Monthly Archives: July 2013

Get Real

In thinking about the busy week I just had, I am reminded of the children’s book “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams, and my favorite quote from it:

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit. 

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’ 

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’ 

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

This week was my ribbon cutting with the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce. It was posted in our local online news on Patch (click link to see). So, now I must be “real”, right? The reality is, the work is just beginning, the skin horse is right. So, I will make sure I don’t have sharp edges, I know I don’t break easily and I really hope I don’t loose my hair in the process. I really, really hope my eyes don’t drop out though!

"Good to Go", 16" x 20", oil

“Good to Go”, 16″ x 20″, oil

In addition to my ribbon cutting I was also able to complete a painting this week. It was from a photograph I had taken at the Portland, Maine Yacht Club after my first sailing experience. It was a great day, the weather on Casco Bay was wonderful. I had a shot at steering, but that bit about not steering into the wind kinda got lost on me. Regardless, no harm done and it was pretty clear, this sailing stuff requires a person to pay attention. The other tidbit about steering in Casco Bay is that you are careful not to run into the lobster traps when you see the buoys bobbying around in the water. Besides the fines being very steep, I would not want to upset a lobsterman. When we returned to the dock, I was continuing to take pictures. I turned around for a last look and there was the picture of the day. A sailboat, brilliantly white from the sun, perfectly positioned in the archway of the boathouse. The island in the background and all the other boats scattered about on their moorings added a sense of poetry to the scene.


When in Rome

Painting my little corner of the world is a rather new adventure. Harbors and boats, beaches and marshes are all around me. I’ve only delved into such scenes a few times but now it’s going to be the norm, at least for a while. And, generally speaking, that is what people are looking for when they come into my gallery. I have a boatload (yes, I said that) of photos I’ve taken the last few months so I have plenty of material for when I’m manning the gallery. I’ve just completed two such paintings with another one in process on the easel.

Harbor Fish Market, 16" x 20", watercolor

Harbor Fish Market, 16″ x 20″, watercolor

The first is of the Harbor Fish Market in Portland, Maine. It’s a very cool fish market with a huge variety of fresh fish. The back of the building is right on the harbor so the boats can pull right up behind. Personally, I found the backside of the building more interesting than the front, which was very cool too. There’s something about those lobster boats and all the gear that goes along with them. I’m learning all about such things these days which maybe I can share once I actually do get that painting done. Once I finish the one on the easel, my next oil painting in the studio will be of Portland Harbor, behind the market. Can you tell how anxious I am to get to all my new subjects?

Newburyport Piper, 16" x 20", watercolor

Newburyport Piper, 16″ x 20″, watercolor

Besides the coastal scenes there are also the local towns which are wonderfully picturesque, not to mention very historical as well. One such town is Newburyport, Massachusetts. It was first settled in 1635 and the downtown area is all brick sidewalks and old houses with great shops. On a recent visit, going on the art walk to all the different galleries there was a street musician playing. His music was beautiful and he had a very interesting look about him. So, yes, I got out my iPhone and took a couple of pictures. The result is this watercolor. I think it captures the essence of both the town and the piper.

I have plan for paintings of Portsmouth, N.H. as well, there just aren’t enough hours in the day!