Sunday, October 29, 2017

Winthrop Marsh

Winthrop Marsh /10x10

I'm a sucker for a salt marsh, and this one was a beauty.

I think I am drawn in by the big swatch of grasses, which are often golden and bright against an even brighter blue sky.

But as you stand and really look at a marsh, you can see that that big block of color is not really a big block at all, but a poem of small colors, dark sienna at the bottom, green and orange in the middle, and then a soft, buttery yellow at the top - and this is in the fall. Spring and summer and winter colors are different, but complex and intriguing in their own ways.

A marsh is a living thing and there's nothing like living near one to show you that. Every day, our marsh in Wachapreague looks different, sounds different, smells different - and attracts different birds, ducks and marsh creatures. It's a treat to live near a marsh, and a joy to paint one.

This one in Winthrop, Maine, was particularly lovely in the late October sun. It's at the side of a busy road, and cars and trucks went by fast, with loud whooshes and a pull of speed and acceleration. I was happy to be quiet and still at the edge of this beautiful side of the road scene.

Visiting Heather and Joe

 Years ago, I had a show at the Denmark (Maine) Arts Center, thanks to my aunt and uncle, Mari and Richard Hook, who live in Denmark. The show was up for a month, and I stayed with the Hooks for a couple weeks, painting on site and adding my new Maine paintings to the show.

One afternoon, as I was hanging wet work, the door to the arts center was flung open, and a woman hurried in, stopped in her tracks and looked at my paintings, and said something like, "Wow, these are great - but I've got to pee!"

A few moments later, when she was more comfortable, she came out and looked at my paintings, and we talked. Most of the pieces were from my very first painting trip, to Wisdom, Montana (not the recent one of a year ago, but one many years earlier). I told her about the trip, and she thought it sounded like a great idea.

I said, "Why don't you come with me on my next one?"

And she said, "Well, OK. I'd love to."

Seven months later, with barely any more conversation, we set off to Atlantic Canada. I wondered - and she must have, too - just what would happen if we didn't get along? What if we couldn't stand each other?

I decided to just believe that it would be OK - and it was. It was more than OK. It was the start of a friendship that has enriched my soul, helped strengthen my vision, enhance my art and learn to leap with my imagination. Heather does all this and more.

Her husband has vast art talents, too, and it was a real pleasure to visit them in Brownfield, Maine, and see what they've been making. Some of it is traditional art, but mostly, it's different.

Heather has been working on stained glass pieces - the window above is one of her creations... click here to see an astonishing Baha'i skylight calendar she's made (longer version YouTube is herea shorter version is here), and is now doing a related piece in wood.

Joe makes lamps and sculptures, many related to nautilus creatures and vehicles. He - and he and Heather together - also make really cool sculptures from animal skulls. They're pretty amazing! You can click here to see more of their art.

Dog of the Day 

It's Katmandu, one of two cats who live with my aunt and uncle in Denmark, Maine. 

A Final Thought

"Piecemeal the summer dies;
At the field’s edge a daisy lives alone;
A last shawl of burning lies
On a gray field-stone.
All cries are thin and terse;
The field has droned the summer's final mass.."

  • - Richard Wilbur

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