Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Lake in Maine

On my way up to Kingfield, where I forfeited a weekend of much needed sun to work on our garden, I passed through the Belgrade Lakes region. I forgot my camera and missed a beautiful shot. The sky was gray, the water on the lake along the road was gray, but somehow the colors were astoundingly beautiful. And then I chuckled because it reminded me of one summer my family spent on a lake in Maine back in the 60s. My dad, who thought he was doing all of us a big favor in buying a "camp on a lake in Maine," flew up on weekends. As it turned out he was doing himself a big favor. It rained every day, all day, all summer. My mother, on the brink of a nervous break down, and four out-of-control hoodlums were stuck together like flies on a miniscule piece of fly paper all day and all night for two solid months. But that's the subject of another blog.

Anyway, I'm finding it exceedingly hard these days not to paint mud. But carry on we must.

A Lake in Maine • 8" x 8" watercolor framed to 12" x 12" • $200

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


As you all know I spent some time recently in one of the sunniest spots on the planet. When I came home the gray skies were a nice change. Two days later, based on the weather forecast alone, I starting pounding down the Vitamin D to ward off a full blown depression. Last year's apparition made me forget what a real Maine spring is. I had forgotten that we don't have spring in Maine anymore - we go from three-foot snowstorms right into the Fourth of July.

I was already late with the garden, but drove to Kingfield to try to salvage the season anyway. The good news is it didn't start raining until later in the afternoon on Saturday, so I got the fruit trees weeded and fed. The bad news is that this is black fly season, and the climate for them is perfect this year.

On Sunday I planted strawberries in the rain. My butt ached from the day before and got soaked, and even after 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off with an ice pack the night before, my forearms were shot and of little use. Shoveling snow has nothing over shoveling shit. I couldn't lift a shovel that day if my life depended on it.

I'm posting a painting from sunnier times in hopes that it reminds you that spring is out there somewhere. Hang in there Maine and double up on your Vitamin D.

Rowing the Islands • 14" x 14" acrylic on paper framed to 18" x 18" • $450

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Desert Calling

I'm currently in Coachella Valley in southwestern California on family business.

It's an interesting place and I've been coming here for visits many years - my brother owns an air conditioning and heating business. One of my other brothers and my mother used to work for him and still live here, so it is a family gathering spot of sorts.

The desert in the raw is gorgeous - a painters paradise. The mountains, foothills, colors and climate can't be beat. In the past it was an escape for the adventurous from LA - the roads were sand, the cabins rough hewn and the entertainment pure rest and relaxation taking in the healing springs, hiking the foothills or horseback riding up into the snow-covered mountains that dominate the landscape at ten thousand feet.

Thankfully, parts of he desert are still in tact and treacherous and filled with scary biting things like poisonous snakes, scorpions, spiders, lizards and plants with a variety of pointy things that include everything from from foot-long needles to no-seeum burrs. It's also Reagan territory populated by people who drive fast and expensive cars, live in big over the top homes and golf on private gated courses. You could include them in scary things that bite too I guess.

On this trip I haven't found myself lost and wandering in the foothills. It happens every time I come out here and is scarier than hell. One minute you're following an obvious canyon thoroughfare, the next you just can't remember how you got there. It's brutally hot and there's no water.

I guess for now, this painting depicts the memory of being "out there" but the reality of having my feet stuck in the cement downtown. There's a bit of a mind body separation going on here.

Desert Calling • 8" x 8" acrylic on paper framed to 12" x 12" • $200