Author Archives: Kim Smith

LIKE BREATH ON GLASS, or Living in a Whistler Moment

gloucester-harbor-nocturne-copyright-kim-smithJames McNeill Whistler once said “Paint should not be applied thick. It should be like breath on the surface of a pane of glass.” My question is, which came first, the “soft paintings” of the later half of the 19th and early 20th century or soft focus photos? Knowing that Edward Steichen transitioned from painting to photography, its not hard to imagine that Whistler and Innes were also using photography as a tool.


Abbie Lundberg, Tony’s wife, writes: “Tony brought home a bunch of sand fleas yesterday and the seahorse was excited – hunting and catching some, but he then spit them back out. The aquarium never called back, so Tony decided to release him today, back in the same area he found him. (Of course the aquarium called after that happened 😞) Hopefully he’ll find his way back to warmer waters.”

Thank you to Abbie and Tony for sharing their seahorse capture and release story. Readers may have noticed in the comment section of the previous update that lobsterman Gary also came home with a seahorse, which he found off Plum Cove Beach. I never would have imagined that we have seahorses, even occasional ones, living in the cold waters of Cape Ann, but it is truly exciting to know they are here.

Here’s a short video of a Lined Seahorse that I shot at the aquarium in Cincinnati while visiting relatives about five years ago. Although the same species as Gloucester’s little seahorse, note the two wildly different colors. Lined Seahorses change color to blend with their environment, which aids in capturing prey.

This funny video came up  on my video feed, of male seahorses giving birth. FASCINATING!!!


jeremy-adams-cape-ann-museum-copyright-kim-smithJeremy Adams at Friday night’s lovely gala opening event at the Cape Ann Museum

The outstanding exhibit of Jeremy Adams instruments and furniture is not to be missed. To accompany the exhibit Voicing the Woods: Jeremy Adams, Instrument Maker, the Cape Ann Museum is offering a series of mini concerts and instrument demonstration. The series runs as follows:

Saturday, November 5 at 11:00a.m.  – Kevin Birch

Birch has performed throughout the United States, Europe and South America. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Iowa with previous studies at the Sweelinck Conservatory (Amsterdam) and the New England Conservatory (Boston).


Saturday, December 3 at 11:00a.m.  – Jeremy and Kathleen Adams

Kathleen Adams is the organist and choirmaster at the Annisquam Village Church in Gloucester, MA. She studied singing at the American Conservatory of Music and organ and conducting at Harvard University. Jeremy Adams, one of the most gifted musical instrument makers in New England, studied at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge.


Saturday, January 7 at 11:00a.m.  – Frances Conover Fitch

Fitch is an internationally touring harpsichordist and organist. She is currently on the faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music, Tufts University and Brandeis University.


Saturday, February 4 at 11:00a.m.  – Carolyn Day Skelton and John Skelton

Carolyn Day Skelton has served as the summer organist at Emmanuel Church in Manchester-by-the-Sea since 1984 and received her Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory. John Skelton also began his career at the New England Conservatory and has served as music director at the Maple Street Church in Danvers for 28 years.

jeremy-adams-kristina-martin-cape-ann-museum-copyright-kim-smithKristina Martin and Jeremy

This program is free for CAM members or with Museum admission paid upon arrival. Space is limited; reservations required. Reservations can be made by calling 978-283-0455 x10, or online at Eventbrite.


danielle-glantz-jintara-nutprasa-copyright-kim-smithDanielle served a fabulous array of snacks and treats at Friday evening’s Jintara Nutprasas gallery event. They were so super delicious, I stopped back today and picked up a bag of provisions to bring to a friend on the mend. In addition to her beautiful selection of pastas, You Must Try Danielle’s homemade cheeses, made fresh every Friday, and handmade salami. What did we do on Cape Ann before Danielle opened her friendly doors? Pastaio Via Corta is located at 11 Center Street in Gloucester. Visit Danielle’s website here.


Dawn’s wondeeful mini apple tarts at Passports European inspired October Fest wine dinner Thursday night. Recipe please!


The color is beautiful, a soft greenish-blue gray. I hope mine doesn’t get swiped by a family member 🙂

Loving my new GMG hat – more of a blue green than gray, really nice @captjoe06 !

