Red Sky at Morning

creekside morning

Sailor take warning…

and so we have taken it easy today and managed to slowly fill the entire truck with our survival gear for an extended stay on the Vineyard. Tomorrow we move out and the caretaker moves in so the studio will not be lonely and the changing of the seasons here will not go unnoticed.

And our little family will make our annual pilgrimage up the east coast to dig our toes in the sands of Squibnocket beach and taste some of Chef Hesi’s sushi delicacies and visit with dear friends and explore some new corners and vistas all in search of new subjects to bring home to the studio to paint.

I expect to post some blog entries from up there so stay tuned…and enjoy the autumn colors in your neck of the woods.

When the Muses don’t show up…

It is dark now. And it’s been a very long day of frustrating fits and starts. Much ado and almost nothing to show for it.

Last week I had a dream in which a painting began to take shape. A line of pumpkins supporting a pile of corn was the start .  At first a shining ear with one glorious pat of butter atop was hovering over the pumpkins. Then the next day the title came into focus…The Philosopher Corn. I liked that but the original butter thing was too cute.

While sitting on the studio porch carving some spoons that afternoon I kept hearing a great swoosh in the trees just before seeing hundreds of migrating birds take flight. And I thought of a Raven…with an ear of corn in its beak… and that was my philosopher. Probably an echo of Jamie Wyeth’s sinful seagulls that I saw last week. But I liked the idea of the oily black feathers against the orange and green fall carpet.

I did a tiny sketch and gave Pat a shopping list. First off, the pumpkins. Well it turns out we are on the cusp of that season. Farmers said look back here on the weekend. And corn is at the other end of its season. Farmers said we probably won’t have any more by the weekend. And…we leave on Tuesday for a month on MV.

Soooo… I drove all over kingdom come and found Pumpkin Hill where I was no doubt the first customer … but I loaded four pumpkins into my wagon and called Pat. Got ’em, now can you go straight over to the orchard and grab all the corn that’s left.

That was two days ago.

Now here I sit tonight, waiting for my ipod gadgets to sync after hours of repairing loopy software, and decided it was time to set up the still life with the harvest. An hour later I am beaten.

Granted, I may be too tired to hear them…but the muses just ain’t helping out here.


This is absolutely hideous.

I hardly ever paint what is exactly in front of me in this kind of a still life…but really…my first little sketch had way more information than this heap.

And I have now ignored my partner and my puppy for most of the day… have two dozen perfectly good ears of corn going to waste…four decent pumpkins (pick of the crop) and a whopping headache in the balance.

Lesson learned…again…

these paintings have a mind of their own and when I try and force them into a tight little box in a crazy busy schedule… I just end up in tears.

I’m not letting go of the title, or the characters in play, but I am turning off this machine, going to shake myself together, find my dog, and head home to my loving partner for the night.

Tomorrow is another day Scarlett.


When we were on Martha’s Vineyard in July for the Granary Gallery show we took a day off to be filmed for a spot on Plum TV. Hannah Pillemer, the film maker, producer, editor and interviewer, along with David Rhoderick the intrepid cameraman, did a fine job of making us feel at ease…and our friend Barbara Gordon, aka Ansel Leibowitz, documented the interview for the studio blog.

Here are some photos from our morning in the spotlight, and a link to the video …

PLUM TV click here

A note from the Apprentice

The cooler weather is perking up the not-so-little-anymore Finnegan…

Finnegan grows up

At six months, her studio apprenticeship is focusing on getting the artiste to stick to a routine. Up at the crack of dawn, feed the pup, climb into the truck and head over to the park for a brisk half hour walk…then home to hose off …


Then it’s time to get to work…

Her new name this week is  Runs With Brushes…

runs with brushes

When I catch her and get this one back… I WILL get to work.


Calling all scholars and mystics…

I need some help interpreting two phenomenons that have puzzled me of late.

The first is straight forward… this cloud formation followed me all the way to the park a few days ago. It looked so much like calligraphy that I pulled over and sketched it in a notebook. Reproduced here via photoshop it is a fair representation …

sky writing

The second phenom is something that I started recognizing  months ago. Every time I would look at the clock it read 3:33 . Now, to clarify, I hardly ever look at a clock. And obviously there are only two times in any given day that that number can come up. But sure enough, my nightly bladder call was precisely at that hour…and I could have gotten up and looked at the clock at any stage in that journey to and from the throne but I  always seemed to catch 3:33.

Same thing in the afternoon. I’d stop painting and just randomly glance at the clock by the easel and there it was again. Not 3:34…or 5 but 3. When I think back now I remember that the first time that number came up it was on election day. I was number 333 in line to vote. Hmmmmm.

So …leap forward to almost a year later. The anomaly has blossomed. Now almost every time I look at any clock the time has all the same digits repeated. 5:55 comes up a lot, 11:11 is a fun one, I seem to catch 4:44 almost every day and so on.

No, I do not hang around waiting for the numbers to roll around. And no, I don’t pay any more attention to the time than usual. And Pat is completely done with me exclaiming, ” I don’t believe it…look…again !”  But I do feel, not unlike the sky writing, that there is some larger message from the beyond that I am supposed to be getting and am obviously not catching it on the whisper.

I have no clue if anyone  out there actually reads these blog entries but  I am curious to hear if anyone else finds these things… well…curious ?