Monday, June 30, 2014

Monhegan Sketchbook June 30

I hiked up to the lighthouse today with my artist friend Marianne.  We call each other cousins, though truthfully, her husband and I are really the cousins.  Marianne and I kept hiking past the lighthouse, up to Whitehead to paint.  It was breezy and beautiful.  We both began oil paintings looking down on Gull Rock in the distance.  I'll post that painting later.

Upon returning to the house, I did a quick sketch of the sunset over Manana. I think I'll spend a little more time in it, building the darks so that the sunset glows even more.  The real sparkle was in the thin strip of cloud above the sun.  I'll try for a better picture of it tomorrow under natural light.  

As always, thanks for looking. 

Monhegan Sketchbook June 29

Yesterday, I sat with my good friend, Liz,  on Fish Beach, Monhegan.  We waited for our lunch, sat on the rocks, chatted and drew in our sketchbooks.  Sitting surrounded by salt air, sea, and sounds is heaven to me.  Some children played on the nearby rocks  and shared something from a plastic bag with the gulls.  When the gulls see a freebie being handed out, they just keep on coming.  There may be 2,000 breadcrumbs, or 2.  They just keep coming, ever hopeful.  And, they dissipate just as quickly.  I love the gulls swarming in the air, silhouetted against the backdrop of buildings and rocks.  I love the quick dissipation as well. (else we're back with Alfred Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren clacking around Bodega Bay 

in her heels and mint green Chanel suit). 

I'm going to try to post every day while we are here.  As always, love your comments.  Off to the Lighthouse Museum.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Side by Side Over the Years

My brother Kevin is (was) is three years younger than I am. When my parents moved from New York to Massachusetts, I had three brothers.  (The fourth came along a few years later.)  I have marveled at many aspects of my parents' lives over the years.  The fact that they moved into a big Victorian house my mother had not even seen, when we were ages three, two, one and three months old... astounding.  The house had beautiful end-to-end living rooms, each with a marble fireplace, one a little more ornate than the other. 

It was also astounding that my Mom found the time to paint portraits of us, from life.  Lots of portraits.  These pastel portraits of me at about 8 years old, and Kevin at about 5 years old, hung over the less formal living room's fireplace for years and years.  Mom picked up these vintage gold leaf frames at her favorite framer somewhere in Back Bay when I was a little girl. I think the building is long gone, having succumbed to the Copley development years ago.  I remember her framer's  giant jumbled space of antique sculptures and frames and mirrors.  It was the kind of organized chaos I have grown to love.  

Kevin died eighteen years ago, of an undiagnosed enlarged heart.  He was only 36 years old, when his heart just clicked off in his sleep.  Today is his 54th birthday. 

After Mom passed away, my living brothers and I spent a long time cleaning out her home.  We took turns choosing her artwork, a lengthy process.  She was prolific!  I used my very first pick to dig Kevin's portrait out from under the attic eaves where it had been carefully wrapped and tucked away.  He was perpetual motion as a little boy.  I love every pastel mark Mom used in his portrait. Each is confident, urgent, accurate, as if she knew each stroke might be the last before he bolted from view.  The likeness is spot on.  And, Kevin and I are side by side again here in my home.  
Nana and me with Kevin, a few days old

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sketchbook - Sunday Morning watercolor and ink 6 x 9

I arrived at church a little early last week, dropping my daughter off for choir practice.  Rather than heading home for an extra cup of coffee and some quiet, I took advantage of having the sketch book in the car, where I'm trying to keep it all the time, just in case.  This sweet brick building is next door to our church, used to be the Christian Science church, but is now under renovation as condos.  The nice thing is, the building is keeping its exterior, which has always fit the neighborhood.  The sun bounces off its roof in the morning.  Quiet time in the car with sketchbook!!!

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Graduation Cap - Mixed Media

 Our daughter graduated from high school this weekend.  It has been a challenging few weeks, trying to finish up everything with my 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students as year end approaches.  Simultaneously planning a graduation party, organizing college orientation dates, and finishing up a graduate class didn't leave much time for thinking about the huge transition our family is hurtling towards, and absolutely no time for art.
Knowing that many of the students decorate their caps, I asked if I could decorate Katie's.  She loved the idea, so I took a map of Boston and its south shore where we live.  I attached it to the cap, and drew a cropped version of our school's logo, painting the negative space in a variety of blues, a la school colors.  I added some glitter and sequins, and she was good to go! 
As always, making art is a meditation, clears the head, and cues endorphins... just what I needed in this crazy, joyful, exciting week.