Wrapping Things Up

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Never has time moved so fast.

Twenty-one months to paint the 147 miles of Narragansett Bay seemed like a good idea twenty months ago.  A better idea would have given me twenty-one years.

When Save the Bay, Dryden Gallery and I first planned this show, I intended to paint the highlights of our bay: the beaches, parks, towns and of course the light houses, bridges and historical spots. I soon reconsidered that list. It seemed too much like a boring illustration assignment. I have a personal relationship with the bay and I wanted to depict what I love about it. This actually increased my list!

Now after twenty months and 130 paintings the “to paint” list is still much longer than the “have painted” list.  Since Donna Parsons, the director of Dryden Gallery, is unwilling to postpone the show another ten years, and because there is only 300 linear feet of wall space in the gallery, the show will proceed as scheduled!

What you will see are moments in time that caught my attention. Paintings of life- sized waves that beg you to jump in or flee, depending on your disposition.

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Twenty Four foot wave oil painting on five aluminum panels

There are tiny sketches of swells that mesmerize beach-goers.

 

You will see how one inlet changed throughout the year.

 

There are portraits of wildlife inspired by the residents of Save the Bay’s aquarium.

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And of course, you will find plenty of landscapes.

 

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Speaking of the landscapes, each painting will be numbered and flagged on a map. If you don’t find a painting of your favorite spot, you can commission one! Part of the proceeds will still go to Save the Bay.

Of course we aren’t done until the fat lady sings. I bought a paddle-board in order to paint offshore, and I hope to do a small twilight piece from the water soon. I want to get to more islands as well, so if you have a boat and some time this month, please let me know!  A few more wildlife paintings would help round out the show as well.

Suffice it to say, I will keep working till the last minute. My garden has never been so overgrown, my house never so dusty. There are books collecting on my bedside table and friends awaiting outings. I have given this show my best effort and I hope you can celebrate it with me on October 6th at 7pm at 27 Dryden Lane, Providence RI.

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Who goes there?

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The morning after this last big snowstorm, I headed over to the inlet I paint once a month. The inlet opens into a marshy area so the beach I was walking along is sandwiched between the bay and wetlands. On the way I noticed some bunny tracks. I love animal tracks in the snow. The quite reminder that all kinds of creatures are busy with their own lives feels strangely consoling to me. With bunnies on my mind and my paint supplies on my back I trudged on towards the inlet. The tide was so high I had to walk in the water for short stretches.  I was watching my footing rather carefully when I came across this track. It went from the bay to the marsh. The center area of the track was depressed about 2 inches deep and I’m guessing about 8 inches across. Foot prints straddled it.

IMG_8931At first I thought maybe a turtle, but then noticed how large the foot prints were and wondered if it could be a seal. Would a seal leave the bay and go into wetlands? Don’t they like rocks where they can quickly get back into the safety of the water?

I sent a photo off to Wenley Ferguson who is the director of habitat at Save the Bay. Maybe she would know. She guessed a beaver. I had neglected to tell her where I found the track, don’t beavers like fresh water? I read that beavers don’t have salt-excreting glands to get rid of excess salt. I don’t believe there is fresh water anywhere close by, so if it is a beaver they were out for an early morning adventure. To me the mystery remains unsolved. Any other suggestions or explanations would be great!

I continued on my way to paint the March rendering of my inlet series. I wanted to get to the site before the cold wind came up. It seems the winter wind is always blowing right in my face at this location.

 

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This March painting marks the half way point for this inlet series which I started in October. I am looking forward to painting in more merciful weather this spring and though the summer.