Monday, December 3, 2018

#336 • Watching The Trees

During the holiday season I start watching evergreen trees very closely. They start to change. There's a little more sparkle in the branches, and it's not just snow and ice. They seem to rock back and forth, to and fro with a little more energy, and it's not just the wind. It's nature's way of lifting the spirit I think.

Evergreens know they've got something over their deciduous neighbors, seasonally devoid of their flashy fall outerwear. These firry pyramids stand out very prominently now - tall, strong and firm like mythical ancients offering warmth and shelter, and a welcome contrast to the monotone winter landscape.

Watching The Trees • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

#335 • Keeping it Real

Normally I would make a big deal out of compiling a list of everybody and thing I am grateful for on Thanksgiving. But I do that every day. So this year I am going to take a leap and offer some advice instead.

There's a wonderful Native American tradition called "Talking Stick." One person holds a stick in hand. Whoever holds the stick speaks. No one else can interrupt. No peeps, guffaws, chuckling, smirking, nodding or other revealing body language, nothing. Total and complete silence and stillness. When that person is finished speaking, the stick is passed quietly to the next in the circle, or at the table, as in dinner table. Everyone has an opportunity to speak without interruption. Depending on the time of day or night, it might be prudent to have a timer on hand.

I offer this because friends and families will eventually fall into intense conversation. It's inevitable - these are intense times. And with the current state of affairs, there will be some honest opinions tossed out before it's too late to catch them and stuff them back down one's throat. In this day and age of edit and delete keyboarding, what one does or says out loud cannot be edited or deleted.

It is my sincerest wish that this planet, and all who live on it, are in a better place by the time next year. Too many people are suffering.

Keeping it Real • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Friday, November 16, 2018

#334 • And Then Boom, It's Winter!

I'm thinking I really need to get a fall painting off, but am waiting for an inspiration brought on not by what I'm seeing, but what I'm feeling. The deep browns, blacks and maroons are mulching, I'm getting close, I can feel it moving around in my head, it's forming, I can almost see it now, my fingers begin to tingle, I reach for my paintbrush, and then BOOM, it's winter. Crap!

And Then Boom, It's Winter! • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Monday, November 12, 2018

#333 • Timepiece - Pondering Time, The Fourth Dimension


I went to a local shop and looked at clocks and watches for a while last week. During that time, I saw an antique watch in pieces. It was beautiful. And then I realized there was no battery in the mix. I had forgotten a time when watches were spring propelled. We wound them. It brought back memories of taking a minute to gently rotate the knob on the side of the watch case back and forth between my thumb and index finger. Such a soothing moment in time.

Of course, I then began to ponder time. You can't ponder time without getting into an explanation of the fourth dimension - which is time. It got complicated really quickly.

We can see the first three dimensions.

To explain, we begin with a point.
A point has no sides, no dimension. It only indicates an imaginary idea - a position in a system. A second point will indicate a different position, but it too has no sides or dimension.

The first dimension
When two points are joined - a line is formed. The object is now in the first dimension. It has length, but no width or depth.

The second dimension
If another line is across the first line, the object enters the second dimension. It has length and a width, but still no depth.

The third dimension
 If we take a two-dimensional object, like a piece of paper and roll it to form a tube, it is now a three-dimensional object. We actually fold the object through and into the third dimension. An object in the third dimension has length, width and now depth.

WE can see the first three dimensions - the line, the plane and the roll (cube), but not the fourth.

The fourth dimension 
 The fourth dimension can be described as duration, or time. If we stand in one place and then move to another place, we have jumped from the third dimension to the fourth.

So there you have it! Of course there are many dimensions - like 10 or 11. It's fascinating stuff. On one level I totally get it after watching a video 20 times. On another...uh yeah sure!

Pondering Time - 12 x 12 mixed media framed out in a floater frame • $350

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

#332 • Timepiece - It's Your Time

As boomers age, we seem to spend quite a bit time looking back. It's all about time. We are now over the halfway mark and are looking at less time ahead than behind. Some of the looking back is making sure we don't forget what we did, good and bad. Some of it is trying to reconcile behavior, good and bad, and maybe making amends if it's called for.

