del pittore come on albero antico
Portrait of the Artist as an Old Tree
I consider myself a
survivor, so I painted it that way. Around me are some of those
that didn’t survive, and the background
is where I am going next.
The Road Not Taken
is a painting owned by Tom Kelley of Newport. The title was
the Robert Frost poem. I started this as a landscape with just
a path going
down but, as I worked on it, I decided to put a brook across
path in the foreground, and then to enlarge the background
so that you had
a much further view, way back to the mountains. It also is
done in the
staccato pointillism style but there is a little more drawing
in this than
there is in some of the others.
This is not a painting of any real place; it is completely manufactured.
I love painting trees and I don't always have to see the tree in
order to paint it. This is pointillism, where the paint is applied
in small areas, all over the place, and it is a more developed
pointillism than the first painting we looked at. I have even taken
it further than this in some of my later work. It is, I think,
an influence from my weaving, in that I apply the color in almost
the same way as I weave different threads together.
Bhudda by the Connecticut
painting was started in Massachusetts and finished in New Hampshire.
I had just the foreground and the two large trees just in underpainting;
there was no color at all. Then, when I got to New Hampshire,
I got back to
it. The painting was very dark at first and I added more and
more light to
it. I actually included the Connecticut River, which became
a theme in a
lot of my paintings because, at the time, I was living in North
right near the river.
I decided I would add a seated figure and the title became "Buddha
by the Connecticut".
Island Pines, Boothbay, Maine
Lagoon Near the Old Toll Bridge on the Connecticut
painting was done on-site and it is a view of a lagoon that
is near the
old toll bridge between Charlestown and Vermont. It was the
fall of the
year and the trees were beginning to change. Nothing in this
anymore. A couple of winters later the ice took out all the
trees along the
edge of the river so this is sort of a time capsule of the
period I painted
it in. This is something that happens quite often when you
location, time, and all; when you come back to look at it again,
or five years later, it is a completely different natural scene.
This painting is from
a place that I had been but it is a memory painting. I have purposely
tried to keep it very soft, as though
there was mist rising. I put the brush stokes in and then I brushed
them with what is called a blender, which softens the image. It
is peculiar to the oil painting technique. I can’t do this
with acrylic - at least I haven’t learned how to do it yet.
View from my Westminster Studio
This is a view from my Massachusetts studio. I faced Meetinghouse
Pond and, just behind, you can barely make out Mount Wachusett.
This was done at the time of year when the goldenrod was blooming
and the asters and the yucca plant had completed their bloom. We
lived there for seven or eight years and it was blessedly quiet.
Now Mount Wachusett is covered with lights and ski lanes and traffic
galore, and I am glad I don't live there anymore.
Yggdrasil the World Tree
Norse mythology, Yggdrasil ('The Terrible One's Horse'), is
a giant tree that links and shelters all the worlds.
painting was done in 1970 and was influenced by the works of
I had read his autobiography and then I had read a number
of his collected works in which he paid great attention to
and myths. In this case, I went back to my Scandinavian roots
and it is a tree called Ygddrasil. It is a World Tree and
at the top lived the Gods, in the middle lived the humans,
at the bottom lived the little people who tend to the welfare
of cows and that sort of thing. Under them, in the roots,
are the bad people, called the Frost Giants and they very often
is no attempt here at realism - this is surrealism,
in which two or three things are happening at the same
time. It is an attempt to get the feeling of movement. It is
very tapestry-like. It was a year before I started weaving
tapestry when this was painted, and there was a great influence
back-and-forth, after this, between my tapestry weaving
and my painting. It is a very muted palette and it is done
with large brushes.