Tag Archives: Winslow Homer

Lessons On the Water Part 2: $100 sailing PLUS call to artists

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Winslow Homer, Sailing out of Gloucester Harbor, 1880, Yale

 

SAIL GHS

Sign up for $100 per week blocks of morning lessons. Sail GHS leaves from Maritime Gloucester, Monday – Friday, from 8AM-11-11:30ish AM. The program targets middle schoolers through high school age. Participants should be able to swim, wear closed toe footwear, sunscreen, and bring a water.

Rob Bent provided the distinctive t-shirts. They’re ‘foresail’ $15 to help fund the Sail GHS program. Does anyone have a photograph of the sail club from the Horribles parade for them to replace this one?

Sail GHS

ART SAIL GHS

Artists interested in live sketching from these sail times can email  me. Sail GHS is on Facebook.

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Thanks to Sail GHS board member Hilary Frye and congratulations on her new book of poetry!

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Additional Gloucester sailing lessons

YMCA sailing (see prior post)

Annisquam Yacht Club junior sailing

Eastern Point  junior sailing

Author Deborah Cramer asks were there plentiful horseshoe crabs in Gloucester? Leads to Winslow Homer, John Bell, and Cher Ami

Deborah Cramer thanks Good Morning Gloucester for mentioning her book and asks for photographs and stories about horseshoe crabs, otherwise known as the nearly scene stealing co-stars from her inspiring book on sandpipers, The Narrow Edge.

“I’m in the midst of a project right now trying to uncover the almost forgotten history of the whereabouts of horseshoe crabs in Gloucester.  I’ve heard some fantastic stories, like one from a man who used to go down to Lobster Cove after school and find horseshoe crabs so plentiful he could fill a dory. Do you think there’s a value to putting up a few pictures on GMG and asking people to send in their recollections of beaches, coves where they used to see them in abundance?”

We do. Please send in photos or stories if you have them about horseshoe crabs in Gloucester or the North Shore for Deborah Cramer’s project. Write in comments below and/or email cryan225@gmail.com

Here’s one data point. Look closely at this 1869 Winslow Homer painting. Can you spot the horseshoe crabs? Can you identify the rocks and beach?

Winslow Homer Rocky Coast and Gulls (manchester)

Winslow Homer, Rocky Coast and Gulls, 1869, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, installed in room #234 with so many other Homers (Fog Warning, All’s Well, Driftwood, …)

zoomed into horseshoe crabs (detail )

(zoomed into horseshoe crabs)

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While reading The Narrow Edge, and looking at Kim Smith’s Piping Plover photographs, I thought about Raid on a Sand Swallow Colony (How Many Eggs?) 1873 by Homer and how some things change while much remains the same.When my sons were little, they were thrilled with the first 1/3 or so of Swiss Family Robinson.  As taken as they were with the family’s ingenuity, adventure, and tree house–they recoiled as page after page described a gorgeous new bird, promptly shot. They wouldn’t go for disturbing eggs in a wild habitat. The title ascribed to this Homer, perhaps the eager query from the clambering youngest boy, feels timeless. Was the boys’ precarious gathering sport, study, or food? What was common practice with swallows’ eggs in the 1860s and 70s? Homer’s birds are diminutive and active, but imprecise. Homer sometimes combined place, figures, subject and themes. One thing is clear: the composition, line and shadow are primed and effective for an engraving.

 

Homer watercolor 1873

Harper’s Weekly published the image on June 13, 1875. Artists often drew directly on the edge grain of boxwood and a master engraver (Lagrade in this case) removed the wood from pencil and wash lines.

Winslow Homer

 

2016. Wingaersheek dunes and nests 140+ years later.

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Besides Homer, Deborah’s book had me thinking about Chris Leahy, where I first heard about the history of Ma Audubon and our state’s bragging rights. It had me dig out photographs of a visit to Harvard where reproductions of the dodo and auk skeletons made us as sad as Swiss Family Robinson, and to wonder about Deborah Dickson’s documentary on sculptor Todd McGrain, which I haven’t seen yet.

 

“Gone and nearly forgotten in extinction, the Labrador Duck, the Great Auk, the Heath Hen, the Carolina Parakeet, and the Passenger Pigeon leave holes not just in the North American landscape but in our collective memories. Moved by their stories, sculptor Todd McGrain set out to create memorials to the lost birds—to bring their vanished forms back into the world.”

