Monthly Archives: February 2015

Celebrity intellectuals

The Heart of the Andes, 1858, Frederic Edwin Church. It is useless to imagine this painting from a photo; it has to be seen. You can do that at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. There’s a Humboldt Street in Rochester, a Humboldt Parkway in Buffalo, and various fixtures named Humboldt across our country.  I […]

Je suis France

The ‘controversial’ street art that earned Combo a beating. On Monday I wrote about the responsibility of artists to tell the truth. In the United States, we are reasonably safe from persecution, but that isn’t the case in France. Last month 17 people were assassinated and 22 wounded in a series of terroristic attacks that […]

The Secret Life of Dr. Seuss

Hotel del Coronado records the view outside Geisel’s studio window. I can’t imagine there’s an American alive who isn’t familiar with the works of Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel). Several generations of children have learned to read with his books and his drawings are ubiquitous. Gosh! Do I Look as Old as All That! is part of […]

In the bleak midwinter

Deer in snow, oil on canvas, by Carol L. Douglas. This was not painted en plein air and it shows. Not just in the deer, but in the heightened shadows, which are next to impossible here in mid-winter. These days I will go outside to paint in the winter, but only if one of my […]

The Brian Williams Factbook

Brian Williams probably didn’t see dead bodies lying in the street during Hurricane Katrina, and it’s clear that he didn’t come under small arms enemy fire in a Chinook helicopter in 2003. Nor did Hillary Clinton land under sniper fire in the Balkins or Tom Harkin fly combat missions in Vietnam. There’s the institutional blindness […]

Corporal Acts of Mercy

Another snowy day in the Duchy. Being very laid back, we in the Duchy don’t enforce all that border-crossing nonsense, but if you visit, you know immediately that you’re in a different space. For one thing, our hierarchy is upside down. The nobility—and by that I mean me—seem to spend an inordinate amount of time […]

All good things

It’s helpful when you can stay on the right side of the road. It wasn’t alway possible. As I toured the Institute grounds, the first fat flakes started to fall. I’d been warned that a significant storm was expected at midday and would move in fast. I don’t have studded snow tires; I don’t even […]

What drew them to Maine?

It’s all about the light… In the mid-19th century working in natural settings and capturing natural light became particularly important to painters. The popularity of plein air painting increased with the introduction of pre-mixed paints in tubes and the rapid development of new, color-fast pigments. And the granite outcroppings… This movement arose more or less simultaneously […]

Elvers and Pickled Wrinkles

Lobster traps in Corea, ME. This little burg will be on our agenda. It’s very much a working fishery town. North of Ellsworth, ME, the Atlantic coast veers away into a different world. Gone are the clamshacks, the art galleries, and the coffeeshops geared toward visitors from away. We’re now in working Maine. Stunning rock […]

A winter morning at Schoodic

Electronics just get smaller and smaller. What once took a whole naval base now operates out of this lighthouse at Winter Harbor, ME. The Schoodic Institute is a relatively new addition to Acadia National Park. The property was operated as a secure United States Navy base from 1935 to 2002. (I’d tell you that they did cryptology, […]