Into the Woods

by Alden Cole on October 20, 2014 · 0 comments

1745WPInto the Woods • acrylic on panel 12″ x 20″ • collection of the artist.

So what did I do while I was on vacation? Well, in addition to taking a lot of photographs, I did do some painting – like the small panel at left  – while I was in Maine. My retreat to the woods and fields of “Home Sweet Home” in Dayton was  an invigorating time of reconnection with several old high school friends and family, as well as hanging out in the old family barn, my  youthful refuge. By the time i headed north on Tuesday, September 23, my itinerary was extraordinarily full with a lineup of eventful encounters. First reconnection was with Thornton Academy class-mate Judy Hargreaves Fichtenbaum who met me at Boston’s South Station when I arrived there by train, shortly after noon. After stashing my bags upstairs at the station, we headed to the Boston Museum of Art to see the excellent retrospective of Jamie Wyeth’s work on view this fall. What an inspiring way to start my vacation: witnessing an overview of the fascinating career of one of my generation’s great artistic lights; including a small selection of some rather timelessly archetypal drawings from his early childhood. I personally would even have enjoyed seeing more of his work. The show simply couldn’t accommodate all the great paintings by this third generation of Wyeth genius: paintings known to me from reproductions in books; paintings that I would have loved to see in person. I heartily recommend the show to anyone planning to be in Boston this fall. Don’t miss it! Thankfully, Judy accompanied me back to South Station so I wouldn’t get lost; from there she returned home to Chelmsford Mass, and I caught the next bus north to Portsmouth NH where friend Heinz Sauk-Schubert picked me up. I spent the next two nights in Newmarket NH helping him and his wife Diane pack for their move back to Portsmouth at the end of the month. By the first of November they will no longer be living on the Great Bay of the Piscataqua, a spot which has inspired two paintings and numerous photographs.  On Thursday morning Heinz drove me to Dayton.

1491WPBy afternoon I was settling into my usual space at the back of the barn, next to the windows, where I have an easel and tabaret, among other things, set aside for my use while in town. Brother Clark had moved the car – our dad’s now-antique Dodge Swinger – ahead a bay’s width to open up the area which I occupy when I’m there – my Dayton barn’s Back Bay. A space which I’ve casually claimed over the years as a storage area for numerous useful items that I can’t seem to let go of, even though I don’t have room for them here in Philly; items collected and lived with at some point in my life of acquiring and moving stuff around, from Dayton to Providence to New York to Portsmouth to Philadelphia. A reminder that some things are harder to let go of than others… (to be continued)

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