I must thank Deborah Cramer for another Gloucester prompt. Last year while visiting Mass Moca for business, I happened upon the ECLIPSE exhibit by Elizabeth Kolbert, the New Yorker writer, in collaboration with the duo, Sayler/Morris. It was a gorgeous, elegiac passenger pigeon multi-media tribute. Coincidentally it was Earth Day. I immediately wrote John Bell, because he had spoken with me about Gloucester’s Cher Ami, which I promised to write about.

Does anyone remember Cher Ami and homing pigeons of Gloucester? Let me know.

For more on Deborah Cramer, and to listen to her being interviewed by Meghna Chakrabarti, please continue:

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Art of fatherhood: Gloucester artists and writers

A small selection of images and words about and by fathers, with Gloucester ties. What would you add? Happy Father’s Day!

Edward Hopper portrait of artist's father

Edward Hopper, portrait of artist’s father, Whitney Museum

 

Air

They took my father’s father from the mines

and laid him, broken, on the kitchen table,

the wake singers lifting their lines

above the water heater he had often mended.

 

My father always dreamed of him alive,

able to whittle an oak peg for every split thing.

all my father lost at the age of nine

enclosed his life, his air.

 

In my flood dream, I carry my father

piggyback–easier than a kid’s coffin–

to safety from the Susquehanna River

as light as a dollhouse, now, or violin.

Joseph Featherstone, from his book of poems, Brace’s Cove

 

Gloucester, Massachusetts. Anthony Parisi, an Italian fisherman's son

Gordon Parks, “Gloucester, Massachusetts. Anthony Parisi, an Italian fisherman’s son.” Library of Congress, FSA collection

 

Caitlin

To be seven when a brother dies–

to have shared a room.

Her silence frightened us.

 

One night she rose from the table

and climbed to the top of the stairs.

We heard the small voice

 

singing each of the songs

from the funeral service.

The next morning in school

 

she announced to her class,

“I am ready for questions now.”

by Joseph Featherstone, from Brace’s Cove

 

Frank Domingos kissing a vessel representing remains of a saint, during ceremonies at his father's home, part of the tri-annual fiesta of Pentacost. The celebration--including the chosing of an Imperator, and

Gordon Parks, “Gloucester, MA. Frank Domingos kissing a vessel representing remains of a saint, during ceremonies at his father’s home…” Library of Congress

full title for the Gordon Parks photograph above: “Frank Domingos kissing a vessel representing remains of a saint, during ceremonies at his father’s home, part of the tri-annual fiesta of Pentacost. The celebration–including the chosing of an Imperator, and visiting, eating, drinking, and worship in the home, culminates in a parade and blessing by the priest–originated with ancient Portugeese fisherman, drought-stricken, who prayed for assistance and received it.”

 

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John Hays Hammond with daughter, Natalie Hays Hammond. collection Library of Congress

Captain’s Courageous was published in 1897. “During the winter of 1897-98 I made another trip to South Africa, and on the same boat with me were Rudyard Kipling (Rudyard was named after a place where his father and mother first met), his wife, and his father, Lockwood Kipling, the artist. They proved excellent traveling companions and we have maintained our friendly contact ever sense.” – John Hays Hammond 

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John Lockwood Kipling and Rudyard Kipling

The Kiplings collaborated: the artist John Lockwood Kipling illustrated many of his sons’ books.

John Lockwood Kipling Jungle Book

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John Lockwood Kipling White Seal

John Lockwood Kipling, The White Seal

 

William Foster Biddle Cecilia Beaux PAFA gift of Sandwith Drinker

Cecilia Beaux, portrait sketch of William Foster Biddle, Pennsylvania Academy Fine Art, gift of Sandwith Drinker  (Biddle like a father to Cecilia)

 

William Morris Hunt Prodigal Son Brattleboro library

William Morris Hunt, Prodigal Son, Brattleboro Library

Hunt purchased a former barn and adjoining carpenter’s shop in Magnolia. “…in three weeks the old, unsightly buildings were converted into a picturesque structure with galleries on the outside, one of them ending in a seat in an old willow-tree. The carpenter shop was turned into a studio, the chief light coming from the wide-open door…The barn was two stories in height, the lower portion being occupied by the van, a phaeton and a dog-cart, as well as by stalls for two or three horses. The upper room was known as the “barracks”, and half a dozen cot-beds were arranged around the sides, as seats by day and beds by night…In a single afternoon his celebrated Gloucester Harbor was painted, and he returned to Magnolia aglow with enthusiasm. “I believe,” he exclaimed, “that I have painted a picture with light in it!…Go out into the sunshine, and try to get some of its color and light. Then come back here, and see how black we are all painting!”