I think the Parkland students have reminded us of ourselves more than any other time since the anti war movement of the 60s. It forced us to look forward again. Many of us are parents and grandparents, so to some extent we are already doing that. But not enough.

When I was thinking about voting and how much I cherish the right and understand the obligation and responsibility in my old age, I remember there was a time I didn't. I didn't vote. I wasn't involved for a long time. I regret it now - it likely contributed to the challenges we as a country face today.

So to all, please vote. And to you young people out there, you don't want to have to look back and regret a time when you could have made a real difference. It's your time.

It's Your Time • 12" x 12" • mixed media framed out in floater frame • $350

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

#331 • A Rather Queer Sight


I was walking alone
on Hallows' Eve night,

when close to my home
I spy a queer sight.

Three figures in black
their heads up then ducking,

with beaks and bent backs
are cackling and clucking,

I cannot not quite see
are they witches or crow,

but whatever they be
I'll not ever know

for sure!

A Rather Queer Sight • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Thursday, October 18, 2018

SOLD - Valley Drive

There's no way to figure out how many times I have driven through Carrabassett Valley on Route 27, and there are a lot of other people in the same boat. I can say in all honesty that I have never been bored with or tired of it. The only times I haven't taken the time to enjoy the ride have been when I've been late for work, late for skiing, negotiating six inches of slush or a foot of snow (with no snow tires of course), I'm late for an event, listening to an epic song, or in a bad mood. Even in the dark there's always a chance you might see northern lights over Longfellow Range, not to mention a full moon rising.

There are several points along the road that take your breath away, including views of the Carrabassett River following alongside. The most famous, however,  is "Oh my gosh!" corner when Sugarloaf Mountain comes abruptly into view and first-timers blurt out, you guessed it, "Oh my gosh!"

The Longfellow Range, which runs along the other side of the valley, is more of a tease. You're awarded glimpses of it before it is revealed in one huge awesome panoramic. At this point I'm seeing a glimpse of the Bigelows. The foliage is already turning over from a spectacular peak season, and the light is flat as it will be in the fall, but it's still pretty cool I think.

Valley Drive • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Friday, August 31, 2018

#329 Little Yellow House

We sailed downeast a bit a week ago and ended up in Stonington to buy some much needed chocolate, and to stretch our legs. Our friend Peter was soloing with us on his boat. He joined us.

We passed this little yellow house. I liked it - reminded me that there are still humble little homes along the coastline that Martha Stewart hasn't gotten to yet.

Little Yellow House • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

#328 A B or C Three Rock Piles

I used to call these things rock piles. Then I grew up and learned the grown up word for rock pile - cairn. So technically these are stone cairns. Why stone rather than rock, I don't know.

Anyway, I thought we could use a little grounding today - throughout the day.

Three Rock Piles • 8" x 8" acrylics framed to 12" x 12" • $250/each

Sunday, June 3, 2018

# 327 Breakfast

I haven't done a sketch like this in many many years. It's way too happy for me. I have a great life, but there's way too much going on out in the world to be this happy nowadays.

This is how I felt at breakfast time this morning, however. It's not what my breakfast looked like, but it's what I felt like having not read or heard the news yet. Happy. For me it harkens back to a time when we weren't at war, and there didn't seem to be so many people homeless, out of work and addicted. There was always a war going on somewhere in the world back then, homelessness, no work and addiction. But as far as we Americans knew - which, come to find out, is not a whole lot - this stuff wasn't a worry. Today it is.

So we do what we can and hope that what we do makes someone feel better somewhere out there.

Breakfast - 8"x 8"  acrylic framed to 12"x12" • $250

Sunday, May 27, 2018

#326 Boatyard Dog

There used to be an old black lab hanging around JO Brown's boatyard on North Haven. I haven't seen him for a couple of years, so I figure he's gone now - can't imagine he'd stand for being left home every day. But I haven't seen a young one running around either. Maybe I'll ask the next time I'm there.

