Postcards from the Ledge – 26

We have come to the final new painting for this year’s Granary Gallery show…

Morning Menemsha – 48″ x 92″

In this day and age it is hard to keep things on the Q-T, and when you quietly post your first ever YouTube video so that you can practice with how to do that…

and then you decide it looks sorta cool so you tell one or two friends that it’s up…but please don’t share it publicly yet…

and then you tell a few more people and swear them to secrecy, knowing that you want it to be saved for the big finish in the website rollout of new paintings…

because you hope that someone out there actually reads these blog posts and enjoys the anticipation each year as much as you do…

and then you get the green light from the gallery that the paintings arrived safely and the word is getting around…as it does on an island…and people are trickling in to SEE this painting…

and then you are peeling potatoes in the studio kitchen and check in with your phone and see that your WIFE has actually gone ahead and posted the video ON FACEBOOK…

well…drumroll… you’ve been scooped.

So without further ado…

here is a little fly by video I made so you can get up close and personal with my painting…Morning Menemsha


Postcards from the Ledge – 25

It’s a wonderful day in the studio…

and I’m happy to report that the paintings have arrived safely at The Granary Gallery and all who helped along that journey are also safe and sound. Bless you all.

The lightness and positive energy I am feeling now clues me in to just how anxious I had been. It’s always a pretty stressful time as a self-employed artist to pack up your entire year’s worth of work and haul it hundreds of miles…across land…and sea…but…throw in economic uncertainty, civil unrest, cultural upheaval, political warfare and top that all off with a PANDEMIC …well it’s been a stressful time for us all hasn’t it.

Which makes it all the more wonderful today and I’m going to celebrate the positives…

AND…

I’ve got one very special positive to share with you today…

Jack the Lad – 26 x 30

I give you Jack..
the Lad…
and his pal Graham.

Let’s Zoom in a little…

There they are.

I’ll have a lot more to say about this in the Painter’s Notes…but after much anticipation on both our parts…Graham and Jack finally got to see their painting today…

It fills my heart to share the delightfully tender and upbeat energy those two souls exude.

Sure wish I could have been there for the unveiling Graham but this photo is all I need to see. May we all enjoy a bit of this happiness today.

 


Postcards from the Ledge – 24

Today that should read…postcards from the EDGE OF MY SEAT…

as I’m writing this I am eagerly awaiting news that our hero Nathan has arrived in Massachusetts at the rendezvous point…the studio of fellow Granary artist Mary Sipp Green…click here to see her wonderful paintings.

Gallarista Adam pulled in to her driveway a few minutes ago where the plan is to load up both Mary’s work and mine into the Art Van to return to the island of Martha’s Vineyard for our upcoming summer shows. A big thank you to Chris Morse, owner of The Granary Gallery, for helping to arrange this Pandemic Pickup.

And tremendous thanks to Adam and Nathan for taking the risks involved to make that trip for we studio-bound artists.

It takes a village.

And that is a perfect segue to today’s new painting reveal…

A Fisher of Men  –  36″ x 48″

This portrait of our dear friend Arthur walking in his calm powerful grace has been a comfort leaning against the wall in the studio lo these many weeks since it came off the easel. It has been hard not to be able to gather for our evenings of conversation and frivolity in the midst of the pandemic…when we could all desperately use that fellowship.

More on Arthur later…

The phone just beeped the good news that Nathan has arrived safely, Adam has almost finished loading Mary’s work and then we’re up.

My next deep breath won’t come until he pulls safely back into my studio driveway…so Pat is instructed to continue her novena a little bit longer.

Now I can move on to writing all those Painter’s Notes. Good inside work for these beastly hot days.


Postcards from the Ledge – 23

The intense emotions and recalculations of this roller coaster of a week have left us dazed…but we are closing it out in a much better place thanks in no small part to the true kindness of friends.

And honestly…that could describe every single week of this year so far…probably for each one of us.

So…Onward !

While this particular morning rings in a foggy soupy kind of summer day…

In this next painting, I want to take you to another kind of summer’s day…

The Morning Bell  –  24 x 30

A bright and colorful familiar along the Menemsha dock.

What I wouldn’t give to be sitting on a bench there now.

You all stay safe out there…

 


Postcards from the Ledge – 22

I remember this heart piercing quiet now.
In Finnegan’s wake the studio may feel empty…
but it is full of paintings.

The logistics have all been ironed out for this year’s Granary Gallery show to travel on up to the island.

With the wicked virus floating around, we are most gratefully relying on the helpers in our world to make it safe for us to manage the parts of this workflow that require contact with the outside world. This week the frames arrive, thank you Julie and Kory. Next week the trailer gets loaded, thank you Matt and Paul. And then it gets hooked up and driven north.

Now all those thank yous are in advance and it will take some powerful angel to sync these steps smoothly into place…
luckily we have a brand new one.

Seems fitting then to show you today’s painting…

In the Derby’s Wake  –  16 x 20


Finnegan Loretta Neill

This morning her smile was every bit as bright as the day we met.

She loved us so deep
and for eleven and a half wonderful years
this sweet girl filled every minute of those days with that love.

Herself said we would never ever ever be ready for this.
But this week Finnegan let us know that she was.

I’m going to keep this picture
of her last smile
and thank Finn every day for being here.


Postcards from the Ledge – 21

It’s a beautiful day in the studio garden.

Bright sun, getting hot, and tolerable humidity.

It has felt like we were about 2 weeks behind everyone else’s gardens but we are all getting used to a different pace. Herself and I take regular strolls around the place now and this morning we agreed that this has been the best year ever for flowers. There is so much color and the years of planting finally have displayed that English Cottage look I was aiming for.

