The Baron… and The Baroness

Every so often I rotate the stack of reference books in the stacks on my studio kitchen table and dip into old volumes to find new treasures. In that way I always find something that I’ve overlooked or was not ready to see before and a window is opened for the muses to shove me through.

Such was the case last month when I was paging through…

I came across a watercolor that my leaky memory has no memory of ever seeing before… Baron Philippe (1981)…

Something clicked and I began to sketch out an idea for a response….

I’ve been working on a series of studio still lifes and this gave me a chance to pull together some of the old props that have been living in the old studio (now renamed the POD ).

The oil lamp was Cousin Ed’s and one of the few treasures of his we were able to purchase back from the auction of his posessions. The empty wine bottle is courtesy of our holiday feast with D and S. The ladies handkerchief was one of Polly’s. The teacup is from Sue’s grandmother. The chair was from the old farmhouse across the road and is a very old shaker style ladderback that somewhere along the way had the rockers sawed off of so it is now a slipper chair. The little porcelain doll in her silky purple gown is a gift from Chris. The cane was a flea market find and has the whisper of a serpent carved in the handle.  The bottle was from an antique store purchased on the day we went to the Amish country to pick out Finnegan. The uniform has appeared in several other paintings and was an old hollywood costume found on Ebay years ago. The shell is from Sengy pond on the Vineyard. I don’t remember from whence the table came but the old wooden floor is the very foundation of my new studio. And the rest… is pure folly.

There are homages here to all three generations of Wyeths and I humbly submit my tribute to them… The Baroness.


Night Studio

It is deep cold winter now and when I leave the studio at night the furnace is turned low and I shut off every light except the string of tiny white lights that wind from the porch … along the picket fence…up over the garage … and down the path to light my way home.

When my eager apprentice wakes me in the early morning it is night black dark as we make our way to work and those lights are there to welcome us like hundreds of tiny muses.

This morning, like all the others, while waiting for me to get our breakfast ready, Finnegan went to get the paints out for the day’s palette … but she came running into the kitchen with a surprised look on her face.

…this is what she found…

Now I have always known that the muses have a keen sense of humor. And I have often come across evidence of “night play” in the studio. But this little tableaux shows some promise… and I may just see where this road takes us.

Stay tuned…. and stay warm.