Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring Comes To Old Maybry Mill

                                                      An original transparent watercolor painting
                                                      16x22", unframed - (mat size, 22x28")
                                                       $1,200.00, (plus $25.00, pack and ship)

     Spring has been AWOL in our part of the country, regardless of what the calendar
tells us.  We had a third, heavy and deep snowfall last week, doing additional damage
and staying with us right up until this weekend.  I have been as anxious for a genuine
taste of spring as everyone else, and I ran across this watercolor which may perhaps
brighten a few spirits.  The subject is probably one of the most photographed and
painted old mills in the country, but maybe my treatment brings something a little bit
different than others may have tried.

                                                          (Click on image to enlarge.)

     Giclee fine-art prints of this painting are available.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cheese and Quackers

                                             An original acrylic painting, on gessoed Masonite panel
                                             6x8", unframed
                                             $175.00, (plus $10.00, pack and ship)

     The cheese was a small wedge of white Stilton with apricots, imported from
England.  It had a mild flavor and a crumbly texture, with chewy bits of diced apricot.
     The quackers are a pair of salt and pepper shakers, in the form of  hand-painted,
duck figurines. They were also imported, but from the other side of the world, and
they are of a much older vintage than the cheese was.  Those two, little ducks have
been around as far back as I can remember, dating at least to the 1940's or earlier,
when so many ceramics products were flowing into the country from Japan.

     The chances are that they were a little gift to my father, who liked hunting, and
who actually seemed to enjoy sitting in a freezing, cold duck-blind before dawn,
in the hope that some ducks might eventually stray within shooting range.

     Now these surviving ducks are just two more of the multitude of little dust-catchers
in the house, which are patiently awaiting their dispersal after I am gone.  So, here they
are, perhaps making a final appearance before their future migration to an unknown

                                                       ( Click on image to enlarge.)

     Giclee fine-art prints of this painting are available.

Monday, March 11, 2013


     I believe this is the title page to John Greenleaf Whittier's long, 1866 poem, which
was so popular in the late 19th and early 20th century.  The poem tells of that era in
America, before homes had electricity and telephones, when the sudden arrival of
deep, snow and ice storms would intensify the feelings of isolation which many people
had to endure for long periods of time.  In those days, when being so snow-bound, the
only form of entertainment available to relieve the cabin fever, was to huddle around
the fireplace and tell stories.
     I was reminded of that poem because, for the past few weeks, the heart of America
has been snow-bound.  For two weeks in a row, late Winter storms visited us, dumping
nearly a foot or more of snow on us with each passing blow.  The last storm in particular
dropped heavy, wet snow, which stuck to every little branch and twig, pulling the trees
and vegetation to the ground.  That resulted in thousands of people being without power,
and some fairly devastating damage to trees and shrubs.
     My own, quiet hide-a-way, which I like to call The Artist's Retreat, was not immune
from the crushing, wintry assault, or from the resulting destructive force. These photos
I took of the front garden, show the shrubs all flattened under the weight of the snow,
and the flowering trees bent down to the ground. ( Somewhere, under that fractured
red-bud tree and that mound of snow, is a driveway and a car.)
     The complete inundation reminded me of the the winter scenes of the Russian,
country home in David Lean's film production of Doctor Zhivago, when the house was
overwhelmed with deep drifts of snow and ice.

     Now that the snow is melting into smaller patches and I can tally the damages, I can
see that there are a number of large evergreen shrubs and trees which are beyond
repair, but I know that young replacements would never grow to a handsome size
during my remaining days.
     So, I am reminded once again, that despite all of our modern conveniences, Mother
Nature still rules, and we can all still become........Snow-bound.