Friday, April 26, 2019

#348 • What Gets Left Behind

Click here to purchase this painting #348

When it finally warmed up for a bit and the clouds allowed the sun some air time, the snow melted as fast as a Popsicle* in mid-August. This year the Easter egg hunt around here was for lost gloves, rakes, chairs, anything green and some sanity. There are probably plenty of treasures up on the mountain too where chairlift lines are veritable graveyards of poles, gloves, hats, goggles and cell phones to name just a few. It's winter's great lost and found, full of surprises.

Unfortunately, the roads and lift lines are also littered with our trash - discarded beer cans and bottles, cigarette butts, coffee cups and nip bottles. Get a grip people.

*The name was trademarked registered by Frank Epperson of Oakland, Calif., presumably from (lolly)pop + (ic)icle. ... Seeing that it was a success, in 1924 Epperson applied for a patent for his “frozen confectionery” which he called “the Epsicle ice pop.” He renamed it Popsicle, allegedly at the insistence of his children.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

#347 • Antidote To Spring Whiplash Syndrome

Click here to purchase this painting #347 •

It's pretty easy to pick up a case of whiplash throwing your head back to look up at the sky for signs of the sun, then flipping it forward to the ground searching for any hint of spring. If you slow the rotation down by stopping midpoint to look straight ahead, spring emerges. It's in the color. The color is subtle, but if you gaze long enough, you'll see it out there.

Toss into that gaze some memory, a smidge of wishful thinking, and a dose of desperation, and it becomes a veritable vernal springtime color show experience not unlike those spectacular Philmore East Light Shows of my youth.

Antidote To Spring Whiplash Syndrome 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

#346 • Is Spring Stuck in a Pajama Bottom Somewhere?

I was in bed reading one night when suddenly the avocado and kiwi I had thrown into my clothing satchel the week before popped in to my head. Luckily they weren’t in as bad shape as the banana I found last month, and fortunately their skins were tough enough to hold innards under extreme pressure.

While I was rummaging for the avocado and kiwi, I discovered two bars of dark chocolate I had purchased during a two-for-one sale a while ago. I don't remember tossing them in the satchel. I do remember thinking I had bought two bars of chocolate, looked for them, but never found them. I figured I had left them in the shopping cart or worse, never bought them and just thought I did. As it turns out, they had settled on the bottom of the satchel - sunken under a sea of clothing. How does that happen?

Which reminds me, I found a missing dryer ball all the way down in the ankle of my pajamas. How does that happen? And while we're at it, how is it that spring gets lost? Is it too stuck in the bottom of some satchel or pajama bottom somewhere?

Is Spring Stuck in a Pajama Bottom Somewhere? • 16.5” x 10.5” acrylic unframed • $350

Thursday, April 4, 2019

#345 • The Invisible Lady at the Miss Portland Diner


I was meeting a friend at the Portland Diner the other day and was late.

I didn’t see her in the new addition, so stepped up to the original diner and glanced around to see if she was there yet. A waitress swooped down the aisle from the opposite direction. I told her I was looking for a friend.

She said, oh yes, she's right here and pointed to the booth to my right.

An old guy sitting on a stool hunched over a big piece of pie at the deserted counter across the aisle looked over his left shoulder at the booth at about the same time I did.

“Well, if she’s sitting there, she’s invisible,” he rasped turning back to his pie.

He was right - all I saw was a cup of steaming coffee.

The waitress quickly added that my friend was currently in the ladies room. She never cracked a smile and asked if I wanted some coffee.

I replied no thank you and fell into the booth trying to contain hysterical laughter in my cupped hands, afraid someone might think I was a head case.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

#344 • Last Wintah Painting Again

I think I've whined about winter's staying power in the past. Here in Maine the first day of spring will often pass us by like a cruise ship heading south vibrating with Jimmy Buffet music and fans.

The southern part of the state can be springlike for a minute when suddenly a sea breeze kicks in like a frigid vortex dipping its way south - a hand stretching down from the north pole cupping us back to winter. The western mountains and north too still have big filthy snowbanks, bitter gales that howl through your bones like a freon syringe, and a lot of worn out rotator cuffs.

So I have decided that this is it for winter paintings from me. I'm throwing in the towel. I'm fed up. This wintah is ova for me, O-V-A, ova!

Last Wintah Painting Again • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Thursday, March 21, 2019

#343 • Waiting For The Weather to Cop a Better Attitude

This year's first day of spring was a corker! It was such an incredibly beautiful day yesterday that I soaked it all up and in skiing instead of working. Today I pay the price with a double work load, and weather-wise, a reminder of similar situation last summer.

After a stunning sail across the bay to North Haven - sunshine, a favorable breeze and following sea, we woke up the next morning to gray and fog, and decided to delay our cruise a bit to see if the weather might cop a better attitude. So we rowed to the public landing, walked over to the community building to check our email, and ate something chocolate because there was chocolate sitting there on the counter to be eaten.

We then took a stroll up and around the village to stretch our sea legs, came back to the landing and rowed back out to the boat where we prepared to let go. The weather hadn't changed moods, but it never makes much sense hanging around in a cozy cabin with our noses stuck in good books when we could be freezing our kahunahs and kahunohs off in a potential downpour looking for adventure in pea soup fog instead. One does not spend a kazillion dollars to keep a sailboat afloat simply to float nowhere.

