Copyright © Barry W.
Van Dusen. All rights reserved. In August of 2004, Barry joined a group of international nature artists in Great Britain to help raise funds for an ambitious habitat restoration project. Named the Great Fen Project, this undertaking will create a 3000 hectare wetland between Huntingdon and Peterborough, England. Young Swallows , Woodwalton Fen August 25, 2004 watercolor, 11" x 16" The artists worked at Woodwalton Fen and Holme Fen National Nature Reserves - the only remaining natural wetlands in what was once the largest inland Marsh (or "Fen") in great Britain. Red Admiral - Woodwalton Fen August 27, 2004 watercolor, 6" x 6" Edge of the Fen - Woodwalton Fen August 27, 2004 watercolor, 11" x 14" Many years ago when I first started taking art courses in the San Francisco area, even though I'd made art on my own since I was a child, there was one course that was a revelation to me: Oriental Brush Painting, as I think it was called.
What was so unusual and revelatory was the importance of the brush mark. Each mark was important, not just the overall drawing/painting/impression. This was made even more noticeable in the actual practice of painting. The rice paper we painted on had a consistency similar to toilet paper. The black ink on the brush seemed to leap off the brush, even before it touched the paper, and form an indecipherable blob rather than the graceful mark I sought. This course was only one semester long and I never began to master it. On the other hand some of my favorite watercolor artists such as Winslow Homer did seem to cover over areas. These are also important elements in art and are often noticed most in decorative arts though not completely. The Salem Athenæum’s current exhibit, Celia’s Salon is about Celia Thaxter’s informal arts colony on Appledore Island, ten miles off the coast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
The exhibit displays books and art, and aims to convey what it was like to be part of Celia’s celebrated circle. It’s summer in the latter half of the 1800’s and you’re an envied member of Celia Thaxter’s salon on Appledore Island. In Celia’s flower-filled cottage parlor, next to her family’s resort hotel, you mingle with the literary and artistic luminaries of the day, enjoying informal morning concerts, lively discussions and evening readings. While on Appledore, you might breakfast on fish cakes and baked beans with Nathaniel Hawthorne, or stroll in Celia’s flower garden, pausing to admire a painting-in-progress by Childe Hassam, or visit with Salem’s Derby or Bowditch families who are summering on the island. Appledore Hotel Registry: Notable Guests Julian Hawthorne Writer and journalist. By Alexandra de Steiguer © 2016 Alexandra de Steiguer Late Winter, Isles of Shoals, 2016: I write this post from my rocking chair, looking out upon rugged, deserted islands in the stormy north Atlantic.
I say “deserted” but I’m here aren’t I? Sometimes I have to pinch myself – it still seems both unreal and also, well, super-real. Though daylight is short, my days among the islands are long. Lying seven miles out to sea in the north Atlantic, these islands see an incredible amount of wind during the winters. That’s a fairly common day. And mixed into all of this are the calm days, when the stillness is so complete that the sound of the lighthouse foghorn only seems to emphasize the profound silences between. I’m not sure they could have found a more appreciative person to witness the winters here, though of course it wasn’t in the job description… I’ve been surrounded by water much of my life. Poppies, Isles of Shoals, 1891 Childe Hassam 1859 - 1935, United States Oil on canvas Overall: 50.2 x 61 cm (19 3/4 x 24 in.) framed: 73.5 x 83.8 x 6.7 cm (28 15/16 x 33 x 2 5/8 in.)
Gift of Margaret and Raymond Horowitz Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. When Childe Hassam stepped off the ferry onto the rocks of Appledore Island, he found the place that would occupy his imagination for three decades. The Peabody Essex Museum dedicates its presentation of this exhibition to the memory of Carolyn A. The Peabody Essex Museum and the North Carolina Museum of Art co-organized this exhibition in cooperation with the Shoals Marine Laboratory. Media Partner: Promotional Collaborator:Childe Hassam Park, Boston Images. Poppies, Isles of Shoals, 1891 Childe Hassam 1859 - 1935, United States Oil on canvas Overall: 50.2 x 61 cm (19 3/4 x 24 in.) framed: 73.5 x 83.8 x 6.7 cm (28 15/16 x 33 x 2 5/8 in.)
Gift of Margaret and Raymond Horowitz. Textile Taxidermy. Carol Taylor Quilt Artist.