William Morris Hunt Gloucester Harbor MFA 1877

William Morris Hunt, Gloucester Harbor, 1877, MFA Boston

 

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John Singer Sargent portrait of the artist’s father, Sargent House Museum

 

Paul Manship and family Isabel Manship xSarah Janet x Elizabeth x Pauline x John Paul x Paul

Family portrait: Isabel Manship, Sara Janet, Elizabeth, Pauline, John Paul, Paul Manship

 

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Lee Kingman, Peter’s Pony, 1963, with illustrations by Fen Lasell

 

Leon Doucette

Leon Doucette, portrait of the artist’s father

 

Milton Avery March drypoint 1933

Milton Avery 1933 drypoint (March, his daughter)

 

Winslow Homer captures the waiting and watching experienced by so many families in Gloucester. Homer’s father, Charles Savage Homer, left for extended start-ups: to California for gold, to Europe.  Winslow Homer’s mother was a professional and gifted artist who raised three stellar boys solo, a lot. The Homer family remained tight knit.

Dad's Coming, 1873, NGA

Winslow Homer, Dad’s Coming, 1873,  National Gallery of Art

 

Friday Nights at the A&P

By Ruthanne “Rufus”  Collinson

When I was a kid

there were Friday nights to get lost in.

There was Mama

to take me shopping,

the smell of outdoors on her wool coat.

There was the A&P on Main Street,

the long spread out time

to wander the rolling floors

and smell the oranges and the coffee grinding.

There was no talking with Mama and me

She chose the food and I thought,

the long time of thinking away from Mama

in the A&P.

I watched the women

with heavy faces and deep frowns

weighing out their fruits

I thought about how bad they looked,

but I knew they didn’t want to die

because of the way they cared

about stacking the apples.

Sometimes I lost Mama and her sadness

but she would find me and take me

to the check out

where I picked up Daddy’s Pall Malls

and then stayed close to her wide sleeve

as we carried our lumpy brown bags

past Paul T. Reddy’s Dancing School.

I heard people dancing upstairs

Shadows in the window suggested music

and the end of time laid out like that.

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(EDITED) VISITOR ACCESSIBILITY TO TEN POUND ISLAND FOR THE BETTERMENT OF OUR COMMUNITY AND BELOVED WILDLIFE

(EDITOR’S NOTE) Mayor Romeo Thekan has called a meeting in her office on March 24th, from 5pm to 6pm, to discuss Ten Pound Island. Everyone is welcome.

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Ten Pound Island with fish and lobster hatchery, air station, lighthouse, keeper’s house, and oil house. Photo submitted by Toby Pett.

Airfields_MA_NE_htm_48ed180aTen Pound presently

After reading the Gloucester Daily Times’s article about the city’s Recreational Boating Committee’s recommendations on how better to serve boaters, I have been looking at old photos and reading about Ten Pound Island. This tiny island located at the eastern end of Gloucester Harbor has a storied and fascinating history. The timeline (see below) was created to help give an overview.

The following is the part of the article that caught my attention:“Perhaps the most innovative idea in the report is to consider creating a community boat house — possibly similar to the house boats moored along the Annisquam River — and a dock upon Ten Pound Island that could host the Gloucester High School and YMCA community sailing and boating skills programs, as well as other public programs and access for rowing and kayaking.”

I am looking forward to learning more about the possibilities for Ten Pound Island and trust that our Mayor and community leaders will do a thoughtful study to create a comprehensive plan on how to co-exist with the birds that breed and nest on the Island. In our region, we have so many great examples to follow on ways to manage land for wildlife; two that come to mind immediately are the Plum Island Piping Plovers and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.

I think it important our community understand that more than likely, the vegetation found growing on Ten Pound is in a transitory state and that over time, if left to naturalize, will become a forest. The shrubs and brushy growth, so ideal for nesting birds, will eventually give way to hardwood trees, which may not be the best habitat for shore birds.

There is the hope that developing trails and managing the island flora will create an even better and more permanent sanctuary for our cherished wildlife. Today the Island is only accessible to private boaters. If a community dock were built at the site of the preexisting dock and trails were created and well maintained, just imagine the enjoyment and educational experiences Ten Pound Island could provide for all.

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8278392407_187a8b6139_bTen Pound Island Timeline

1644 Early settlers graze rams on the Island.

1817 Mariner Amos Story famously reports seeing a sea serpent (along with many others) near the Island. See account below.

