Hurricane Weather – Gloucester

TM9565 Hurricane Weather – Gloucester 7×7 oil on paper

When strong winds whip waves toward the rocks, the result is thick foam – massively aerated water. The first time I saw this condition, I thought it looked a lot like the foam on expensive coffee. Another time, it looked like shredded foam mattresses washing in to shore. Not the processional blue waves of a calm, sunny day!

TM9560 Poem from New Brunswick 7×7 oil on paper

Morning sun on the coast of Campobello in New Brunswick, Canada, with a view toward Quoddy Head State Park in Maine. It might be my favorite place on earth, especially when I’m there just after sunrise. The immensity of quiet and the rugged pass-at-your-own-risk broken cliff demands respect and awe. Again, it’s about endurance and geologic time. Even after glaciers and thousands of years, there is a sacred nobility here. Enjoy.

New England Coastline #20

TM9561 New England Coastline #20 7×7 oil on paper

Sunlight and shade on fractured granite – perfect for painting with a palette knife and perfect for a pair of hiking shoes. I’ll never tire of the many moods along the New England coastline. Enjoy. More at

Notes from the Trail – Into the Dark

I never know what will come from a walk. Usually, the impressions gather into paintings. Of course the next question is what will come from the paintings? Most of the time I can’t answer, especially after the painting leaves the studio. But occasionally, a painting is the beginning of an idea or story, in poetic form. Don’t ask. I really don’t know where that will lead.

Notes from the Trail #3 7×7 oil on paper
Into the dark

Stones, boulders, pebbles
The homely, uncut cousins
Of gems and geodes,
Dragged or levered to
The field's edge.

Some stacked
Some not quite.

Most will slowly roll back
To their original holes;

Think less, sleep more.

Into the summer woods

TM9548 Into the Woods #61 7×7 oil on paper
TM9549 Into the Woods #62 7×7 oil on paper

Ah, the mysterious summer woods. Unlike in winter, summer’s green mantle obscures the wood’s structure and secrets. There are hints, of course. but the wall of rich greens (especially this year!) by default, becomes the real subject – and what a problem. How to mix enough varieties of green to keep the painting interesting. It’s a stretch.

But more importantly, I hope these paintings entice you to stop and linger when you are on the road. The scenery is so charming, the season so brief, and our tree heroes so in need of our support and acknowledgement.

Technical painting notes: Both paintings are on primed, smooth paper. I use a palette knife and Winsor/Newton Liquin when blocking in the dark base layer. Once the base layer is dry, I use brushes to pull out the image, then go back to using a palette knife to “smudge and soften” some areas to create depth and a little mystery.

Visiting the Chasm

TM9546 Visiting the Chasm 7×7 oil on paper

Hiking around the chasm is a mystery tour. The surrounding countryside hardly hints at the crazy jumble that is exposed along the fault line. Mountain building, plate tectonics, multiple glacial events – it’s all exposed if you can read the code. Of course even geologists hypothesize with some of the evidence. Maybe that’s part of the reason to keep returning – to see what might be revealed after each freeze/thaw season, Or it might be about catching a glimpse of the granite whales emerging from this turbulent land. Enjoy.

Notes from an Overcast Day #2

TM9541 Notes from an Overcast Day #2 7×7 oil on paper

The juxtaposition of warm and cool, hard and soft, there and not there are some of the reasons I keep returning to these rugged coastlines. Each time I visit, it’s different. Plus, who can resist those wonderful planes so clearly articulated? The stony outcrops, like dark icebergs poking out of the sand, imply a deep past and rootedness that appeals to my sense of place and where I come from, even why I choose not to leave. Enjoy.