First Signs of Spring

TM9496 First Signs of Spring 36×48 oil on panel

The first blush of color after winter seems so exotic and filled with hope. By some standards, it’s more of a variation on gray, but we know better than to believe that. Those wisps of pink and green are harbingers of brighter colors to come. Another sign of insipient spring is the softer quality in the air. Ice and snow are gone; the water level is high, cold, and clear. I wish I could hold on to the season – but I’m sure I’ll look forward to painting the next. Enjoy. Details below.

TM9496 First Signs of Spring – detail from left side

TM9496 First Signs of Spring – detail


Quiet Day at the Old Quarry

TM9495 Quiet Day at the Old Quarry 36×36 oil on panel

It’s an interesting contrast – in the beginning, quarries are incredibly active places. Quarries like this old granite quarry were actively worked using much manual labor (often immigrant labor). That labor allowed for the construction of some beautiful edifices modelled on classical architecture, reinterpreted for the needs of the times. Now, the quarries offer a glimpse into New England geology and a place to enjoy the serenity of nature. Detail below. Enjoy.

TM9495 Quiet Day at the Old Quarry – detail


Last Days of Summer #7

TM9488 Last Days of Summer #7 7×7 oil on paper

One more summer painting from Gloucester, this one from a small quarry deep in the woods behind a friend’s house. I’ve spent time here watching fish in the water (and trying to photograph them). One frog spent nearly a whole day watching me sketch and photograph reflections in the water and the granite walls. It’s a beautiful place in the heart of of Cape Ann, full of history, blueberries, and wonderful memories.

Last Days of Summer #6

TM9487 Last Days of Summer #6 7×7 oil on paper

Back to Gloucester for a study from one of the many quarries – and the 6th painting in my mini-series Last Days of Summer. The still water is a wonderful foil for the rising granite walls. Some of the quarries ae incredibly deep, others are small and intimate. The small ones were usually worked by one man or family, and can be found deep in the woods. Much of the granite from Gloucester was shipped to Boston to become elegant edifices. Some became curbstone and paving stones. I love granite – durable and humble.

Last Days of Summer #3

TM9483 Last Days of Summer #3 7×7 oil on paper

The third painting in my series Last Days of Summer – or places you want visit one more time. This is a view along the lower trail at Purgatory Chasm, a local state park situated on a geological fault line in Central Massachusetts. One trail forms a loop around the top, with views down into the chasm. Or, you can take the trail that descends into the chasm – not particularly accessible once ice and snow season begins. Enjoy.

Last Days of Summer #2

TM9482 Last Days of Summer #2 7×7 oil on paper

Side trips to Purgatory Chasm are a prerequisite for many summer days – the rock walls are just so wonderful to paint. This view, from across the chasm, shows the beginnings of fall color. What’s not to love?

Last Days of Summer #1

TM9481 Last Days of Summer #1 7×7 oil on paper

We’re beginning to see hints of autumn – cooler nights, longer shadows and a different feel to the greens (and yes, a little bit of ochre is entering the scene!). I love late summer and autumn, so I’m celebrating the season with a series of small oils from favorite places.  Enjoy!

Watching the Tide Come In

TM9477 New England Coastline #16 7×7 oil on paper


I used to think


I used to think paintings were

Just facts and descriptions

(extraordinary descriptions)

Of passing clouds, granite,

The sea, etc

And whether to include gulls

or how many.

But now I see these worlds

Are all abstractions, bits of liquid

Color and equivalents precisely

Mixed and laid down,

Left on their own

To assemble, dissemble,

Or rearrange as needed.


Like us,

Some paintings have long

And confusing lives.