I paint landscapes of New England. While I sometimes paint upland scenes, especially of Vermont, most of my work is of the New England coast - the marshes, creeks, inlets and quiet anchorages along the shore. I'm especially drawn to a pleasant upland scene with a view of the sea.
Boats and the sea have been a large part of my life. In my younger days I spent summers in East Sandwich on Cape Cod sailing my wooden 12' cat boat out of Scorton Creek and along the dunes of Sandy Neck, tiller in one hand, bailing pail in the other, trying to keep the mast side up in the gusty southwest winds.
As I look back it seems hard to believe but that was more than half a century ago. Fiberglas hadn't been invented; sails were still cotton; masts and spars were wood; leaking hulls were just part of life.
Things were a lot different on the Cape in those post-war years. Very few pleasure boats were to be seen on the water and there was hardly any development along the shores. And, of course, there were no cell phones. If you were out on the water alone and went over, well, that was probably going to be that.
I spent an embarrassing amount of time tempting fate in my little boat but eventually it came to an end when I went off to Tufts and Yale to learn something besides small boat survival tactics. The busy years that followed, working and raising a family, didn't permit as much time as I would have liked for boating but I did manage to squeeze in a 16' Town class sloop, a 26' ketch rigged Chesapeake Bay Sharpie, a 15' Marshall Sandpiper, a 30' Tartan, an 18' wooden Novi built out of pine, spruce, oak and iron clinch nails in Shag Harbor, Nova Scotia by a 94 year old builder - $850 brand new and painted. But after a while I sold it because the kids wanted to go faster. I think I cried a little as I watched it leave my driveway on someone else's trailer. I replaced it with a 15' Whaler which the kids monopolized most of the time for water skiing. Not a bad boat but I never really bonded with it. Of course there were lots of other little craft along the way - dinghies, sea kayaks, inflatables and canoes. Now I'm enjoying a 15' modified Amesbury dory which I find perfect for quahoging and fishing in the bay.
I've had some experience with larger boats too, having done time aboard the Canadian ice breaker John Cabot, the USBCF Albatross, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute's submersible, Alvin. I remember the dark anxious hours spent sitting on a cushion inside Alvin's small spherical hull deep down on the Continental Shelf, hoping the batteries wouldn't quit while we struggled to get Alvin untangled from discarded fishing gear. Probably the most memorable project was an expedition off Newfoundland trying to take the world's longest core sample. A lot of salty tales could be told about that trip but I can see we're going to be here forever if these sea stories continue so we better get back to painting.
I took up painting because the photographs I would take on my travels never seemed to come out right. While pretty good from a technical standpoint, they always failed to capture the feeling of a place, the mood and atmosphere, which to me is the whole thing. Maybe I was just a lousy photographer, but I was looking for something better. So I began the long process of studying art and painting, hoping to create with oil and brush and canvas what was missing from my photographs.
I had always liked the impressionists Monet, Pissarro and Cezanne as well as the great British landscapist John Constable. I admired the freshness of their brushwork and their ability to get to the truth of a scene. But the more I looked and studied, the more I came to appreciate the modern touch of the post-impressionist Seurat, especially his innovative use of color and the structure and composition he put back into painting. My favorite though, was and still is an obscure English painter by the name of Edward Seago, a true visual poet.
Now, after almost twenty years of studying and painting, my own style has evolved into what I think of as a modern form of impressionism combining the clean and careful look and the vibrant colors of Seurat with a touch of the freshness of the impressionists while still retaining a classic look. But most of all, I hope that some of my life experiences come through in my work and that I am able to bring to my paintings a strong feeling for the outdoors and the sea.
Presently I live on the edge of a salt marsh in Duxbury, Massachusetts with my beloved Labrador Retriever, Otis. I exhibit at galleries and shows up and down the East Coast. My paintings are in collections from Florida to Maine. I have been fortunate to have received numerous awards over the years.
If you would like to stop by my studio and see what's on the easel, or just talk about painting and art, please email or call so we can set up an appointment.
190 Duck Hill Road