Today’s goal…

to spend at least 30% of the day in an upright position.

Which would triple the output of the last eleven days, wherein I crawled from daybed to nightbed, dragging boxes of tissues, bottles of medicine, and an increasingly bored bernese mt. dog.


I have managed the first 18% of that goal by throwing the contents of the kitchen and garden into a large pot, now simmering away with chicken soup. With a few breaks in between to sip some hot tea and cough up a lung, I am upright, sitting in the office chair,  but basically upright, and catching up on the business that piled up while we were away in IRELAND !!!

The fairies were with us all the way, and they turned out to be the only two weeks since late July that I have been free of the plague. Brilliant !

I think the muses have grounded me upon my return so that I could linger in a foggy state and simply drift back to our time there and cement the whirlwind of images and experiences. It exceeded every single expectation, from the traveling companions, to the glorious weather that followed us, to the historical touchstones and meaningful connections, and on and on and on to the landscape and the people.

Here’s one of our favorites, An of Inis Oirr.

We spent a day on that smallest of the Aran Islands, with a bumpy wagon tour,a pint in the pub, a talk with Masie and Thomas, and Herself threw off her shoes and walked in the ocean.
An, or Anya (I’m sure that spelling is not right)  was the owner, waitress, chef at the little cafe at the top of the hill, just below the castle ruins. She fed us marvelous chowder and hot chocolate and smiled and laughed the afternoon away. Apparently Pat has wrangled a room in her B & B in exchange for light housework.

One of the bucket list items I got to cross off was buying a Bodhran, the Irish drum used in acoustic sessions, and it has just arrived here in grand shape from the little shop in Dingle. I did a bit of googling, and discovered that there is an annual Bodhran festival right there on the tiny island of Inis Oirr.

Check it out…

Already signed up to the mailing list. Bit of practice to do before I’m worthy of that group but we may take An up on her offer.

Be assured that this trip was a creative game changer and I’ll be sharing thoughts and images as they begin to move from the suitcase to the easel, but I am approaching that 30% threshold and I’ve got some paperwork to finish before this thing sits me back down.

Yours in tissues and dreams, H

Bon Voyage

We want to send huge love to Jane Slater, as today she celebrates her 40th year at the antique shop she and her husband Herb have operated in Menemsha. Someone else will be sitting behind this desk next season, but for me, I shall forever see her smile looking back.

Jane will step boldly into a new chapter and we wish her full speed ahead.

Our Ladies of Menemsha

Now… available on a screen near you…

big poster72

The movie is HERE…

Oh what a night it was. The house was packed, as they say, with eager friendly faces who came for the premiere and to support all of us who were captured by the magic of David and Barbarella’s brilliance.

movie night

Herself and I were blown away. They did such an amazing job.
Our fifteen minutes of fame stretched a bit further, on into the weekend, where we had a super opening at the Granary Gallery.

There is much more to write and share, but along with the swollen ego that filled the car on the way home…I picked up some swollen glands…and the muses have sat me down firmly in order to heal this viral plague so I can get back to those brushes and fill up some of the empty wall spaces !

So, I’m going to sip on my chicken soup and dream back on all the glamor and love surrounding the week on MV.

Meanwhile….it’s your turn.

All you who were unable to make the premiere, and all of those who left the theater wanting to watch it all over again, and again…you can now just click on the link above and be magically transported to The Artist Odyssey website…grab a bowl of popcorn, and watch this movie on the screen of your choosing.

All manner of good things, and summer love, to you all…

All my bags are packed…

Oversouth Willow

I’m ready to go…

with a HUGE thanks to Alex for his help this morning,
and all summer,
the trailer is now packed with
the paintings for the Granary Show !

We head out before his Ma’s crows get wind of
tomorrow’s sunrise.

First stop, The Follansbees,
where we will get to see his new workshop
and enjoy some time with the family.

Then a hop skip and a jump over to Wood’s Hole
and all aboard we get on the ferry
to the little island of Martha’s Vineyard.

I want to thank you all for the many kinds words
of support and encouragement in response to
this year’s body of work.

I can’t tell you enough
what a difference it makes.

