and his wife Polly sent me wandering down many a sandy trail through brambles and over rocky rutted roads in pursuit of hidden landmarks and relics of island lore. After Polly left us, Ted rode shotgun on those adventures and navigated us to some seriously back-of-the-beyond treasures.

One such romp was to find the elusive Gay Head Lily. We ended up announcing ourselves in this lovely woman’s yard at the end of a long lane and out Ted, the celebrated head of the island garden club, waltzed to her dock along the pond to show me the flowers. Stunning. As I look back today, his hand seems far more delicate than those petals, but oh the wonders, that magician that he was, our Ted, could pull out of his hat.

Here’s a link to the original blog entry describing this painting…Click Here.

ted holding lily

ted on dock

Gay Head Lily

Another fine day found Ted and PG Harris and I bouncing along an old carriage path in my truck in search of The Brickyard. Ted thought it would be sorta fun to see it, and introduced me to PG whose family owned the property, and, after a couple hours of historical lecture on the area…off we three drove…I mean there we were in the middle of three glorious old fields surrounded by ancient stone walls and PG points to a small break in the stone and says, “Just drive over and through there and we’ll see.”
The Painter’s Notes give the rest of the story…click here… but suffice it to say, now that they are both floating somewhere high above that island…that adventure was one of my all time favorite memories.

Brick Yard Tea

Now, Peter Darling, well…he was just Pete. We called him the Admiral because he always had binoculars around his neck and was ever watchful from his deck. Not nothing, not no one, got past his old farm house on Greenhouse Lane without Pete knowin’ about it. Many a stranded sailor was rescued by the coast guard that Pete had hailed after spying their distress from his perch on top of those bluff steps. And every feather of the nesting osprey was monitored by their stalwart steward of a neighbor.

There is a tiny knoll in the long lane, right by his house, and I took to honking my horn with each passage so as to let oncoming traffic be wary, (and just between you and me…to keep the Admiral on his toes !). The very last time I heard from Pete, he had brought out a great big foghorn to his porch and answered my heralding call with his own. I really loved that.

grillmaster pete

These two views of Pete’s house give you an idea of the depth of beauty that surrounds the Darling’s farmhouse. His wife Della is there now and I’m eager to see her next week to give her a big hug and hear how life on the lane is faring this season. Della is a great fisherman and a lover of walks. In her travels, she has worn a path all along the perimeter of those old stone walls. I hear that some daisies grow there to welcome her in the late spring. She has earned them.



A couple of years ago…the year of the Apple Series, I spent the winter listening to the double trouble musings of Ted and Pete.
Pete was a tremendous trove of knowledge of Up Island lore and indeed history of all flavors. He loaned me a couple old tin coffee pots, the kind that were used over campfires by campers and travelers to cook up the early morning brew. The dear little one that made it into the Skillet Apple Pie painting was my favorite. Looking back, I should have blown some smoke out of that thing. Pete woulda loved that.

skillet apple pie

The core of this series, (written before the pun hit me, sorry), was the modeling session with Ted in the Magnuson’s Tiasquin Orchard…which all started with Chris’s suggestion…and the rest of that story is in these Painter’s Notes…click here.


Tiasquin Orchard

And the man himself…
The Muse

who sits in this chair across from my easel
and reminds me, every day,
that I am all the better
for knowing that twinkle
in his mishcievous
and loving eye.


Never trust a man,
who when left alone
in a room with a teacozy,
does’t try it on.

Billy Connolly

Cardinal Smash

The Basket Weaver

Intermittent Reinforcement -
That would be akin to psychological torture and for an artist, in her studio, painting with tiny brushes, all day…
most, any … all distractions raise the blood pressure.
In the case of the smashing cardinal, radical measures had to be taken…


Earlier this spring, The Bird, started seeing her reflection in this window and set to hurling herself at it. Repeatedly. In five – ten minute intervals. Sun up. To sundown.
My easel is six feet to the left.Where, this spring, I was sitting…Sun up to Sundown and then some.
Years ago a naturalist friend explained the phenomenon to me and I have since forgotten all the lovely avian reasoning behind the need to defend…against oneself. And, though I have had oodles of time to ponder the psychological anomalies of seeing one’s own reflection as a threat…a constant threat…I long ago lost patience with the hurling distraction. Not to mention the self-mutilating brutality of what the poor misguided bird must be experiencing.

So, the sheet. Which neighborhood watch persons, Paul and Matt, saw on their daily bucolic commutes and wrote a scathing review of on social media. Insert smiley face emoticon.

This fix did work. It even survived for many weeks through storm and wind and hail. Last week, after I had left the easel behind for some quilting therapy, and needed more light, I took down the sheet.
Tap tap…smash. She was back.
Now, sitting directly in front of the action, I was able to see that, except for some drool and bother, there didn’t seem to be much in the way of residual bird parts left after the attacks. The beak alone was being used to make… her point. I had hoped that it was a nesting behavior and that all that mess would be over by now. But no. Or still. I’m not sure.

Either way, the sheet has gone back up. I have left the now dim corner of the quilting chair, and returned to the easel. And now, just for fun, I am privy to one or two tiny taps an hour. Seems that she is ever vigilant, but now only curious, and she flies up to the top of the sheet and perches and peers inside for a silent, blessedly silent, minute or two and then is off. You would have had a photo of this for confirmation, but she is camera shy.

I, of course, am curious my own self.
Trickster Goddess or Muse ?Painter or Seamstress.
Perhaps time will tell…
I know SHE won’t.