Waiting For the Weather To Cop a Better Attitude • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12"• $250

Monday, March 11, 2019

#342 • Route 27 Through Those Moody Mountains

Years ago I was working with a Buddhist practitioner who wisely concluded that I was, among other things, a dysfunctional workaholic. My first assignment was to find five things I like to do other than work, and then go out and actually do them. Whoa - tough one!

I put hiking on the list because I was surrounded by mountains and miles and miles of hiking trails including the Appalachian.  I bought myself some decent leather Raichle boots, figuring that if I spent a goodly amount of money I would be forced to carry out the assignment and like it, whether I liked it or not.

I struck out on my inaugural solo-soul-searching-sojourn up in to Avery Peak - one of those bumps in the background of this painting that make up the Longfellow Range in Carrabassett Valley. Sauntering along, I'd periodically stop and ask myself if I liked this hiking thing. I honestly didn't know, so I just kept putting one expensive boot in front of the other, asking, climbing, asking, and climbing until I eventually, and to my surprise, summited.

Looking west along the spine of the range, I was riding a gigantic sea serpent cutting through an ocean of undulating green swells that were the many ridges below. The stunted trees were like druids riding along, grooming the patches of pale green, blue and lavender moss growing in and around the bold rock that was the mighty beast's hide. And then I sat down and smoked a cigarette. It was heaven.

I got hooked on hiking and eventually unhooked from smoking, and continued to solo up into those mountains over many many years. I witnessed the mountains morph from green and lush in the summer, to colorful show offs in the fall, and then hauntingly dark and moody in the winter. At some point I realized I did the same thing. It was a hard-earned Zen truistic-mystical-moment.

Those Moody Mountains • 10" or so x 8" acrylic framed to whatever • $250

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

#341 • Holy Oh Shit Corner!

Oh My Gosh Corner might be the most famous piece of road up here in these parts, but the one that gets to me is about halfway along the access road where you veer a bit to the right, hit a little rise up and into a view of the mountain that really lets you know what kind of a day you're going to have up there - and "Holy Oh Shit" blows out of your mouth like a freight train, leaving you gasping for mercy.

Holy Oh Shit Corner • 8"x8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

#340 • Route 27 Through New Vineyard

I've driven the same stretch of Route 27 for about a quarter of my life now. It's not bad as roads go once you get past Augusta. The Belgrade Lakes region is lovely, as are the fields of working dairy farms through Farmington. The intervale running beside the Carrabassett River before you get to Kingfield is unique in this state as is the drive north along the river and up through the valley with its rolling ridges and some of Maine's highest and prettiest mountains towering in the background. If you cruise northwest all the way through Carrabassett Valley, you will pass Stratton, Eustis and Coburn Gore, and in to Quebec, Canada if you feel the need for a weekend hiatus from the hijinks of our great country.

I've seen some of nature's best along this route. I've also witnessed some of man's worst - like the slow and insidious erosion of Maine's countryside to strip malls with bright lights and acres of black asphalt parking lots. But until they all return to dust, there's a pretty little piece of Route 27 right around New Vineyard that is still in tact and I hope never changes. Even during the coldest, darkest and most colorless months of the year, there are still parts of the countryside that belong only to nature. I hope we see fit to leave them that way.

Route 27 Through New Vineyard • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

#339 • The Way It Was

The only constant is change - I get it, but this city was way more interesting when it was authentically gritty and hard working, when gulls would fling dead herring at tourists on Commercial Street, when streams of sticky, smelly bait juice flowed under foot making a walk in some parts of downtown treacherous, when there were bars where you tipped more than you paid for your beer, and because of that, you likely got a "howdy ma'am" from a drunken sailor who couldn't help himself but be happy trying to find his way home.

The Way It Was • 8"x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Monday, January 28, 2019

#338 • Cats and Apples

I've watched cats get off-the-ground-and-in-to-the-air-like-a-cyclone-wound-up batting an apple around the floor. You have to wonder what thoughts are whirring in and around their tiny processors. And although I've never witnessed it, I bet it's not unusual for one of these psychos, in a full on frenzy, to end up having taken bite taken out of an apple at some point. And if a bite is taken and ingested, what happens?
As it turns out cats can eat a slice or two of apple now and again without harm, but those apple seeds are killers. Unbeknownst to me, apple seeds contain cyanide. They contain only a small amount so they won't harm humans, but cats are too small to handle them. I find it unlikely however, that the attention span of said cat will get them that far into an apple core anyway, no offense.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

#337 • Wintah Wake Up

When the local bears relax into hibernation, I wake up. I become a processing center for calendars - thank you to my fans for a fabulous year, and buy into holiday merrymaking like a fool. So when January rolls around, unlike getting back into the saddle, pedaling a bike and swinging a baseball bat, I begin the slow tortuous and arduous process of getting back into painting. What is it that makes us think we can start where we left off? Is it an invincible boomer thing - a reluctance to look our future in the eye without tinged lenses? Maybe.

In the meantime, here's a simple wintah painting. While I understand many are up to their ears in it already, winter is still an awful/pretty time of the year here in Maine when we settle down and take a minute to look around.

Wintah Wake Up • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250