EAST END STORIES 2018-05-03T22:52:18+00:00
2404, 2018

East End Stories; An Online Exhibition

Sunrise on the East End E a s t   E n d   S t o r i e s East End Stories is an online retrospective show accompanied by a narrative blog, a journal recounting my impressions of moving to Eastern Long Island thirty years ago this summer. The stories are written as entries and the paintings are in the gallery section of the site. It chronicles my experiences and the artwork I made just before and after I moved here. Many of the works in the show chronicle the changes I've witnessed to the East End, before ... [Read more]

2504, 2018

The Last Time I Saw Dina Merrill

The last time I saw Dina, 2012 I first visited East Hampton in the early 1980s with a girlfriend, singer actress Christine Andreas, from NYC. I was living and working part time in a loft in SoHo at the corner of Broadway and Broome St, working for artist John Alexander when I met Christine. Christine was in the original Broadway cast of Oklahoma and could sing as well as anyone on the planet, seriously! She was giving a performance that summer of “Songs by Sondheim” at Guild Hall of East Hampton and asked if I wanted to come out ... [Read more]

2604, 2018

Finding a Studio, 1988

Around the turn of the century when this area was a quiet retreat from the city, where artists like Thomas Moran, William Merritt Chase and Childe Hassam lived and worked, long before the developers showed up, the small town of Bridgehampton and it’s surrounding landscape was a rural farming community. By the 1930s and 40s Long Island had become the bread basket of the East Coast. Local farms produced some of the finest potatoes in the rich soil left behind from the Wisconsinan glacial age, on what is now Long Island. Potatoes were harvested, brought to larger facilities where they were ... [Read more]

2604, 2018

The Baymen, A Dory

In the late summer and fall the shoreline around the East End is abundant with Stripped Bass and Bluefish. Surf casting is as easy as throwing out a line. If I was fishing at Town Line Road it was no fluke to reel in two fish on one lure. The first sign of a school are seagulls working the water’s surface. They're dipping down to pick up scraps churned up by the feeding frenzy going on just below the surface. A school can move closer to shore, running the baitfish in that are literally jumping onto the beach to escape. ... [Read more]

2604, 2018

The Move Up

1988, right after I moved into my studio. By the summer of '88 I had moved into my new studio and life seemed to be on the right track. After nearly ten years of going back and forth from Texas to New York, working odd jobs, getting let go, going home with my tail between my legs, groveling up to my old boss, to my old job working for an art handler in Houston, saving my money and going back to NYC, I’d found my own place on the East End and could finally settle in. I had ... [Read more]

2604, 2018

Nautical Charts, Nautical Drawings

Double Dories, oil painting on collage, 44"x77" I found an old set of nautical charts in my studio when I moved in. I pinned the charts on the wall and noticed how they connected from Eastern Long Island to Cape Cod. It wasn't long before I began to use them in my work, at first drawing simple nautical images over the chart. The I started taking a chart, making a collage and reformatting the area I wanted to draw on, tearing off the borders, laying them out to the size I wanted, making a smaller chart that would ... [Read more]

2604, 2018

East End Lighthouses

Montauk Point Lighthouse,pencil on collage, 30"x24", private collection In the summer of 2000 I was drawing the lighthouse from the parking lot at Montauk Point, a great view to set up and work. I’d gotten used to working on location, dealing with wind, rain or blistering sun and people coming over to watch and ask intuitive or sometimes simply dumb questions like, "Are you painting?" I've been working outside painting for a few years, dragging my folding easel and paints around with me wherever I’d go. A friend from Texas, Jim Gingrich got me interested. It’s something I ... [Read more]

105, 2018

Barcelona Point

The population swells from Memorial Day to Labor Day as the summer people and tourists flood in by car, limousine, motorcycle, helicopter, jet, train, boat, bicycle, backpack. It’s already bad every weekday morning and afternoon as the trade parade flows in and out for work. Full time residents complain about the traffic. They jockey for position on Highway 27, the main artery, with Maserati’s and luxury Range Rovers or for a parking space in the parking lot at the Commons or while waiting in the check out line at the grocery store or their favorite restaurant. Some people take up ... [Read more]

105, 2018

The Bluffs in Montauk

Caswell Cliffs, oil on linen, 3'x11' Working outside is kind of like therapy for me. I can escape from everything about the day or the world that bothers me, at least for a little while. Sometimes painting is really just an excuse for being there, at a place, in the moment. Montauk is especially that way. It’s a 25 mile drive from my studio to Montauk Point thru sometimes slow moving traffic, crazy people on the highway, people not paying attention, tailgating or going to damn slow, some that only drive on the weekends and forget about paying ... [Read more]

105, 2018

Peter’s Pond

It's about two miles to the beach from my studio, maybe a little more. In the summer I drive if I can get there in the morning before Town Line Road and the closest beach is lined up with tourists and parked cars. You can only park on one side of the street and that’s by permit only. Sometimes I ride my bike down, take a walk and a swim. The only problem with getting to the beach by bike is that I have to cross Hwy 27, a challenge because of the constant summer traffic. It's challenging enough in ... [Read more]