I went out just now to take some pics but it’s not the right time of day, and up close you can see that the colors ARE beautiful…in spite of the weeding I haven’t done…so here’s the only one…for now

I’m eagerly anticipating the color which is not yet popping in the arbor bed because the nasturtium and marigolds are on the slow boat from holland…

I love before and afters so here’s the potato section of the Ruth Stout bed when planted on St. Pat’s day…

and the same corner today when I picked a potato for Pat…

That looks shockingly green on my computer but it’s pretty accurate. I gave the cukes on that hinged frame their first climbing lesson today.

From another angle the RS annexed strawbales with winter squash…

See I think those babies should be much further along…but we did have a very dry spell.

No pics of the raspberries which are plentiful this year but here’s a look at the blueberries coming in a close second…

I made the cardinal mistake of saying…outloud…to Matt last week that I had not seen a single June bug/japanese beetle…the very next morning…yep. So now I need to get out the Bucket Of Death into which I will plop their picked selves on my daily rounds.

So…a fine summer day.

We even decided to have an ice cream break on the rocking chairs for lunch…it’s just how we roll now.

After finally finishing the big painting last week, and coming to an almost complete creative standstill, I am making progress one step at a time towards whatever shall pass as the Granary show this year.

You’ve seen two of the eight paintings so far and I’d like to show you number three…

Aquinnah Sunset  –  20 x 30

It is a companion of sorts to the last one, Sunset Study, because they are both paintings of the same storm passing. More to come in the Painter’s Notes but it was the last night of our long island stay last fall.  The weather perfectly fit our mood and we had decided to turn left at Beetlebung Corner, choosing the less traveled path for a sunset view. It was, as it so often is…the right choice.

 

 


Happy Birthday ZOE !!!

Our valiant carrot whisperer is 10 years old today !!!

This painting was done when she was 8.
So much has changed in the world since then…

But Zoe’s imagination is growing brighter every day.

Sending you love and eagle hugs from the studio kiddo.

 

The Carrot Whisperer

“…I believe that everyone has imagination, that no matter how mature and adult and
sophisticated a person might seem, that person is still essentially an ex-baby. And as
children, we all lived in an imaginal world…you know, when you’d be told, “Don’t cross
that wall, because there’s monsters over there,” my God, the world you would create on
the other side of the wall. And when you’d ask questions like “Why is the sky blue?”
or “Where does God live?” or all this kind of stuff…like one of the first times I was coming to America,
I said to my little niece, who was seven, I said, “What will I bring you from America?”
She said, “Uh…” and her father said, “No, ask him, or you won’t get anything.”
And Katy turned to me and said, “What’s in it?” – (laughs) – which I thought was a great
question about America.”

An excerpt from the On Being conversation between Krista Tippet and the Irish Poet John O’Donohue

Our little carrot whisperer would have asked that same question at 7.
Now she is 8 and when we see her soon
I will ask her
but mostly I like to listen.

Zoe is one of the most richly vibrant souls
it has been my pleasure to share the planet with.

Her curiosity is fueled by a Tigger-like enthusiasm.

Stealthy observation informs her empathy.

And story telling is her super power.

So, last summer,
when I asked her seven year old self
to pose with the freshly picked carrot
and she examined it for a long while
deciding it made her think of
the snowman Olaf’s nose…

I waited

Then she thought the long green
fronds looked like hair
and she curled them in an arc over her head…

and I waited

And she started a story about how that
made her feel like a queen
and she was going to take the carrot
to visit her castle…

and I waited

until the queen decided she was in a carriage
and the carrot would, therein, accompany her
and she rested it regally on her shoulder
closed her eyes
and beckoned the footman to ride on.

An artist can’t choose her Muses.

We can only sharpen our brushes everyday
in the hopes that when they are ready to appear
we can catch them on …
the whisper.

 


Postcards from the Ledge – 20

I want to bring you a little study today…

Sunset Study  –  12 x 20

Little in size but not in heart.

This year’s Granary rollout will be spread out over the next month.
There are 8 paintings, now that I’ve finally finished the last one…is there a huge relief emoji out there ?

As I work to photograph and frame them all I’ll be writing the Painter’s Notes sporadically and am planning some sort of virtual presentation to accompany the paintings. So many ways things are changing and we here in the studio are ready to learn and experiment with new ways to share and promote art.

While we work behind the scenes to bring the new artwork to you please be safe, wear your masks, and enjoy the freshening summer breezes when you can.

 


Postcards from the Ledge – 19

Let’s talk about ART.

Times they are a changing.

So as artists
who read tea leaves
and listen for patterns
in the airwaves
we are always out there
on that ledge
awaiting signals
from the Muse.

The Art Galleries in this world are finding new ways to represent artists and connect patrons to their work. The Granary Gallery is OPEN for business now. The staff reports that people are excited to visit and respectfully wearing masks. They have a new footpath to safely direct people through the indoor galleries and the wonderful open air courtyard is full of ocean breezes and…ART !!!

Facing the many challenges which the world has thrown at us so far this year have taken me away from the easel for an unimaginable amount of time. I’ve shared some of those challenges here in these Postcards, and others are, like yours, privately kept.

But it is time now to start showing you what paintings I have been able to produce…so far.

I want to start with the one closest to my heart…and soul…

Signaling Home  –  24 x 36

I haven’t written the Painter’s Notes yet.
All my energies need to be focused on finishing the gigantic panel which is on the easel in time to send it up to the island for what will be a crazy summer of exhibitions without openings.

For now, as I expect most of you will already see, this one says everything about who I am, where I’ve come from and where I hope the road will take me.

There’s more to come
so…
stay tuned
stay safe
and stay frosty out there.