Boatyard Dog • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12' x 12" • $250

Friday, May 4, 2018

# 325 Sailing Down East

This time of year, especially after a 90 degree day like we had here in Portland the other day, sailors start chomping at the bit to get their boats in the water. The best light is now, the longest days are now, and there is no competition for a spot in one of those quiet, starlit anchorages with the dreaded summer flotillas from away - those obnoxious all-night generator-driven-loud-boom-boxing-air conditioned-tuna heads we sailors call stink pots.

The water temperature in Casco Bay today is 48 degrees. It's a degree colder in Penobscott Bay, so that means full January ski attire including face mask if you want to take a turn around the bay. Some of the old codgers might say it's worth it.

Sailing Down East 8 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" 8 $250

Monday, April 23, 2018

# 324 Whoa! It Just Got Sprung

Whoa! It just got sprung - spring that is. The grass is beginning to green, and the birdies are tweeting their little brains out.  Someone in the neighborhood heard peepers the other night, and Gus the cat has been bouncing around the field like a nut case after all of those fat little critters.

The next big event will be the leafing show when all of a sudden you notices the trees have them and they are like a green haze across the countryside. In the meantime,  here's something to hold on to when those rain days come through in a couple of days.

Whoa! It Just Got Sprung • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Monday, April 16, 2018

# 323 Damn Damp Depressing and Dreary

I was thinking about my mom the other day - God rest her soul. Every time she came to visit me here in Maine, she'd throw away my dish towels and buy me new ones before I could dry the breakfast dishes the next morning. My towels were clean, they just didn't look it because the very idea of going shopping for new ones was too overwhelming. They tended to be a decade or two old and a bit ratty, but still very usable.

My thoughts then turned to how much I would love to wash my filthy ratty-looking dish towels and watch them dry outside on a sunny day filled with a soft warm southerly. That's how desperate I am these days, entrenched in and looking ahead at a stretch of some of the most damn depressing damp and dreary weather I've seen for a while.

Damn Damp Depressing and Dreary  8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

# 322 A Road Somewhere By Stuffed Sheep in a Trippy Landscape

 We were headed south the other day. Thank heavens the sun was visible, because I was constantly questioning whether or not we were headed in the right direction even though I'd been down the same road many, many times. 

We passed a field with a some sheep - they looked stuffed for some reason. You know, the kind that play dead during the day, but come alive at night to haunt you, bah, bah, bah, as soon as your head hits the pillow, destroying any thoughts of sleeping.

Anyway, I could have painted them standing there in the brown stubble that describes this year's spring. Or I could have thrown a little color out there, making the whole scene trippy-looking, because right now that's what seeing any color feels like.

I chose the later because the sanity of many of my friends is at stake here. Fortunately for me, the skiing up north is pretty excellent, otherwise I'd be a head case too.

A Road Somewhere By Stuffed Sheep in a Trippy Landscape • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Monday, April 2, 2018

# 321 Pin Pricks on the Universal Pin Cushion

I have adopted a mantra. It's an aging thing. Defer nothing. So I've been hanging out in Kingfield for the past two months working on a project and, I will confess, skiing too. The skiing conditions have been both good and rotten up on the mountain, but when they're good, they are awesome and not to be missed. And so I repeat, defer nothing!

In the meantime, the full moons here are spectacular, especially when I get up in the middle of the night to let that last cup of all-natural-super-soothing-herbal-dreamtime-tea go. When I look out the second floor bathroom window down in to the fields and river and hills beyond, I am spellbound - it's magic, and I always wish everyone had the time to see what I do out there.

Gazing at the moon puts everything in to perspective. And when I look up at the moon - without the worry of burning my eyeballs, I am reminded that we are just pin pricks, not even pins, just pin pricks on the infinity that is the universal pin cushion.

Pin Pricks on the Universal Pin Cushion • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Saturday, March 24, 2018

# 320 And So We Go

And so we go, meandering along - a stream 
from where we began one spring. 
We continue - a flow
all the way to the ocean
and then a current around the globe, 
until we disappear in to the sky - a film aloft 
until - a raindrop now, 
we fall to where we began 
to begin all over again.