A photo posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on


jeremy-adams-harpsichords-copyright-kim-smith-copyOpening tomorrow at the Cape Ann Museum, “Voicing the Woods” is a very special exhibition of some of the exquisite instruments created by Jeremy Adams. The exhibit is accompanied by Paul Cary Goldberg photographs of the instruments and of the artist at work .

detail-jeremy-adams-harpischord-copyright-kim-smithDetail Jeremy Adams Double Manual Harpsichord, Collection of Sam and JL Foster

A world renowned instrument maker, Jeremy Adams is a Gloucester artist whose extraordinarily beautiful instruments will be treasured for generations to come. To see these works of art displayed in the light filled gallery of the museum’s top floor is a magnificent gift to the community, and one not to missed. Additionally, a selection of Jeremy’s witty and whimsical furniture is displayed in the Museum’s 1804 Captain Elias Davis House.bent-side-form-jeremy-adams-copyright-kim-smith

Jeremy Adams Bent-side Form, used to bend wood that has been steamed to create the curved side of the harpsichord. The process of steaming wood for the planks is similar to the technique used in boat building.

“Voicing the Woods” opens tomorrow, Saturday, October 22nd, at the Cape Ann Museum. Throughout the months of November, December, and January instrument demonstrations and concerts will be held at the Museum and at the Annisquam Village Church. See the schedule of events here.

To see more examples of Jeremy’s beautiful pieces, visit the Jeremy Adams Instruments website here. dscf9910

About Jeremy Adams, Instrument Maker, from the Cape Ann Museum exhibit catalogue:

A keyboard player from early childhood, Jeremy Adams took his formal training with Roland Sturgis, Gregory Tucker and Melville Smith at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge. In the 1960s, an auspicious time for early music enthusiasts, Adams entered into a six-year apprenticeship at William Dowd’s Cambridge harpsichord shop, where he gained recognition for his skills as a musician and quickly developed his hand as a fine woodworker. (Dowd had established his workshop in the 1950s with harpsichord maker Frank Hubbard, engaging with the international movement to revive historic practices of performance and instrument building.) In the two years following his harpsichord apprenticeship, Adams honed his skills in reed voicing and tonal finishing in an organ building apprenticeship at the Gloucester workshop of Charles Fisk, working on signature instruments at Old West Methodist in Boston and Harvard University, among others. In 1969 Adams opened his own workshop on the North Shore.

Read more here.annisquamAnnisquam Village Church Jeremy Adams Pipe Organ

mission_church_tubaMission Church Boston

Cape Ann TV Lunch & Learn Series: “DSLR vs. Camcorder – what’s the right choice for your shoot?”

Cape Ann TV’s Lunch & Learn Series continues on Wednesday, November 2nd at 12 pm with“DSLR vs. Camcorder – what’s the right choice for your shoot?” presented by professional video producer, Ted Reed.

Digital SLRs have become the hot video tool, but what’s the best way to use them? When is a traditional camcorder the preferred choice? Award-winning TV producer Ted Reed will show how to get the most out of both, their strengths and weaknesses, and even how to use both together effectively.

Please join us on Wednesday, November 2nd at 12 PM at Cape Ann TV for this event. Lunch is provided and this event is free.

Space is limited for this event; please RSVP to to reserve your spot. 


Love the fins!

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Thank you to Tony and Abbie for allowing me to come by and get some footage of the spunky little seahorse. This is the fourth seahorse Tony has found, the second this week. He finds them feeding on tiny crustaceans in his lobster bait traps. I think this is a female. If you look closely in the above Instagram and compare with the diagram below, she does not have the male’s brood pouch.

Lined Seahorses are not strong swimmers; they ambush their prey by camouflaging themselves, changing color to blend with their environment. They are found in shades ranging from deep brownish black to gray to green, red, and oranges. Lined Seahorses feed on small crustaceans, fish larvae, and plankton. Their mouths are without teeth and instead of biting, use a sucking action to draw in food. Because a seahorse has no stomach, it must eat constantly.

Seahorses live in habitats where there is an abundance of vegetation to hold onto, for example, eel grass and seaweed in southern New England. On temperate shorelines they may curl their tail around mangrove roots and corals. It seems logical that Tony’s bait traps make a convenient feeding station, providing both food and a place on which to latch. Although rare, sightings as far north as Nova Scotia have been reported. Cape Cod is the tippy end of the Lined Seahorse’s northern breeding range.

Fun fact about Lined Seahorses: Scientists report that the males dance for their mate every morning as a way to bond.

The Lined Seahorse population is in decline; their species status is listed as “vulnerable.” The reason for the decline is not only habitat destruction, but sadly and preventably, because they are a popular commodity in the trinket trade.

A reporter from NECN and NBC contacted Tony and the story may be airing on NECN.  Let us know if you see the episode. Here’s a video Tony’s wife Abbie made, posted on GMG in 2010.  The seahorse in this video was caught in December, in Ipswich Bay, in 40 degree waters.