1821 Ten Pound Island Lighthouse Station is established to safely guide mariners through Gloucester’s Inner Harbor.

1833-1849 Amos Story serves as Ten Pound Island Lighthouse Keeper.

1880 Winslow Homer stays with the lighthouse keeper during the summer creating over 50 watercolor paintings.

1881 Present conical cast iron tower, lined with brick, replaces original stone tower. Wooden keepers house is constructed.

1889 U.S. Fish and lobster hatchery is established.

1925 U.S. Coast Guard establishes first in the country air station, primarily to capture rumrunners during Prohibition.

1940 Lighthouse keeper’s wife Evelyn Hopkins honors Edward Snow, the Flying Santa who dropped Christmas presents from a plane for lighthouse keepers’ children, by nailing “Merry Christmas” boldly in newspaper, which could be read from the sky.

1954 Fish hatchery abandoned.

1956 Ten Pound island Light Station is decommissioned and replaced by a modern optic. The original fresnel lens is on display at the Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland.

1965 Keepers dwelling razed.

1988 The Lighthouse Preservation Society initiates restoration of Ten Pound Island Light.

1989 A modern optic was installed atop the tower and relit as a Federal aid to navigation.

1995 The oil house is restored.

1996 -1997 (*Possibly longer, checking dates) Shuttle to and from the Island is provided by the Gloucester Harbor Shuttle.

Currently, Ten Pound Island serves as an active aid to navigation.

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“Merry Christmas” written with newspaper hammered to the ground

*    *     *

Amos Story sea serpent sighting account: “It was between the hours of twelve and one o’clock when I first saw him and he continued in sight for an hour and a half. I was setting on the shore, and was about twenty rods [330 feet] from him when he was nearest to me. His head appeared shaped much like that of the sea turtle, and he carried his head from ten to twelve inches above the surface of the water. His head at that distance appeared larger than the head of any dog I ever saw. From the back of his head to the next part of him that was visible, I should judge to be three or four feet. He moved very rapidly through the water. I should say a mile in two, or, at most, in three minutes. I saw no bunches on his back. On this day, I did not see more than ten or twelve feet of his body.”

In a separate sighting, Story’s wife, “a woman held in high esteem for her veracity” noted through a telescope what at first she believed to be a log that had washed ashore, until it moved, that is. Throughout the month, more and more witnesses told similar stories of a sleek brown serpent-like creature in Gloucester Harbor.

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TENPOUNDLinks:

http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/maritime/ten.htm

http://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=478

http://www.newenglandlighthouses.net/ten-pound-island-light-history.html

http://www.uscg.mil/history/stations/airsta_tenpoundisland.asp

http://www.gloucestertimes.com/news/local_news/report-city-needs-to-better-serve-boaters/article_c2959522-c2de-5f05-8353-41766dcc7b5d.html

http://www.nelights.com/exploring/Massachusetts/ten_pound_light.html

http://fitzhenrylaneonline.org/catalog/entry.php?id=44

https://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/ten-pound-island-from-bill-hubbard/

More Photos Here Read more

An Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Winslow_Homer_-_The_Four_Leaf_CloverThe Four Leaf Clover by Winslow Homer

Thanks to my friend Cathy who shared this beautiful Celtic blessing yesterday in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day.

Image courtesy wikicommons media.

ART EVERYWHERE . American Artists on billboards opens TODAY interactive map

Cat Ryan submits-

Hi Joey

Art Everywhere Billboards opens across the country today. Here’s a link to the interactive map of locations http://arteverywhereus.org/Map

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For GLOUCESTER, MA there’s a mash up poster for the entire Art Everywhere exhibit, rather than a single image. You can see it at 551-553 Washington Street Gloucester. Look for Homer’s Breezing Up on the 93 expressway by Dorchester.

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The Fitz Hugh Lane’s Boston Harbor is in two locations, one near  Westborough, the other one along 495 near Wrentham/Plainview/Foxbourough.

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Salem State College has the Hassam. Boston is the location of the Heade Giant Magnolias.

Young Artist of the week!

Jason and his toolbox

This young artist of the week is a very talented boy named Jason who painted this interpretation of Winslow Homer’s Two Men in a Canoe on a toolbox that he built himself. Jason picked out this painting himself and, I think, did a beautiful job of making it his own. What a cool piece of artwork for him to have and use for a long time!

If you know of a young artist that should be featured here, email dawn.gadow@gmail.com  with a short description and a photo of some of their work!