Tuesday, July 25, 2017
So...I wouldn’t describe this summer as a banner one weather wise. It’s been a tad cool and windy. And cool and windy has been happening at the same time - reminding me a lot of winter. But as some year-rounders have rationalized, Maine’s climate builds character.
Once in a while I’ll reminisce about a week I spent on Monhegan Island - it seems to be where I go in my head when I think about a perfect summer day. This particular day the sun was in full bloom, the wind tucked away and the air worth bottling. I ignored most of the reasons artists go out there to paint and kibitzed with the locals at the coffee spot most mornings and afternoons forcing myself to paint in between. When I’m visiting a beautiful island, sitting still just doesn’t work for me, so I walked about the island. This painting is a corner I encountered. We had a lovely visit.
Just Around the Corner on Monhegan Island • 8"x 8" acrylic framed to 12"x 12" • $250
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
We couldn't figure out what was missing. And then Tom got it. Buoys. Usually a seriously challenging obstacle course during the summer cruising months, early spring is fairly clear on Penobscot Bay.
Between a sea of buoys and armada of fishing boats, ferries, and the hoardes of summer yachters like us, the bay can be one big hazzard. It's almost worth freezing our butts off to get out a month early.
Boats and Buoys • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Forgetting again, that it doesn't warm up in Maine for good until the Fourth of July, the idea of sailing off across a 50 degree body of water in a light and finicky 50 degree breeze was not what we had envisioned over the long winter as our shakedown cruise for 2017.
It was Tom who made the first move - he unfastened the sail cover. Guess we're going sailing, I grumbled under my breath pulling on my ski jacket, hat and gloves, already cold, but always a glutton for punishment and never mind that we might be found adrift, frozen in place, both of us with goofy smiles on our faces as if we had lapsed further in to a euphoric insanity split seconds before death finally got a hold of us.
As it turned out, the sea and weather gods decided to humor the captain. The wind and tide, pushed us pleasantly down through the thoroughfare and in to Perry Creek, where we spent a cool quiet moonlit night eating baked beans and playing cribbage, and a long slow sunlit morning marveling at the surrounding beauty that was holding us captive.
Shakedown Sail • 8" x 8" framed to 12" x 12" • $250
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Out of necessity we learn to breathe deeply to relax so that we can put things back in to perspective. We realize the need to work and earn money so that we can toss all of it, every cent, to that bottomless whirlpool in the ocean we call our boat. We acknowledge that we have to brush and floss our teeth or it will cost us a new jib. And we have to pay attention to the news and continue to participate or there will be no planet to sail on.
We learn not to be so selfish and get used to patiently waiting by counting our blessings. We remind ourselves that life will, and must, continue to go on regardless of whether or not we are on our boat, in the water, skipping along a flat sea to the sound of our sails filled with a beautiful little summer breeze heading downwind and east.
Waiting • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $250
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
And when the sun threw wisps of light across the morn, and the guests had slid back and down in to an inebriated slumber, then and only then, did the crow come. It swept in, quietly circling, searching for what might have been left behind, then floated lightly to the ground to patrol the small shallow holes and squiggly fat lines that splattered and raced across the landscape like an accidental masterpiece left by drunken artisans. It waited for a mistake.
That's what they do, the crows. They wait for a mistake.
Waiting For a Mistake • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $250
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
I've decided to embrace the weather because hell, why fight it? Besides, gray can be beautiful. It's always subtle, quiet and soft. It tones us down, cools our jets, turns off the higher frequencies.
Gray conjures up images of dank, dark cities - fogbound seaports, where a murder is committed in a back alleyway as lamposts, casting eerily diffused gangrene light, turn the color of a trickle of blood running the gutter a sticky brown.
Today however, I envision a sleepy summer house set alone. When they from away return, there will be flowers in bloom. A gull with a broken neck, dead and petrified will drape their doorstep. It is there now.
Getting in to Gray • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $250
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
I was out on a fast walk around the hill the other day, and happened upon this little parade of daffodils against an older house on a more obscure side street. With all of the metal going up around here, the slick new designer paint jobs on re-habs, not to mention Hamptons-style landscaping, this was a welcomed relief to the eyeballs. It was simple, it was humble, and it was a real Maine scene. I hope it's around come next spring, but the way things are changing, it may not be. So, for the record, I've decided to preserve this sweet little old city garden.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
It's a March thing. It happens almost every year. We start looking at seed catalogs, and then BOOM, it's a good old fashioned nor'easter. Nothing like getting dumped on and back in to winter to keep you humble.
