Blown off course

"Shelter," by Carol L. Douglas

“Shelter,” by Carol L. Douglas
When I was younger, my dream job was to be a New York City cabbie. At that time, there was no GPS, so cabbies had to learn the city by heart. Driving in the city was like rolling around in a giant pinball game, and it was fun. Either Maine or old age has softened me up. Coming into Queens on Friday night, I found myself taking the innumerable small rudenesses personally, instead of answering them in the spirit in which they were intended.
In Queens the traffic problem is exacerbated because there’s no way off Long Island except through New York City. There have been Long Island Sound bridges and tunnels proposed since the 1950s, but they never get built. I’m not sure a bridge would do much except allow the metropolis to slop further out of its jar. It sure would change the view.
Brad Marshall and his painting.

Brad Marshall and his painting.
Long Island Sound is an estuary. That makes it an important feeding, breeding and nursery area for migratory fish and birds. It is also among the earliest and most densely settled areas in the United States. Somehow that tension between 400 years of human habitation and nature works to make it a very beautiful place.
I went to Rye intending to paint boats, which are one of my favorite subjects. The American Yacht Club has an anemometer, and on Sunday, winds were gusting up to 45 mph. My canvas would have made a nice little sail that sent my easel flying into the Sound. Instead, Brad Marshall and I hunkered down in the lee of the building, giving us a view of the beach and its riprap breakwater but, sadly, no boats. Still, we both managed to turn out credible compositions.
The American Yacht Club owns this terrific painting of tugs by Jack L. Gray.

The American Yacht Club owns this wonderful painting of tugs by Jack L. Gray.
Between painting and the reception, artists mostly want to stay out of the way. Luckily, the yacht club has a great selection of art, including a terrific model of the America and a lovely painting of tugs by Canadian maritime painter Jack L. Gray. We pottered about peering at things and were very happy.
At the reception, a couple told me that my painting reminded them of the Group of Seven. Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven are my artistic ideal; I think and write about them frequently. It turns out that my new friends are Canadian, and know my home town of Buffalo very well. My painting went home with them and I headed back north, grateful to be driving gently once again.

10th Annual Painters on Location, Rye NY

Low Bridge ( Erie Canal at Gasport)
30×40 inches – Oil


The Sentinel Tree (Keuka Lake)
30×40 inches – Oil

Here are my two submissions to the silent auction at Rye, NY this month. They can be bid upon long distance: contact Emilia Del Peschio at artscoordinator@ryeartscenter.org or at (914) 967-0700 x33.

Both are 30X40, framed in gilt hardwood. The first is a sentimental painting for me; that’s where I spent the better part of my childhood and the years after my oldest kids were born, and that’s my (now adult) Julia on her bike in the painting. The vineyard near Keuka is one of those magical places—they grow vines on rock shingle that one can’t imagine supporting anything.

To see other work from this fine show, go here. And if you’re in the Long Island Sound region on September 24 th and 25th, come watch the artists at work.

8th Annual Painters on Location

Saturday, September 13, 2008, Rye NY
The Rocks Would Cry Out
18X24, oil on canvas
To bid on this work, call the Rye Arts Center at (914) 967-0700 x 33 before Saturday, September 13, 2008
Tomorrow I leave to participate in the 8th annual Painters on Location paintout and live auction in Rye, NY. This is an event I look forward to with great excitement and a little nervousness.

43 artists choose locations along the Long Island Sound Shore and have 32 hours to paint, frame, and deliver a wet canvas to the Rye Arts Center. That evening (September 13) the paintings are auctioned off at a charming gala event.

The reception opens at 5:00 PM, by which time I hope to have my face and hands reasonably scrubbed and be changed into some paint-free clothing (it doesn’t always happen). The auctioneer begins the live auction at 6:15. The reception is free but anyone who is interested in attending the live auction is asked to purchase a $10 bidding paddle. Guests are encouraged to purchase bidding paddles in advance as seating is limited.

(frame detail)

A Silent Auction of existing works by these artists is now on view in the gallery. The opening bid on my silent auction piece (above) is $600 and you are welcome to bid in advance by calling (914) 967-0700 x 33. The silent auction ends fifteen minutes after the live auction, on September 13.