Thursday, October 10, 2019

#361 • A Fisherman's Place


 
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There aren't too many of them left along the coast of Maine - places where fishermen live where they work, that is. There's a little stretch in Stonington where the natives seem to be hanging on. It doesn't seem to change much from year to year, thankfully.

A sure sign that things might be tipping for the worse, however, was an experience we had this past summer. You never used to have to worry about getting a real Maine lobster roll in Stonington, but  my daughter - she was so excited, bought one in town, closed her eyes, opened her mouth big and wide and took a bite three times her size only to discover that someone had put tarragon in the mayo. Who the hell puts tarragon in the mayo in a lobster roll, she gagged? I didn't mind it too much, but it sure wasn't what I was expecting either. Is there a curse that can be used on these interlopers who think they can change the real Maine lobster roll and get away with it?

A Fisherman's Place 8 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" * $250

Thursday, October 3, 2019

#360 • The Biggest Full Moon I'd Ever Seen

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The week before we hauled the boat is when I saw the biggest full moon I've ever seen.

We had dinner in Rockland and then watched Maiden. I had seen it. Tom had not. The guy behind us was on his fifth go around. The Strand is a great little theater.  But Maiden was even better. It was a great night. Fun dinner, beautiful theater, great movie. A trifecta.

On our way back out to the boat in the dark, I was in the bow of the dinghy scanning for navigational markers and lobster buoys with my penlight. We would have been thrown in the clinker had we been caught by marine patrol. Actually we could have been run over by a cruise ship. But we weren't.

Tom spotted it first - over my shoulder. It was so big I couldn't see it at first. And then I did. A monster was cresting over Vinalhaven. That's the biggest f...... moon I've ever seen, I exhaled. And it was. We watched it float up and into the cloud bank, and that was the end of the show.

And finally, who had the most cribbage wins for the 2019 summer sailing season? It wasn't Tom!

The Biggest Full Moon I'd Ever Seen • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Friday, September 20, 2019

#359 • The Leaves Are Falling Up


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The leaves are falling up - putting on their seasonal colors, that is.

So get out there and enjoy it because all reports are pointing to a rolling-thunder-tidal-wave-cyclone-bomb-event of a winter.

The Leaves Are Falling Up • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250










Wednesday, September 11, 2019

#358 • A Celebration of Playing

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Playing. It's an expression of unconditional love - we're in love when we are truly playing.

It's what children do when they aren't sleeping, afraid or in pain. It's what we adults do when we aren't competing with ourselves and one another.  

It's what we all need to remember to do every day, as if today were our last day on Earth.

A Celebration of Playing • 9.5" x 9.5" acrylic framed to 15 x 15 • $350

Thursday, September 5, 2019

#357 • Holding On To Summer

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When it dawns a beautiful summer day here in Maine, albeit with her pinky toe now fully submerged in fall, it's hard to imagine there's a hurricane just south of us plowing her way up the coast. It's like witnessing the inner mind of Mother Nature and her daily battle to either act out good or not so good.

The ancients believed we humans, collectively, influenced the behavior of nature. Although I'm simply trying to hang on to summer here, I hope this painting also helps those facing Dorian to fill themselves with memories of a peace filled day. What's the risk?

Holding On To Summer • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Thursday, August 29, 2019

#356 • Yūgen

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There are only so many ways to describe moonlight. I decided to use the word yūgen. Yūgen had flown by me on Facebook defined as a Japanese word to describe mystery and concealment. As it turns out, yūgen is one of the nine ancient Japanese aesthetics. Their meanings are greatly edited here, but for me, it is the words themselves that I find captivating for some reason - maybe because they are in and of themselves both beautiful and lyrical to look at and speak.

1. Wabi-sabi 佗寂 (Imperfection) - The philosophy of wabi-sabi is one of imperfection, impermanence and incompletion. 

2. Miyabi 雅 (Elegance) - Miyabi is about elegance, refinement and courtliness. It is also about the elimination of anything vulgar or unsightly. 

3. Shibui 渋い or Shibusa 渋さ (Simplicity) - The aesthetic ideal behind shibui is one of simplicity, subtlety and unobtrusiveness. 