Getting Dumped On and Back In To Winter • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $250
Friday, March 10, 2017
The moon was west of overhead, the night cold and still in the city, when a piercing cry ricocheted through the streets like a lance being ground through a thick coat of armor. The season of yeowlers had begun. I pulled my earplugs, rubbed the sleep from my eyes, got out of bed, opened and then poked my head out the window to look around, and found I was the only sleeper awake at that hour. How can people not hear this, or maybe they do and just put their pillows over their heads?
I never can spot them, but when the weather allows for open window snoozing, their mournful quest for life and a good mate has all of the drama of an opera, a good sad one. There are anywhere from 11,000 to 30,000 homeless cats in Maine alone. Although many lost and neglected end up in Maine’s licensed animal shelters (around 90 in all), in 2012 more than 5,000 cats were euthanized because homes could not be found for them. About one of every five cats that enters a Maine shelter is euthanized. Puccini for sure.
Yeowlers • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $250
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
In spite of the mini skyscrapers lining the roadways, Maine is suddenly feeling like spring. But we who know better, know better than to get all giddy. We've been fooled before. We've all witnessed March barrel out of the heavens like a howling other-worldly avalanche.
So, for those of you who don't understand this to be what it really is - a brief mental respite from our deep winter drift, I offer this landscape. It's an alternative to what is really out there. Please don't believe it.
An Alternative Winter • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $250
Monday, February 13, 2017
I live with a marketing guy who believes Valentine's Day is one of Hallmark's greatest cons. I know other people feel the same way, so I'm really not singling out a man who I know loves me dearly, but shows it by leading me down hair-raising ski trails instead.
As it turns out, the 'ole boy wasn't far from the truth. It would appear that it all started when ancient Roman men celebrated the feast of Lupercalia from Feb. 13 to 15 when they sacrificed goats and a dogs, and then as a finale, whipped their women with the hides of the animals they had just slain. The men were drunk and naked of course, and the young women would line up to be hit believing (remember blue balls girls) the ritual made them fertile. Later that night there was a matchmaking lottery where young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couples would then hang for the duration of the festival and if the amour was exceptional, it was considered, perhaps, a match for life.
In the 3rd century A.D., Emperor Claudius II executed two men, both named Valentine on Feb. 14 of different years. Their martyrdom was honored by the Catholic Church, hence St. Valentine's Day.
Later in the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I combined St. Valentine's Day with Lupercalia to put a lid on the pagan ritual. Around the same time, the Normans celebrated Galatin's Day. Galatin meant "lover of women" which was likely confused with St. Valentine's Day at some point in part because they sound alike.
Some years later, Chaucer and Shakespeare romanticized the day, and handmade paper cards became the token of the day.
The industrial revolution in the New World led the way to factory-made cards and in 1913, Hallmark Cards of Kansas City, Mo., began mass producing them.
According to market research firm IBIS World, Valentine's Day sales exceed $18.6 billion.
So, for those who believe, Happy Valentine's Day. For the rest of us, and Valentine's Day aside, enjoy the full winter moon chaos. Hang in there, be the blizzard, and know that it will all settle down eventually as it always does and be even more stunningly beautiful.
Full Winter Moon Chaos • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $250
Monday, February 6, 2017
I force myself to take a walk around the neighborhood every morning without my much needed glasses on. The exercise not only wakes me up, navigating sans glasses keeps me alert and anti-depresses my eyeballs with natural light. Plus I can pretend I'm on another planet - which is pretty easy to do because I am so nearsighted it truly does look like another planet.
What I do see without my glasses however, is a glimpse of a remarkable place made up of an infinite number of shapes and colors. It's a reminder of why it's important, when I do have my glasses on, to acknowledge the simple fabric beneath the superfluous detail.
The Simple Fabric Beneath the Superfluous Detail • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" 8 $250
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
As a reprieve from the enormous amount of energy it takes to stay on top of what's going on out there with facts and alternate facts, I painted Silence. It helped. I'll be going for a walk in a few to test my primal instincts to survive the ice out there, in silence. After that, I will jump back in to the political arena to test my survival instincts with a loud speaker. Keep the pressure on, but take a break in silence in between.
Silence • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $250
Sunday, January 1, 2017
May The Force Be With You, our world leaders, and those who give us the information we need to make informed decisions in this next chapter.
Peace in the New Year 2017 • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $250