over and over and over

I'm not sure when I painted this one.  Maybe in high school. Yes, probably then, from a photograph. This is a spot I have painted over and over and over again since I was about 12 years old.

It is a private beach in Megansett where my family vacationed in the early 1970's.

It is a spot I returned to in 1994 for a personal retreat that put in motion events that would lead to my eventual relocation to the Cape, specifically to Falmouth, in the fall of 1997.

Little did I know the lifelong love that spot, this view, would hold in my heart.

What does the painting say?  For me, it speaks of how quickly life goes by.  Of how a place can become a touchstone for reflection of how our life unfolds.

Honestly, as I've been writing this, I've been feeling somewhat uninspired.  Like it wasn't really going anywhere (hopefully you don't agree.) So I reached my hand into the bag of 100 photos I printed, old school hard copies of photos of old paintings I thought might be fun to write about.  Pulled out two, at random without looking and ... wait for it ... they were both of the same location, from two other times in my life! And what were the odds of that?!

The first, the view looking across outer Megansett Harbor to Scraggy Neck. It's a small 7"x5" oil on board I have chosen to keep for myself rather than offer for sale, because it feels like peace to me.  Mostly sky, with a thin sliver of land and quiet water and a few sails. I painted it in 2020, the year I was blessed with the use of a spectacular home by the sea as my studio, only two doors away from that beach.

The next, one I painted in between my 1994 retreat and my 1997 move.  I titled it Dreams, because at the time, living on the Cape full time was only a dream.  It was a very personal painting, until a young woman reached out to me about asmall print she found of it after her mom passed away. We were neighbors back in Gettysburg. I was sad to hear of her mother's passing, such a lovely woman she was.  I was touched that the print endured.  The original painting is now her daughter's.

That's the thing about paintings.  They last a really long time.  I am keenly aware that many if not most of the canvases I work on now will live far longer than I will. And their stories, what they have to say, will change over time, depending on who is telling the story.

I have left instructions with my daughter that after I die I want her to gather up all of my paintings she does not care to keep and take them to my funeral, then invite those who attend to help themselves to whatever paintings they would like to take home with them (AFTER the service - ya gotta stay and hear the pastor's message first!)

Art endures.  Our lives pass.  Memories endure.  This is the heart of why I want to write this blog series, to share my stories of the paintings.  So that after I'm gone, they will speak of a time and place where I was. Where I spent minutes, or hours. Where I loved. Where I wept.  Where I paused and thanked God for the beauty of creation.

Oh, and here is one last one.  A pencil sketch.  Perhaps the first one I did of this scene, age 12 or so.  Faded, and a little roughed up and wrinkled around the edges, kinda like me, 50 years later.