Thursday, 8/13: Drilling in on yesterday’s study, today I focused on my two favorite establishments on the block: Art Plus Gallery and the West Reading Tavern. The shared Tudor architecture was challenging, but hopefully support the theory that art and alcohol can work well together. With some fine-tuning I may frame Tudors Up the Block and hang it in the hood...
Wednesday, 8/12: There’s a lot of visual interest to be found on Penn Avenue in West Reading, but the north-facing side of the street seldom gets direct sunlight. The exception is summer evenings, when the splashes of light and long shadows from the setting sun showcase the wonderful array of architectural styles in the 600 block. That’s what I’m looking to capture, starting with this little color study I just did as I plan a large commission.
Tuesday, 8/11: I’m back in Berks County for the middle stretch of my 30-in-30, and keeping with the Hudson River School palette that I started using in Maine. I like the muted tones for taming the ubiquitous green here in Pennsylvania. The streams are plentiful here too. At a glance at the map there are around 10 of them wending through the fields that quilt Oley Valley. “Fields of Streams” is Manatawny Creek off Hoch Road.
Monday, 8/10: For Day 9 of the 30-in-30 with Karen Weber, my last painting of July's trip to New England. This was another typical yet memorable from the cruise with Jack Kareckas and Cole Mather. Great Blue Herons were cheap along the rivers that fed Great Bay. We saw 30+ of them on the cruise, warranting only a “GBH” if any mention at all by the return leg, where I saw this one fishing along bank of the Cocheco.
Sunday, 8/9: Jack Kareckas timed our 3-hr late afternoon cruise of Great Bay perfectly, catching the golden hour on the Cocheco River and bringing us back into port of Dover, NH by the soft light of dusk. This was my first ride on both Jack’s new Dorchester Dory as well as this tributary to Great Bay, which separates New Hampshire and Maine. Making the cruise even more entertaining was Cole Mather, another salty, long-time friend. I enjoyed trying to recapture some of the day, and using big brushes on a small panel fit the ease and spontaneity. Good Day’s End is a 5x7” oil, NFS.
Saturday, 8/8: Waking up to a morning fog and low tide seemed like it might be a good time to catch the mailboat in Port Clyde. I wasn't disappointed. All was calm, soft and right for taking photos that I worked back in the studio. An impressionistic style seemed fitting for the conditions. "Early Mailboat" is an 11x14" pastel, $490.
Friday, 8/7: Across the channel from our rocky enclave was a string of islands. One of the closest is called The Brothers. It's actually two islands, explained our neighbor Jack Dennen. There are thin strips of greenery at the high points and along the shore line, and one tree on each of the islands. Toward sunset the light granite boulders often popped against the sky and sea, briefly bringing a Caribbean feel to the coast of Maine. The Brothers 2 is a 6" x 11" pastel, $190.
Thursday, 8/6: Our niece Julia–normally one of the most energetic humans that scientists have ever encountered–succumbed daily to the lack of gravity that pervaded The Lobster Pot. Her routine usually started on the porch with a book, cup of coffee and her Golden Annabelle. By mid-morning you'd find them nestled on rocks close to the surf.
But back to the porch. Its lines, as well as its allure, reminded me of a lobster pot. Squint at the needlepoint that hangs over the cottage’s mantle, and it can look like either.
WEDNESDAY, 8/5: This is my first diptych, the left half of a two-panel scene, conceived to pair with painting of The Lobster Trap that I finished yesterday. Both of these were mostly done on location, a couple hours of final touches done back in the PA studio. $390 each, with the pair available for $590 to keep the family intact.
TUESDAY, 8/4: Five of the seven paintings I did in Maine were around this cottage where we stayed for the week. A charming little place called The Lobster Trap, built in 1918, back when you could build a place as close to the water as you dared. In this case it was about 10' from the drop to the ocean at high tide. We went to sleep not long after sundown to the sound of the surf on the rocks, woke up at dawn (around 05:30 in July, BTW) to the chugs of diesels as lobstermen checked hundreds of nearby pots.
MONDAY, 8.3: Before I painted the aforementioned lighthouse I spent the morning at the harbor with the Laura B, the iconic 65' wooden boat that ferries folks and freight between Port Clyde and the legendary artist enclave of Monhegan Island. She earned this good gig. Built in 1943, she patrolled the Pacific Coast with a pair of 50 caliber machine guns. After that she hauled loads of lobsters to Boston and New York.
SUNDAY, 8.2.20: I'm starting by finishing some landscapes I got half+ done while vacationing in Maine last month. I began this one with a brush around 2:00pm on 7/21, but went to the knife for speed when the clouds started rolling in.
Another Close Encounter of the Furred Kind
Oct. 12, 2019