Betsy’s Gift

In honor of the 42nd anniversary of the opening of the movie Jaws…
I give you Betsy’s Gift.

These dear lads had spent a glorious afternoon fishing up and down the dock in Menemsha. I sat outside of Larsen’s eating my steamers and enjoyed their serious minded focus and the simple pleasures of the day.

At one point the blue shirted boy came running out of the back door with that blue bin
and brought it over for the others to inspect…”Look what Betsy gave me !”

The boys were excited and immediately set to work cutting up the bait fish.
If you had been there, I think you would have smiled along with me.

And then you could look to your left,
just there around the basin of fishing shacks,
no more than a hundred yards
from where these young fisherman are standing,
and…using your imagination,
and a healthy dose of nerves,
you could see where Steven Speilberg himself
directed, from the dock out back of the Galley,
lo those 42 years ago,
as they filmed that epic sea drama.

I’m heading home now,
the pizza has just arrived,
and it’s time for the annual viewing.

Yes, we are going to need a bigger boat.


7 Years Young

Have to take a break from rolling out the new paintings…to wish this amazing young human a HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

Zoe turns 7 today !!!

She has been exploring her creativity as student, model and muse in her 7 years of visits to the studio, and her independence, gregariousness, and focused curiosity have left their mark on this artist/grandmother.

Here are a few other Zoe inspired paintings…she’ll be here in a few weeks and I can’t wait to see what she’s got up her sleeve next.

Happy Birthday Zoe.


Ana of Inisoirr

At the top of the craggy hill,
inside of the stone walled gate,
is a small patch of Irish green,
a few wooden picnic tables,
with heavy stones in their centers
to keep the ever blowing wind
from sailing the menus up and across the burren
and out over the wild Atlantic sea,
and blue aproned Ana,
who serves the best fish chowder
Herself has ever tasted.


Tomas of Inisoirr

Ah, yer ever so kind…
such a warm and hearty response for Macy,
and I’m humbled, for my sins, by that.

This then, is Tomas.
He who lets Macy take the lead
as they welcome travelers to their tiniest of the Aran Islands.

This week, the annual Bodhran festival is taking place there.
On my bucket list, it is.
When they throw open the barn doors,
I’m certain Tomas and Macy
can hear all those drums a’ beating.

Brilliant.


The Granary Gallery Show

It’s been right there,
over my shoulder,
for lo these many seasons gone by…

I’ve kept my head down,
brushes flying,
and creative fires burning
all the days in between this and my last post.

And just like that…
the summer show at the Granary Gallery is HERE !!!!!

Sunday July 30 is the opening reception
I’ll be rolling out the new work on this blog and on Facebook and Instagram,
so I’ve got lots of fidgity computer work to fit in between the last few brushtrokes
over the dwindling weeks in the next month. Gulp.

I just wanted you to know I’m still here.
So,
to get us started…I give you…

Black Irish  – 32 x 48
This is Thomas’ horse Macy.
They both live on the island of Inisoirr, off the Wild Atlantic Coast of Ireland.

I’ll fill you in on their story,
and ours along the way, so stay tuned…
for now,
it’s back to the easel.


This just in from the rain forest…

a text..

from the jungle…

from Granary Gallery qwner Chris Morse…

“I thought your hat should cross a suspended bridge in the rain forest
today…in the shadow of the volcano Arenal in Costa Rica…cheers.”

That’s sorta fun…and thoughtful indeed.


Sisters and the Muse

This falls under Ted’s favorite category of “sorta fun”.

A while back, one of my master muses, John O’Hern, sent a query asking about the painting Sisters. He was writing an article about florals, and botanicals, and Albrecht Durer, and naturally…thought of moi. (She wrote with a grin)

The article came out in this month’s American Art Collector Magazine, which Pat brought in from the mailbox last night.

As I read through and found it today, I see that an image of Sisters did not make the editorial cut. I can see why as the others make a wonderful bouquet of floral still lifes, and my little garden painting is of the more humble vegetable variety.

But, here’s the fun part.
What John wrote about the painting Sisters is…in his most inimitably magical way…delightful.

And I quote,
“Heather Neill observes a helpful symbiotic relationship in her own garden between her tomato plants and a volunteer scarlet runner bean that self-seeded the year before. Sisters refers to the ancient practice of “sistering” or “growing companion plants to, in this case, literally, support one another”, she explains. “Native Americans would plant corn to support the beans, which would shade lower growing lettuces…all in the same patch.”

The subjects are shown after dusk plucked out of the dark by a porch light. Neill’s saturated color and hyperreal painting along with the dramatic light suggest a more sinister role for the vine when the light is extinguised.”

Only John would imagine such sinister designs, plucked after dusk by a porch light.

Brilliant, and ta.


New Paintings

I’ve been playing catch up after an extended time away from the easel, and have been hitting the brushes hard for the last few weeks. So, I am a bit behind with this blog, and a long list of other things…

There are two new paintings which are out there in the gallery world and I wanted to let you take a peek.

This first one, The Self Portrait, is a painting of Zoe when she visited camp Gran and Mima last summer. There are traces of this chalk portrait lingering on the studio porch, and it warms my cold winter heart every day.

It is currently on display at the Sugarman Peterson Gallery, in Santa Fe.

The second is a still life, Reeling, for which I have Alex to thank. He’s the one who got me excited about learning to fly fish, and gifted me with that lure, and a few hundred stories about his fishing adventures. I have my new rod, Sister Bean, at the ready by my kitchen door and on sunny days I practice my casting out in the yard. That may be as close as I get to hooking a fish, which would be fine because I mostly just enjoy the time spent with Alex. He’s a keeper.

Reeling is hanging in the current show at Gallery 1261, in Denver.

OK, now it’s back to work.

You all enjoy these lengthening days,
and play nice out there.

H


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.

Mood-Swing

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.

inis-oirr-an
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…http://www.craiceann.com/

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