Blessings to all of the children who will change the mess we adults have left - we who dared to interfere with the natural cycle of things.

And So We Go • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 10" x 10" • $250

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

# 319 Up You Go Stephen Hawking

"I am just a child who has never grown up.
I still keep asking these 'how' and 'why' questions.
Occasionally, I find an answer."

Stephen Hawking

Thursday, February 1, 2018

# 318 Big Headlight in the Sky

When I got up for my water run the other night, I figured maybe I had slept through without interruption. Turns out dawn was the moon - that Super Red Blue heading home and shining right into our bathroom window like the headlights of a Mac truck. Look at the moon was the first thing that came to mind, just look at that moon!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

# 317 Big Wind - What's the Point?

My neighbor went for a walk outside this morning. I went to the health club instead - it was extremely windy down our way, and some slick.  But because it didn't seem all that cold, she braved it and took off on her own to meet another neighbor who was just as brave.

It was fine going downwind with that little bit of a push from behind, but when she stopped to greet her other neighbor, both were forced to grab that neighbor's mailbox to keep from getting blown further down the road. After a brief moment to analyze the situation, they both decided it might be wise to throw in the towel. She ended up accepting a ride home from the neighbors husband, otherwise they would both still be blowing like flags off that mailbox I'm sure.

The only times a big wind is necessary in my opinion, is when it's too hot, we need to get somewhere fast in our sailboat because there's a big  scary wind storm coming up behind us, or snow needs to be blown off the branches of trees so they don't topple. Otherwise, what's the point?

Big Wind - What's The Point? • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

#316 The Red Barn Door

Shoot me, but I can think of only a few collaborations between man and nature that produces something more beautiful than a well-built barn sitting on a beautiful piece of land. Actually, a well-designed boat being well-sailed through a Maine island thoroughfare would be a close second.

This beauty, obviously well cared for, is one of many I encounter on my travels. It was her lines, but also that red barn door along with a beautiful Maine winter day that got to me.

The Red Barn Door • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Monday, January 8, 2018

SOLD - Feather, Puff and Huddle

It always amazes me when I hear chickadees flitting around, and crows on the prowl in the bitterest of Maine winter days.  How do they stay warm when temps plummet to 20-30 degrees F below zero for five days in a row? Feather, puff and huddle.

Feathers! Their first layer of defense against the cold is feathers, and the oil that coats feathers also provides waterproofing.

They also puff. Their body heat warms the air between feathers, so they fluff up in the cold to trap as much air in their feathers as possible. The more trapped air, the warmer the bird.

Birds have a counter-current heat exchange system in their legs. Veins and arteries in their legs are close to each other, and as warm blood leaves the body, it heats up the cold blood returning to the body. They also stand on one leg, while the other is tucked up warmly in its feathers. And then they switch.

Lots of species flock in to a ball at night too. They will gather in large groups and crowd together in a small tight space to share body heat. They may roost closely together in dense shrubbery or trees, or empty birdhouses and tree cavities.

We humans probably did the same thing once upon a time, huddle that is.

Feather, puff and Huddle • 8" x *' acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Monday, January 1, 2018

SOLD - Perpetual Ping Pong

Based on my own experience, all decisions are issued by either heart or mind, feelings or logic. Life is a perpetual game of ping pong between the two. So when the first day of the New Year arrives, I put my paddle down on the table and take a break.

I stopped being an anti-person years ago, adopting a pro-person for mental and physical health. It's working. I feel much better now, but still suffer from the ping pong thing when forced to address real issues in the world. For although I try to keep war out of my mind and vocabulary, I am a Star Wars fan, and therefore understand the dilemma of war.

To counter differences in a civilized way is tricky when trying to reason with people who reject the notion of community and always selfishly want more for themselves, not to mention two-year-old world leaders with their thumbs on nuclear weapons.

I like what Rose said in The Last Jedi. "We're going to win this war not by fighting what we hate, but saving what we love!" I'm going to have to keep a paddle in my hand, but when I power the ball back across the table, it's going to have different spin on it.

Perpetual Pin Pong • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250