Monday, May 28, 2018

Gloucester Harbor in 1952

A Photo of Gloucester Harbor in 1952

This old picture turned up in a box of memorabilia that my mom had been saving.  I don't know who took it, or why an edge has been cut off, but there is a date on the reverse: 1952.  Wow.  I was two years old then.  Mayo did not work from photographs - in my memory he always gone in the summer mornings, off to "paint the boats."  Perhaps he used this image as a sort of compositional guide or detail guide.  Who knows?

For me this image evokes a constellation sounds, smells and visual memories.  Gorton's Fish factory was near where this was taken, so the smell of fish was always strongly in the air.  As a young child, about the only times I was taken to Gloucester were on shopping and errand expeditions.  We were often there around mid-day, when the noon whistle at the factory sounded.  Do you remember how loud that was?

Monday, April 2, 2018

Pigeon Cove, Circa 1953

My parents rented a little house in Pigeon Cove, on Cape Ann in Massachusetts, for a summer or two.
From the old photos I have of myself and my brother playing in the yard, with boats at anchor behind us, I'd guess it was the summers of 1952 and 1953.  Dad must have loved walking out the door to find these wonderful scenes of granite seawalls, fishing boats and dinghies.

Dad was well known in the region for his bold watercolors that recorded yet abstracted the waterfront scenes of Cape Ann.   At the time, not many New England painters had adapted the lessons of Cubism, of John Marin and Andrew Dasburg, but Dad was always pushing forward into new styles and concepts.  This particular painting was done quickly, almost like a sketch, but fully captures the brilliant light and maritime character of the Cape.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Gloucester Harbor in the '50's

Dad was known for his watercolors of Gloucester Harbor.  I remember family summers in Rockport when Dad would drive off every morning with his paints and tools, returning at lunchtime with a new painting. It was always done at one sitting and emerged from the easel as fresh as a summer's day.  This one has just been donated to the Health Sciences Center at the University of New Mexico.

Friday, August 8, 2014


                                                            acrylic on canvas, 30 x 40"
Our family is pleased to announce the donation of Dad's painting, Edge of the Sea #2 to Laboure' College in Milton, Massachusetts.  This donation, like several others before it, was facilitated by the wonderful agency, The Art Connection, which provides Boston area non-profit agencies with a storehouse of art to choose from.  Thank-you to everyone who made it possible for this painting to hang in a public setting and be enjoyed as it was meant to be.  A letter from Laboure' Colleges says this work "will help with bringing inspiration and life to our students on a daily basis."

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Paintings to the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

Far Horizon - acrylic on canvas - 36 x46"

One of the paintings we placed in good homes last year was this acrylic, probably from the 1980's.  It's one of the few purely abstract works to survive Dad's habit of painting over older canvases, which he did partly to save buying new canvas and partly because the already existing  colors and shapes gave impetus to his new vision.

Several of Dad's paintings have gone to UNM over the years.  Our family is proud to have them permanently displayed in the several buildings that make up the Health Sciences Center.  We feel that Dad would have been happy to have them on public view, enjoyed by so many faculty members, students, staff and patients.   Lots of credit should go to Chris Fenton, the curator of UNM's program, who does a wonderful job of placing the art where it can best be appreciated.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Modernism in Taos

Taos #5 - 1948

Recently re-reading David L. Witt's book, Modernists in Taos: From Dasburg to Martin, I was struck by the impact Dad's 1948 summer in Taos had on his subsequent work, and probably also his teaching and writing.  In Taos to attend Louis Ribak's Taos Valley Art School, Dad would have had contact with some of the most forward-looking artists of his day and seen their work first-hand.  Among these artists were Ribak and his wife, Beatrice Mandelman, Andrew Dasburg, John Marin, Tom Benrimo and many more, who made this tiny New Mexico town a vital center for the development of Modern art.  I believe Dad stayed in contact with Benrimo, and certainly with Louis and Bea Mandelman, who later lived part-time in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, as did my parents.

Dad must have felt that in Taos he was at the forefront of current painting practice.  Already familiar with John Marin's watercolors and an accomplished watercolorist himself, Dad's loose handling of the medium, and often his breaking up of pictorial space, must have received additional impetus that summer.

These two aspects of his painting, the looseness of paint handling and the Cezannesque/Dasburg/Marin
breaking up of the picture plane, remained constant threads throughout Dad's career.  He taught them to his students in Stamford, and also students of his widely-used high school textbook, Brush and Palette.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Provincetown Art Association and Museum Donation

We recently donated this painting, Day into Night, to the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, also know as PAAM.   The painting is probably from the 1980's and used to hang to the left of the fireplace in Mom and Dad's living room in Harwich.  As Dad had been a long-time member of PAAM and participated in several of their annual artist-member exhibits, I know he would be proud to be represented in this collection.  The collection includes work by William Zorach, Wolf Kahn, Franz Kline, John Singer Sargent, William Merrit Chase and other luminaries of American art.