Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hibbard paintings and a lament for the missing New England

Every morning I log on to my blog to check what I wrote the night before. There are always a couple of typos or words left out. I don't know why I don't see them the night before. I go over every post several times. There may well be gremlins altering these posts while I sleep. So if you log on early in the day you may enjoy errors that will disappear later. The posts you read last week or last month are quietly healing in the background as I go back and review them. There's a reason real writers have editors.

Here are three more images by Aldro Hibbard. The top painting is of a place I have located. It is a series of rocks and caves called the cauldrons on Schooner Head in Acadia National Park. I have painted in that area many times and I know very well what it looks like there.

I think it is very valuable to seek out the places that the "old guys" made their paintings.

If I look at what the artist made, then subtract from that what is actually there, I arrive at the the artists decisions .

Many of the places I used to do that 20 years ago are now gone. Particularly those on the harbor in Gloucester where generations of artists worked.When I saw the old wharves and boats in the 80's I just assumed that because they had survived so long and that everyone valued the history of those places , that they were safe. I was wrong. Now there's a post I can do this summer. I will take my camera over to Gloucester and show you some of the locations and the paintings that were made there

I have no idea where this bridge was. I am pretty certain it is long gone, but it was in Vermont though. Of all the places in New England the northern parts of rural Vermont have changed the least. Even there the woods have taken back the pastures and many of the barns are fallen in. A barn will stand until the roof goes. Then it deteriorates rapidly. A field goes back to small trees and bushes in only three or four years.

I will remind you that all of these images and many more can be had by contacting the Rockport Art Association.


and acquiring the Hibbard book before the very limited numbers of available copies are gone.

I was in the last generation to paint the wooden dragger fleet that sailed out of Gloucester. There is not a single one of those boats left on the water. The last, the 120 foot long Vincie N. sat at her mooring at the end of Rocky neck for years. She is gone now. C.W. Mundy and I painted her together, it seems like yesterday, but it must have been nearly ten years ago.

I try not to take anything beautiful that I paint for granted anymore. I know most of the old New England I love to paint is disappearing.The wooden windows of historic structures disappear to be replaced by plastic ones with no divided lights. All the wooden lobster boats that were still common into the 80's are gone from the harbors I paint on the coast of Maine. Lobster traps are made from vinyl coated wire, and the buoys that mark their places in the cold water are now made from styrofoam. Now I understand why a lobsterman would get tired of working on a wooden boat every spring and hauling in the heavy waterlogged wooden traps. So I don't blame them, but I do miss the aesthetic.

Tomorrow I will strap one of these paintings onto my gurney, retrieve my scalpel from the autoclave and begin dissecting it. Wanna pass me that hemostat? See you then.


willek said...

Well, you wrecked my day. I got up today with every intention of getting a painting done. But I checked my email first and received a lint to your blog from a friend.I did get to some of my tasks. but I have been back and forth to your blog all day. I think I have read it all by now. Alltogether it is a very valuable documentation of what all striving artists, such as myself, have got to think about and have got to know. So many important things. I got a big kick our of filling paint tubes. I used to be a pharmacist and often filled such tubes with ointments and creams I made to a doctor's order. I have been reopening and refilling tubes of white and ultramarine for a while now. I had not heard of RGH and thank you for that information. I'd love to send you a thing or two for you to crit if you are still accepting them. Thanks so much for what you are doing. Regards, Will Kirkpatrick

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanx; Willek;

I am going to do another critique in a few days .I think I will ultimately do one a week. Please send me yours. I can't promise to critique everything I get because I have been getting a good number. But I will try. I already have this weeks victim selected and duct taped to the plumbing in my basement.

I am using nothing but RGH paint and I am very happy with it. I think their cadmiums are particularly nice.

I am curious how long it took to read the entire blog. I write long entries. Some other artists have joked that I must be a fast typist.I still have a whole lot more ideas for this thing, and some huge categories that I have yet to even touch.

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