Homage to Tectonic Time

TM9323 Homage to Tectonic Time 24×44 oil on panel

Going to the ends of the earth – it’s a phrase we all have heard and dreamed about. But I like to think of that phrase in terms of time as well. If the earth can seem both tiny and vast, then time, with its epochs and geological eras can also be incredibly deep. I was thinking about this while working on the painting. This easily climbed granite outcrop was once part of a chain of nearly alpine-sized mountains. And the sand and gravel at its feet?  thousands of years of erosion and ice ages have humbled the mountain, building deep troughs of rubble. Remembering these processes as I pant is daunting. So much time, so many changes. It puts a different perspective on current events. Details below. Enjoy

TM9323 Homage to Tectonic Time – detail with quartz bands and eroding granite

TTM9323 Homage to Tectonic Time – close-up

TM9323 Homage to Tectonic Time – detail from foreground with sand, seaweed, and worn ledge

Morning Reaches the Island

TM9449 Morning Reaches the Island 24×36 oil on panel

A sunrise hike to the end of the point with a thermos and a biscuit. I can’t think of a better way to start the day. This view – looking out to Grand Manon from Lubec, Maine is absolutely one of my favorites. The deeply weathered outcrops feel extraordinarily ancient. I almost want to paint a pterodactyl in the sky. Enjoy. Detail below.

TM9449 Morning Reaches the Island – detail showing rolled, wiped, spattered, pressed, and brushed textures for granite


From a Day at the Chasm

TM9448 From a Day at the Chasm 7×7 oil on paper

The tumble and erosion along this geologic fault exposes so many mysteries. I walked here once with a geologist, and the complications from ancient mountain building, compression, folding, and slipping, followed by ice age scraping, and rebound, leave traces and layering that are a marvel to see and paint. All manner of sparkles and exposed quartz in some areas. Nearby, a sheet of fine gray granite. Don’t even ask about the various lichens and mosses that pile up during damp weather. It is all fabulous. I start to look up what I’m seeing, then get side-tracked by the beauty and return to just plain painting. Oh joy!

From a Day in the Woods

TM9447 From a Day in the Woods 7×7 oil on paper

New England’s ancient mountains and old fault lines yield wonderfully complex geology – and great places to learn some rock climbing. As kids, we scrambled around embracing the rough stone and glorying in the feeling of strength and power that came with conquering each new outcrop. This spot was a favorite for beginners. Such unadulterated pleasure!

Climbing Up

TM94446 Climbing Up 7×7 oil on paper

I started a group of Chasm studies on tinted paper in March, just before the covid virus stopped everything. It’s time to go back and finish them! Climbing Up was painted on a soft tan prepared paper, with the hope that some of the warmth would show through the transparent oil paint colors. ENjoy.

Hiking to the Chasm 2 & 3

TM9425 Hiking to the Chasm #2 7×7 oil on paper

TM9426 Hiking to the Chasm #3 7×7 oil on paper

More studies from Purgatory Chasm – a perfect place to wrestle with the geometry of glacial chaos!More in the works…enjoy.


Hiking to the Chasm

TM9424 Hiking to the Chasm #1 7×7 oil on paper

Spring is quickly arriving, and it’s time to plane field trips with my students. we are hoping to spend some time at Purgatory Chasm in central Massachusetts – sketching and photographing, observing and soaking up the dramatic tectonic and glacial chaos of this piece of geography. It is a spectacular place to paint. And a challenge. While the trees haven’t leafed out quite yet, they will soon. I will be posting sneak peaks at the coming season, and views from various points on the way to the chasm. Enjoy!

Early Summer at the Quarry

TM9415 Early Summer at the Quarry #1 7×7 oil on paper

TM9416 Early Summer at the Quarry #2 7×7 oil on paper

Two interpretations of Early Summer at the Quarry, from different vantage points. Sometimes people ask me why I paint the same place again and again. My answer: it’s never the same! Changes in light, season, viewpoint, and my own mood mean I’ll always see something different and challenging. If I don’t see something new, then the problem is me, and I need to find out why. Painting the landscape (nearly) daily is a record of change and a diary. Enjoy these quarries…..