Anatomy of a seahorse from Google image search

Lisa Smith Shares Snapping Turtle Photos

Lisa Smith writes,
“Hi Kim,
I know you like pictures of nature. Here is a couple of pictures I took of a giant snapping turtle at Niles Pond yesterday. I stopped to take a picture of the pond and heard something moving in the brush,stepped in to see what it was and it was this turtle. I took a photo of it with my bike helmet so you could so how big it is in relation to the helmet.
The turtle turned around and went back to the water.  Which was a good thing because it was headed for the road. I was covered in burrs, when I got out of the brush.
I know you spend a lot of time at the pond, have you seen this turtle?”
Hi  Lisa, I don’t know if this is the same snapper that I have seen, but I think there are more than one at Niles Pond. I can guess where you found it because there is a little stream that runs along the road, on the opposite side. They like to burrow in the muddy banks of the stream, both the snappers and Painted Turtles. Thank you for sharing!
20161019_134610 20161019_134632_resized_1


good-harbor-beach-parking-lot-flooded-copyright-kim-smith-10-19-2016Folks sure had a surprise this afternoon when returning to their cars after a lovely beach day finding the Good Harbor Beach parking lot underwater. Some were angry and some panicking. I assured the panicking ones that they could get out safely. This is the second day in a row the parking lot has flooded. I’ve seen this in the spring more than once or twice but never in the fall. You can still maneuver through the lot by driving along the edge closest to the water. October’s Super Moon is the first of three in a row. I wonder what November and December’s full tides will bring.


east-gloucester-quilt-juni-van-dyke-1-copyright-kim-smithThe East Gloucester neighborhood quilt is so beautiful it will tug at your heart strings, especially if it is your neighborhood, as it is ours. So sweetly capturing the spirit of our neighborhood, the quilt is simply a masterpiece of fun and whimsy. Monday’s unveiling at the Rose Baker center was attended by the quilters, friends, and family and we all just reveled in the beauty of the piece. JUNI VAN DYKE, YOU ARE A GIFT TO THIS COMMUNITY!
The East Gloucester Quilt will be on display at both the Rocky Neck Art Association and the Cape Ann Museum. Check back as we will be posting the dates as soon as we know.east-gloucester-quilt-juni-van-dyke-joy-halsted-1-copyright-kim-smith-copy
Juni and Joy Halsted – the center panel with the woman in the red bathing suit was created by Joy Halsted (and is rumored that it is she). 
A note about the project: “Gloucester: A Community of Neighborhoods” was conceived by Juni Van Dyke and executed by she and her group of fiber artists. Each fabric panel measures approximately five-foot square and illustrates through iconic imagery characteristics unique to Gloucester neighborhoods. The banner’s design in it’s entirety, along with the individual artist’s whimsical designs and choice of fabrics, is utterly captivating and a vibrant visual feast. “Gloucester: A Community of Neighborhoods” quilts has its permanent home at the Cape Ann Museum. 
East Gloucester Quiltmakers 
Many thanks to Juni for providing the list of quiltmakers
Barbara Jobe               sailboat
Mary Weissblum           bicycle
Ed Hanson                   House in top left corner near Cripple Cove and large Crane
Christina Rhodes          Cripple Cove playground
Judy McGee                 Help with stitching
Lois Stillman                 several trees — also beautiful bucolic scene with small crane
Barbara Maddix             butterflies and bluejay
Genevieve McNamara    condo apartments next to North Shore Arts
Mary McCarl                 Red Cottage Artists (John Sloane & friends)
Joy Halsted                  Lady sitting on beach (centerpiece!)
Lois Dench                   Basket of Flowers
Katherine Keith             North Shore Arts Association & water view
Amanda  Cook              Writers Center
Ron Pool                      Sailboat
Jenny Parisi                  Several Fish
Ida Spinola                   Several Fish
Maggie Rosa                 Beacon Marine
Judy Menicocci              Gloucester Stage Company
Kay Carpenter               Last Stop Variety Store
Connie Troisi                 Several flowers
Emily Soule                   Several flowers
Susan Wright                Golfers
Juni VanDyke                Boats along the top of quilt
 Amanda Cook’s Writer’s Center
Click the gallery below to see closeups of the beautiful imagery


Lobsterman and School Committee Member Tony Gross came home from lobstering with a pint-sized creature, a seahorse measuring just about four inches. I don’t know much about seahorses, but this looks like a Lined Seahorse. Lined Seahorses are found from Nova Scotia to Venezuela, but I also read that most generally live only as far north as Cape Cod. It probably wouldn’t survive our current cold water temperatures. Tony and his wife Abbie are giving it fresh seawater and sand fleas. According to Abbie, this little Hippocampus likes hanging out in the water bubbles.

Photos provided by Abbie and Tony Gross, graphic from Nat Geo.

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