Monday, September 5, 2016

Trains, cars & ferries… on the road again.

Penn Station
It’s late afternoon and I’m watching the Connecticut scenery slide by my window as I take the Acela to NYC. Some of my artists friends have escaped the Florida heat to paint the iconic sites of the Big Apple. Never one to turn down an opportunity to paint in a new location, bags were packed in no time. I stayed with my friend Mercedes Hall, an accomplished jazz singer who lives on the Upper West Side. The apple does not fall far from the tree; her daughter Mary C. is an R&B phenom and her son is well-know actor, Anthony Michael Hall. 

Chico & Lupe
New York is full of surprises Lupe, the widow of Arturo "Chico" O'Farrill the Cuban composer and master architect of Afro Cuban jazz, lives next door. And she has invited me into her home, a veritable museum of memorabilia. From jazz greats Count Basie and Charlie Parker to Wynton Marsalis and David Bowie every room is filled with photos… and paintings. Lupe is also an artist and shared her diverse work with me. I was inspired and honored to say the least.

The next morning I take a short stroll to Riverside Park where from the mid '60's until his passing in 2001, Chico would often sit and compose his music. I set up for my first painting of the day at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. Everyone stops to talk and I’m struck by how incredibly welcomed I feel. On the way home I pass by the building that Babe Ruth, the "Sultan of Swing" once lived.

Soldiers' & Sailors" 6x8 available
That afternoon, I hop on the subway to Central Park to paint with my friends. We find the perfect spot just as the sky fills with clouds and soon the rain falls. Yes, New York is full of surprises. The rain is a perfect excuse to head back to the Pierre for a glass of prosecco and a much needed rest.

Grace, Manon, Holly & Pam

The colorful Geoffrey Chalmers
I had a day on Cape Cod to catch my breath before driving up to Gloucester for the opening of the new Charles Fine Art Gallery. Ted and Jan Charles (the benefactors for my Cape Ann Residency) have created a wonderful space in which to showcase fine art. The "Friends and Family Show” featured paintings from my residency along with the work of several other local and regional artists.
Ally, Jan & Ted Charles

The next day I took the ferry to Nantucket for a week-long painting trip. I’ve been on island in all seasons but this is my favorite. The clarity of light is extraordinary and crowds begin to thin. There’s a melancholy to the place which suits me as autumn approaches…"the year’s last loveliest smile”.
Children's Beach
The White Elephant is a wallet-bruising, resort in the heart of the town that offers great views of Children’s Beach. This is where I chose to do my first painting. It sold off the easel to a nice couple just as I placed the last brush stroke. 
Children's Beach, 9x12 Available

Cliff Road, 6x8 Available

At 6:45 each morning, I met my friend Laureen (a fellow painter) and we walked to Steps Beach for a swim. The water was surprisingly warm and it was a great way to start the day. We painted from Sconset to Madaket under bright, sunny skies for the most part. Madaket for some reason is always cloudy when I visit. 

I caught the last ferry back to the mainland just before hurricane Hermine came up the coast and once again, I’m reminded that my life is both a job and an adventure. 

Please visit my website at for evnt info and updates on workshops... Bermuda in November and Portugal May 2017!

Next month: 
Italy Revisited
The Revolving Portrait
The Cape Ann Plien Air Festival