4. Iki 粋 (Spontaneity and Originality) - Iki is often compared to its older and more universal cousin wabi-sabi. While iki is about simplicity and temporality, it also encapsulates qualities like originality, uniqueness and spontaneity. 

5. Jo-ha-kyū 序破急 (Modulation and Movement) - Jo-ha-kyū is the concept of modulation and movement. It can be thought about like a tempo in how you do things and connote how all things should begin slowly, build up quickly thereafter to a rising crescendo, and then end swiftly. 

6. Yūgen 幽玄 (Mystery and Concealment) - Yūgen is a concept that values mystery and concealment. It describes an element of profound depth with questions that may remain unanswered even as the plot unravels. 

7. Geidō 藝道 (Discipline and System) - This concept is embodied in the discipline, ethics and systematised approach to apprenticeship embodied in many Japanese traditional arts. 

8. Ensō 円相 (Void and Absolution) - Ensō is represented by a circle that symbolises a holistic form of absolution, enlightenment, strength, elegance, the Universe and the void. 

9. Kawaii かわいい (Cute and Lovable) - Lovable, cute or adorable, kawaii is found almost everywhere in modern Japan and an integral part of Japanese society.  

 Edited from Japan Talk on the “9 Principles of Japanese Art and Culture.” 

Yugen • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250 












Thursday, August 22, 2019

#355 • One Dead Run At A Time


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ONE DEAD RUN AT A TIME
Sailing with the wind square to your stern is called a dead run. If you have a main and a jib, you can sail wing on wing. The jib flies to one side of the mast, the main to the other. You are pushed across the water like a butterfly. It's lovely.

Decades ago, I took a friend out for a spin on a borrowed Laser. For those who don't know, a Laser is a small but feisty single-handed racing boat with a very tall mast and way too much sail for it's size. As a result, it's very "touchy," with a response time of 0 seconds. I had single-handed a sailfish a couple of times in my career and figured, heck, all little boats are alike - I could handle this one. My friend had no prior sailing experience, but like me, she was gung-ho for a new adventure. No worries, we said, we have life jackets, the sun is shining and the water temp is delightful.

There was a brisk breeze tacking off the dock close-hauled upwind. I was feeling really special - like I really knew what I was doing. We were going fast and loving it because honestly, we were speed freaks having accumulated a legendary number of speeding tickets between us in our day. What a blast we were having.

And then it was time to go back downwind, or jibe-ho as they say. For me it meant spinning the boat around 180 degrees into a dead run. The first jibe resulted in an immediate sail slap to the water. The boat went over so fast, we flew through the air and into the water before we could yell fore! Choked with laughter, we righted the Laser and jumped back into the saddle and took off again. As I started to haul the sail back in, the mast immediately pitched from the left to the right and back again. My friend brilliantly ducked the lightning fast and deadly pendulum that was our boom, eventually pinning herself tight to the deck. But we were in the drink again before we knew it.

It was dramatic. I'm thinking seven, but hoping it was only five times we rolled over trying to get underway. We were like a death roll wind-up toy, and my friend now had justifiable reason to finally ask me if I knew what the hell I was doing. I don't remember what my reply was, but I think I lied hoping it would somehow morph true.

By the grace of God, and I'm not kidding here, we eventually got the hang of it. We both figured out how to throw our weight around - hiking in nautical terms, and were to win the race against impending death when we finally bow-butted our home dock. It was freakin' awesome! we decided over a cold one later, and over several more later on. We scared the shit out ourselves, were exhausted but on an adrenaline high, defined ourselves as Olympic contenders on perseverance and raw guts alone, had a great swim, got some color, and survived!

We never sailed together again - both determining that I needed to hone my technique. She and her husband eventually bought a sailboat, which shocked the hell out of me, so I didn't have to feel guilty about destroying her aspirations. Me, I continued to test my fear of death rolls for many years. I still freak sailing a dead run, but not so much that I feel like it's still a game of high seas chicken - like who's going to take a dunking first, me or the boat. You just gotta hang in there and take one dead run at a time.

Sailing Downwind • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250