I just returned from our annual family vacation to Chatham, MA. In years gone by, we stayed at a great resort by the beach - Chatham Bars Inn - but as my sons have grown, and we needed more space, renting a house has been the best way to go. Now, I don't look for a house by the beach like you might think. . . I look for one in the small village area. I find its best so that they can walk to the penny candy store, ice cream shops, Veteran's field where they can catch a Chatham A's game, and the old Ben Franklin store . . . and I
can walk to the small art galleries. And there are a LOT of galleries in Chatham to poke around in!
The art galleries in Chatham offer both high-end well known artists and local, lessor known but talented Cape artists. The majority of the shops show oil, acrylic, and watercolors - and of course offer giclee
prints - but there are also some interesting stores to go in with fish rubbings, ink prints, carved pieces, glass, pottery, and The Artful Hand that includes all sorts of whimsical pieces for the home.
But what I really enjoyed this year was the Sharks in the Park
. If you are not from the New England area, you may not have heard about the Great White sharks in the waters off Chatham - how they go after the exploding seal population that make Chatham their summer home, or how some marine biologists believe Chatham has become the Great Whites breeding ground -- but Chatham, in its artistic way, has welcomed the Great Whites . . . into their parks.
Sharks in the Park is a summer display that is moving from park to park, and set up in front of village businesses, showing the same four foot long cut out shark but uniquely painted by local artists. I should have taken more pictures, but I was instead caught up in walking through the shark groupings and admiring the work. I did, however, capture two quick 7 second videos and a shot in front of the Eldredge Library and the Cape Cod 5 Cent Savings Bank.
The 50+ sharks will be auctioned at a gala on August 1 at Chatham Bars Inn so there's only a few days left. Hope you enjoy the two small (and admittedly amateurish) video snippets I was able to capture for Twitter - along with the help of my niece who came down for a visit!
Shark video one
and Shark video two
Last week I kicked off this blog, and in doing so, announced I was off to start a new painting. I quickly discovered I needed to go shopping for canvas, paint and a few new brushes (an artist can never have enough brushes). I returned home and searched for a photograph to paint and when I finally selected one, it was too late to get started. Instead I left all my new materials and printed photographs out for the next morning and had a hot fudge sundae with the kids.
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"Greeting The Morning Sun" ~ Chatham, MA ~ Oil, 16x20[/caption]
Over the course of the last week, depending on drying times of the paint, I completed my painting of the Bay View cottage at Chatham Bars Inn. The cottage sits high on the property near the main inn and overlooks the ocean. The South Lawn is visible below by the shoreline where the Inn schedules family activities like wiffle ball and croquet and there is a line of Adirondack chairs waiting in the early morning sun for vacationers to sit and enjoy the view.
During the week I watched a lot of movies while painting - two are listed in the title of the blog. I also took pictures along the way to document the painting -- hope you enjoy the video of the process
. I am off to start a smaller work this week before I leave for Chatham . . .
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Chatham Bars Inn Gazebo, Chatham, MA[/caption]
Over the years I have had places online where I could direct people to my artwork - mostly family and friends. I never really put the time and energy into building my online portfolio, yet somehow I was able to actually sell some of my work, take commissions, and attend a few local art fairs. This is a bigger leap for me - a more visible way to share my completed work and, as sometimes happens with artists, a way to motivate me to continue to produce.
Today I am planning to start a new painting. I pulled together photos from my last visit to Chatham, MA . . . my favorite place. Chatham, and the ocean in general, have always been an inspiration for me . . . a place where I am happy, relaxed and my mind can wander creatively. I guess it's no wonder then that I enjoy painting the ocean, our great New England lighthouses, and of course the place where I want to be right now with my canvas . . . Chatham.
I will start posting some of my work and will continue to add over the next few weeks until I find my way back to the beach, get my toes in the sand and my head in the clouds.