Rest Stop Ahead

by Alden Cole on December 5, 2013 · 0 comments


aka Journey, aka Resting Along the Way, aka Scenic Area Next Right,  oil on canvas, 21″ x 65″     Available

Thirty years ago, when I painted today’s art, I was living in Portsmouth NH; had been living there since May 1982, and would stay  another two and a half years, leaving April 1986 for a new life in Philadelphia. I was working in Cape Neddick, Maine, for Samuel Weiser Inc, a specialty book publisher with whom I was associated for 12 years: 6 in New York City, 6 in Cape Neddick. The old home place was just “up the road” a piece in Dayton, 35 miles door-to-door from my sweet floor-though apartment on Tanner Street in Portsmouth, and The Farm – the Cole family compound. Where I eventually discovered in the upper levels of the huge old barn my grandfather Harris and his brother Wallace had built in 1903-4, a set of 10 stretchers measuring 65″ x several different widths – 11″, 21″, 25″, & 36″.  My Aunt Charlotte, whom I had to ask about acquiring the stretchers, which I wanted for the purpose of stretching canvas on for paintings, indicated that the suite of stretchers had been crafted sometime in the 20s as the basis of screens for the large porch of the farmhouse that was built in 1923. However they had never been finished – screening had never been stetched on them for some reason, for which I was relieved, knowing much work would have been involved in removing the screening. I single-mindedly wanted to create panoramic paintings utilizing the stretchers for their “best possible use,” in my personal estimation.

Today’s was the first of a series of imaginary landscapes painted between 1983-85 using those stretchers – this one a MoonScape from a sci-fi future world,  or a Land that Never Was; or as Melville so eloquently describes, “Consider all this: and then turn to this green, gentle, and most docile earth; consider them both, the sea and the land; and do you not find a strange analogy to something in yourself? For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the half known life. God keep thee! Push not off from that isle, thou canst never return!”

In today’s painting you’re seeing one of vistas I see occasionally see while I’m touring “my own private”  Tahiti. And this is another view – Crossing Jordan – now in the collection of Betsy Alexander and Burnell Yow!:






And yet another – Krockodile Isle – in the collection of Barbara Oldenhoff:


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