When our heads can fit back into the studio door,
I’ll check back in and let you know how the movie premere
went, and how goes the show.

you all stay frosty out there
and be safe.

Yours in heat exhaustion
and just a touch of butterflies.

Final Stretch

7th Inning Stretch

This is almost what my studio kitchen looks like today…

Add a kitchen table, stacks of art books and magazines,
two baskets of laundry, another row of teacup shelves,
a different iron, and a large bernese mt dog at my feet…

and you would be welcome to come join us
as we head into the final stages of preparing
to leave for the Granary Gallery show !

I left the ironing ’til last.
Despite my predilection for sweats and smocks,I do try to make an effort to look respectable
when I leave the studio and venture out into the real world.

And, while this heat dome is determined to hover over the east coast,
I am determined to let linen
keep what little air movement there may be…flowing.I’m halfway through the ironing.
For the last two hours, Finnegan has been laying in front of the air vent.

I needed a break, so I’m writing to say hey,
stay frosty out there my friends,
and island breezes…here we come !

Movie Tickets

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Well…in a little over a week
it will be MOVIE TIME !!!

This is a reminder that,
if you are on the island of Martha’s Vineyard next week,
and you want to join us for the premiere of the movie,
Visions of Home, Directed, by David and Barbarella Fokos,
produced for Chris Fessenden, founder of
the new arts website venture,
TAO The Artist Odyssey
all you need is a ticket.

The tickets are FREE.

But you do need to reserve them.
You can do that in two ways,

By calling the Granary Gallery at  (508)693-0455

Or by reserving ONLINE with the MV Film Society
When you click on this link you can view the movie trailer,
and click on the BUY TICKET button to reserve your tickets.

Don’t worry, it says BUY but the tickets are free.
You will not be charged in any way for them.

Visions of Home
Premiere Friday July 29, 2016 at 6pm
Capawock Theater, Vineyard Haven
Martha’s Vineyard

For general information about the film center and film society programming, please email or call 508-696-9369.

Granary Gallery 2016

There you are…

Fifteen paintings to mark the fifteenth year of showing at the Granary Gallery.

Our wildly good fortune has evolved into enduring friendships and unwavering support.

Herself and I are grateful every single day that Chris Morse agreed to hang my paintings on the wall of his Red Barn. For the last fifteen years, he, his wife Sheila, their entire family, the extraordinary staff of the gallery, and the generous patrons and supporters on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, have made it possible for me to wake up every day and go to my studio and …paint.

I am one lucky artist, and I do not take one single minute of the last fifteen years at my easel for granted. With just a bit more of that luck, and all the energy I can muster, we will have many more years of collaboration, and friendship, together.

Thank you all.

Noli Timere

Noli Timere cx

Be not afraid.

I called her Scout.

Because, I knew I was going to be spending
a lot of intimate hours with this sheep
and she needed a name.

Because, on the day I started this painting,
the news came across the airwaves
that Harper Lee had died.

And because I wanted to be just like
Atticus’ curious, strong,
loyal and fiercely brave
daughter Scout.

It was late in February
when I began this painting.
We were deep into a very rough winter
of care-giving and hospice nursing
for Pat’s elderly aunt and uncle.

His death in November
left a wife of 72 years to grieve
through the cobwebs of Alzheimers.

Two days after I began this painting,
Aunt Mary died, in the dark hours
between dusk and dawn,
while Pat slept
on the floor beside her bed.

The afternoon before,
out of a deep state of rest,
Mary sat up in bed and cried,
Pat, help me, I’m so afraid.

Taking her hand Pat comforted Mary
with the words that her room was full of angels,
and all of them were there to take her to Bob.

Pat’s art is her compassion.
She was born to be a hospice nurse.
It is hard, meaningful work,
that only someone strong,
and fiercely brave can do.

Her courage runs fathoms deep.

The grief that followed Mary’s death,
was interrupted by waves of peace.

In the wake of that chapter in our lives,
I was drawn into a profound intensity of focus,
as I tried to shine some light on the emotions
that were trying their best to hide.

Scout and I spent those weeks together,
weaving our way through her pasture of grasses,
and catching the sunset in the fibers of her fleece.

