Tidal Cove, Newcastle, NH

by Alden Cole on January 18, 2013 · 0 comments

TidalCoveNewcastleNHoil on cotton canvas – 12″ x 24″
started 1985, most recently revised December 2012

From May 1982 – April 1986 I lived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Newcastle is just down river from Portsmouth — on the banks of the Piscataqua River separating New Hampshire from Kittery, Maine. The area is pocketed with tidal coves, including the one seen in this painting looking west from Newcastle Cemetery. The four summers in Portsmouth were punctuated with weekend plein air painting forays into the countryside and coastal areas, sometimes alone, sometimes in company with friends, often Robert Boardman, a talented painter-friend, to capture such vistas.

This particular painting was started during a solitary jaunt one summer weekend in ’85. Unfinished, I brought the canvas with me to Philadelphia in the late 80s, but a true finish has eluded me over the years; it’s been worked and reworked in various respects. This spring it surfaced again in the studio, demanding attention. Inspired by studying the work of both Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, plus the privilege of seeing an excellent showing of Vincent’s paintings – Van Gogh Up Close – at the Philadelphia Museum (thanks Arthur), I was sparked to take another shot at the painting; this time, for better or worse, I even signed it. In December I made some additional minor revisions. It seems to be an ongoing project which I will only cease retouching when it is no longer in my hands.

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