Every now and then, as I scout the countryside for inspiration, I’ll come across a scene where some element stands out…usually a structure, or a tree, or stone wall…and that tends to become the subject of a painting. In this case, while driving on the rural roads south of me, over the Massachusetts line, I came across this massive old barn…tucked into a slope, dominating the landscape. “Majestic” 20 x 20.
When my mother was a kid, she summered with her family on an old farm in Bradford, New Hampshire. It was a place my grandfather bought to escape the family from the busy North Shore Boston suburb of Beverly. I remember my mom, years ago, recounting how her brothers were tasked one summer to dig a pond, which they did apparently, by hand. Whether they dug one from scratch, or expanded on an existing body of water I don’t know, but the purpose wasn’t for swimming or fishing, but rather to be self-sufficient in case of a fire.
This place is less than a mile from my house, and coming across it the other day on a bike ride, it reminded me of “the farm”…my mom’s old country retreat. “Fire Pond” 36 x 36
I’ve always loved exploring abandoned places…old farms, barns, an empty house I found tucked in the woods near my childhood home, a deserted hotel in Vermont, and even a long-abandoned military base on Cape Cod. The lure of these places are their entrances…open doors filled with the blackness of the interior, and whatever might be in there. These places were, to me, like caves, waiting to be explored. Coming across any abandoned structure, with a dark but inviting way in, was exciting and a bit scary, as you never knew what you’d find once you entered those caverns. “Cavern” 24 x 24.
No matter where I’ve lived over the years, apple trees always seem to be part of the landscape. An older orchard made up the predominant landscape of the main lawn of the private school I grew up in, and the silhouette of one of those trees became the logo of a company I once worked for. Years later, the old pasture behind my current home came complete with a grove of old apple trees, several of which have since succumbed to age and weather.
So, having come across this setting en route to Woodstock, Vermont, a few years back, the trees were a draw. I’ve painted this scene before, several times, but in each, the trees were secondary characters…but in this, I hoped to give them a more central role. “Orchard” 48 x 30
Revisited a scene encountered in the Berkshires years ago. Outside of Lenox, tucked in a valley between two hills, this old place stood firmly grounded in the slope, with remnants of an old sheep fence. The light was muted in the distance on that warm September day, as the heat sunk between the hills. “Between the Hills” 36 x 48
As with several recent pieces, I’ve had a color in mind, either as the dominant color of the piece, or one with a less prominent role, but clearly a focal point. This scene, of one of my favorite subjects…in Grantham, NH, was done with the intent to exaggerate a color normally muted by shade…”Scarlet” 36 x 36
Not far from the studio, sitting on the edge of its several-hundred-acre tract, this old farmhouse maintains the rural feel of its past, long before the neighborhoods and golf courses popped up not far down the road.
This recently completed commissioned piece is out on approval. The large format, 70″ x 32, presented a composition challenge where the set back structures needed something in the foreground to appear to scale. The fence posts in the foreground provide a reference point to give proper scale to the rest of the composition.
This piece was done as one of two compositions for a recent commission. The location–a beautiful rural road in Chester, Vermont–is typical of the beautiful landscapes the state is known for. “Vermont Dusk” 24 x 24
As you sail into Vineyard Haven Harbor, two land masses welcome you…the first (if coming from Woods Hole) is West Chop…an exclusive section of the Island with stately old seaside mansions dotting the shore. The other is East Chop, which similarly is home to some of the Island’s oldest and grandest summer places. But East Chop differs…some of the old summer homes there are more humble. Still magnificent homes, but smaller and more weathered, having endured decades of battering winds, sea spray and sun. On a recent visit to the Vineyard, I took a drive along the shore road, East Chop Drive. While many parts of the Vineyard have changed since the almost 30 years since I lived there, the coastal cottages that still sit on on the shore, looking over Vineyard Sound, have not. “East Chop” 20 x 20