Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summer sociability

I've been trying to get in the studio as much as possible, but family visits and a first-this-year trip to the ocean have coerced me into enjoying the beautiful summer weather. I brought my paints to the beach, but they couldn't compete with Second Beach's excellent clamcakes and body surfing. Last Saturday I took the commuter rail to Boston with my sisters and niece, who will be attending MassArt in the fall. As usual, I was loving the view from the train, and the thought crossed my mind to do a sequel to my Providence to NYC series, how does "Providence to Boston" sound? But I won't try that again until I can approach the subject as a better painter.

We wanted to visit the Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum and stop by MassArt, not realizing that they were literally next door to each other. Even though I hadn't been to the Gardner in years, I was tempted to run into the Museum of Fine Arts instead, since they were having a El Greco to Velazquez exhibit that closes on the 27th. But we didn't have a lot of time, so all went to the Gardner. I didn't remember it being quite so dark, which gave it a really cool ambiance, but it was at the same time frustrating not to be able to see some paintings tucked into the corners. She seemed an obsessive collector. I wonder if she bought mostly orphaned artifacts, or if there are churches somewhere in Italy missing their altarpieces. There was an interesting video playing by artist-in-residence Luisa Rabbia but as usual I don't seem to have time to actually sit and watch a museum video in its entirety, what with all the paintings to look at. It would be nice if it were available on her otherwise very cool website, but perhaps it will be when the museum show is over. It will only be a little quicktime movie though and will lose some of its impact.

MassArt was inscrutable, being mostly unoccupied. We walked into the tower part of the building and took the elevator to random floors, not a person in sight. It is a little odd that in "this post 911 era" we were able to walk around an unlocked college building--but really nice too. Remember when we weren't always under lockdown? I could never have gotten my laundry done in the 70's if I couldn't just stroll into the Brown University dorms and use their machines.

I've finished a new triptych for my show at the Gail Cahalan Gallery in November. I might actually decide that they are separate paintings after all when I go to hang them. We'll see.

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