405, 2018

The Boathouse on Dune Road

In the mid 80s before I moved to Bridgehampton my work was ”abstract”. I wasn’t always an abstract painter. Growing up I related more to the recognizable, imagery and subjects that when painted or drawn you know exactly what it is. Frederic Remington and Andrew Wyeth were my favorite artists as a child. That changed as an undergraduate at Sam Houston State University. I loved life drawing. As well as I could draw the figure, it was a departure point to abstract the figure and that's when my work changed. When I was in graduate school I wrote my thesis ... [Read more]

405, 2018

Town Line Road

Townline Sunrise, oil on canvas, 30"x40", private collection Town Line Road, like the name implies divides Southampton and East Hampton. When you're driving east from Bridgehampton, Town Line Road is on your right just after Town Line Bar-B-Q. Turn right and two miles down the road is the beach referred to by the same name. To the east you can see the late Michael Kennedy House, now for sale, on the dunes and the jetties just past Georgica Pond. To the west lies Peters Pond. Town Line beach is usually easy to access but in the evening there ... [Read more]

605, 2018

Strong’s Barn

Strong's Barn, watercolor, 18"x24" Most of the countryside around Strong’s barn is still farmland. The barn was still being used last year to store potatoes but I've noticed a for sale sign posted. Peter Dankowski who's family has been living and working there for several generations still farms the land around here. This barn and others like it have a long footprint so trucks can bring potatoes from the field, back in and unload. They're piled to the upper level floor joists, 10'-12' high, from back to front during harvest. There are two levels, the lower for trucking ... [Read more]

1305, 2018

Smith’s Corner

Smith's Corner, oil on canvas, 28"x44", private collection Smith’s Corner lies in the middle of some of the most desirable farmland in Bridgehampton just to the east where Bridge Lane crosses Sagg Pond. The old Smith family home still stands on the west side of the pond but I'm not sure the two are related. I met Dinwiddie Smith by chance in 2007. I was a volunteer EMT with the Bridgehampton FD. John White another member and EMT asked if I could help drive “Din” to the Hospital in NYC. Din was a past volunteer at the Fire Department ... [Read more]

1705, 2018

Wainscott Pond

The Pond, 2017. oil on canvas, 56"x74" Wainscott Pond looks today much how it has looked for the last several hundred years. In my opinion it is one of the most beautiful undeveloped panoramic vistas on the East End. A thousand cars drive by here everyday and rarely does anyone pull over to take notice. That's especially true on the weekend in the summer when there are even more cars going up and down Wainscott Main Street. Some people are in a hurry to get home, or they're on the way out from the city to their second home ... [Read more]

1905, 2018

The Hendrickson Farmhouse

As soon as you cross the railroad tracks going north on Lumber Lane it’s hard not to notice a beautiful old farmhouse on your left with it’s half round gable window and Italianate style porch. The barns around it and old chicken coop out buildings seem out of time and place compared to the second home building boom going on around the East End. I’d driven by here many times before I took an interest for the place and probably many more times before I actually committed to the idea of painting there. One afternoon in 2003-4 I set up ... [Read more]

3105, 2018

Studios by the Sea

In the summer of 2002 my studio and work, was published in Studios By The Sea, Artists Of Long Islands East End, photographs by Jonathan Becker, text by Bob Colacello. Studios By The Sea, by Jonathan Becker and bob Colacello Here's an appropriate quote from the book by it's author. “This book is not about how horrible the Hamptons have become, not about Hollywood east, hip-hop invaders or Ira Rennert’s mega-mansion in Sagaponack. It’s about a whole other, largely unreported, but quite glamorous life on the East End of Long Island, which centers on work instead of play, ... [Read more]

1006, 2018

Play Ball

A few days ago I was sailing out of Sag Harbor with some friends including Russell Blue and Eric Ernst who, over the years, have helped keep the Artists Writers Charity Softball Game alive. Naturally the subject came up and I thought about my outfield sign at the ball field next to the Bridgehampton Volunteer FD. I was a member there for 17 years, most of that time as an EMT. That's another long blog entirely by itself. Anyway, during the summer you can catch these guys warming up on Sunday morning for their once a year debut. In the late spring ... [Read more]

2606, 2018

Dunes in Nappeague

At one time Cape Cod was my annual summer retreat to visit friends in North Truro. There are some striking similarities between the dunes on the East End and what you can find in the National Seashore on Cape Cod. Pockets of dunes, grasses, shrubs, pines and other plants are in some ways indistinguishable. I painted in the National Seashore year after year and never ceased to be amazed walking in with my painting gear. It's breathtaking to walk up a 30' high dune and discover another section 200 yards beyond that is much higher and when you make it ... [Read more]