I had been listening to Louis Penny’s wonderful
Three Pines Mystery series, and was so happy to be
among the old friends her characters have become.
They are real, and honest, loyal and brave.
Spiked with just enough wit and humor to keep my pencils sharp.

At some point,
most likely when I was struggling with
refracting the rainbow of light
through one of those four hundred million locks,
I caught a new word, and paused the book
to go back and listen again.

She was describing the words that Seamus Heaney
had written to his wife, on his deathbed…

Noli Timere

I put down the brushes.
Scout smiled.

As I am writing this now,
in this troubled world,
with so much to fear,
I am sitting next to Scout,
framed in her quiet island pasture,
searching my soul
for the courage… to listen.

Flying Horses

Flying Horses

Everyone has a story.

If you mention the carousel,
to anyone on the island,
you will first get a smile,
and then a story.

I remember when I took my first ride…

The Flying Horses Carousel is the oldest operating platform carousel in America.
For 140 years children have ridden,
round and round
on these gorgeous steeds,
in the little red barn,
in the town of Oak Bluffs,
on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.

With music from a 1923 Wurlitzer Band Organ,
the smell of popcorn from the refreshment stand,
the brightly colored hand-painted signs, (thank Skip for those),
the original painted placards that revolve with scenes of far away places,
and the laughter of children enjoying the ride,
there is a circus-like atmosphere
when you walk inside,
out of the blazing summer beach scene,
and into the cool throwback in time,
and the world turns at a slower,
happier pace.

On the cool crisp October day,
when we met Wendy and John outside the red building,
the horses were gearing up
for the last race of the season.

Walking in, before the doors were open to the patrons,
it was eerily dark as we waited for John to throw on the lights.
I wandered around to the back of the barn,
following a shaft of bright morning light,
that was streaming in from the topmost windows.

The strong raking light
caught the tip of an ear,
and the edge of a saddle,
the ginger flank of one horse,
and the flowing blond mane of another.

It cast the long thin shadow
of a stirrup,
on the circular green floor,
and then popped up
to reveal the brilliant red arm,
and slid silkily down to the very end,
which was, ever so gently,
holding one shiny brass ring.

Just as the sunlight
winked on the edge of that brass ring,
while their caretaker John was still fumbling for the switch,
I felt a breeze,
and heard a distant whinny…
and off they went.

It was a breathtaking sight…
riderless and free,
they took to the wind,
and, for one more time…
those beautiful horses…flew.

You can read more about the Carousel here
from the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust website.

And I can thank Wendy and John for the inspiration, and the ride.

Our Ladies of Menemsha

Our Ladies of Menemsha

If I did my job right,
a lot of you are going to recognize
at least two of these
ladies of Menemsha.

The one in the middle is my favorite, Jane Slater.
This is the fortieth year for the shop that she and her husband Herb
have owned in the little fishing village on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.

Her dear sweet swordfisherman of a partner Herb
was called to the fleet in heaven
a couple years ago,
and their even sweeter companion of a pup Lucy
soon thereafter to be by his side…
but Jane…
she’s a Yankee through and through,
and the island needs her
around for a good long while yet,
thank you very much.

But…40 years of being a shop-owner,
behind that desk, that chapter is about to close.
The sign comes down when the leaves start to drop this fall.

40 years of telling everyone who walks in that she’d be happy to answer any questions,
while Herb puttered back behind the curtain,
and Lucy’s tail could be heard thumping at his side,
and the good folk of the island wandered in and out,
only the truest among them
being offered that one extra chair
for a set-a-spell chat.

Some of my fondest memories of spending time with Ted
were the visits we made there.
Ted got the seat.
The three of them, Jane, Herb and Ted
had a lifetime of island stories to tell,
and my heart aches with the desire,
for one more afternoon of just listening to them pull on a good yarn.

I painted this mostly for me.
So that I could invite her into my studio,
so far away from that island…
to spend some time
sitting in the chair by my easel,
and listen to more of her stories
as I tried to capture
the elusive sparkle
in those beautiful eyes
just there
in that smile
at the edge
of her heart.