As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently took part in the fourth annual Wet paint event in beautiful Essex. Though the town is full of scenic vistas, I'm attracted to the forms and content of the authentic shipbuilding yard, now turned into a working museum of shipbuilding. Visitors may learn about how ships were built in the olden days, and continue to be built today, using much the same technology. In fact, I play fiddle on occasion, aboard a schooner out of Gloucester, MA, the Thomas Lannon, which was built in this yard approximately 20 years ago. It's delightful to be a part of two living traditions: music and boats!
The woodcut I produced this year is a view of the Waterline Center, an old boat shed where visitors are now welcomed. I got permission to sit in Burnham's front yard, which faces the buildings on the museum grounds. And, in a play on words, the yellow sloop in the foreground is showing its waterline, as the tide is out, and the boat was sitting in mud.
Waterline. White line woodcut 10"x13" 2015
Portsmouth, New Hampshire is just a short jog north along the coast from where I live. Recently, the NH Art Association hosted their first Wet Paint event there, and I was delighted to participate. The town is picturesque, with antique houses, boats in a harbor; a lively New England small city with many suitable scenes to draw. The south end of town is particularly pretty, even on a grey day. A surprisingly bright yellow lobster boat rested on the far shore of an inlet, opposite the town boat launch, so I set up there. That scene is probably the most-painted view in town, but it was new to me! And, the color yellow has particular resonance for me now; it was my mother's favorite. She died last fall, but whenever I see yellow, I can't help but think of her. Her life was not an easy one, but she maintained an optimistic attitude even through the toughest of times. I do believe that our spirits transcend time, distance and matter, and I feel her presence, and miss her a bit less, when I get a little "yellow hello" from Mum.