Of Lobster Buoys and Boats

When cruising the coast of Maine in a small boat (not a cruise ship), one thing is certain … you will see a LOT of lobster buoys. Lobster buoys are the floats attached to lines attached to lobster pots. Those pots are designed to entice lobsters into them with tasty bait fish .. well, tasty to the lobster, very smelly and unappealing to humans. 

Lobster buoys are navigational hazards for boaters. You will see boats weaving their way through water heavily laden with buoys .. seemingly taking a very erratic course. You don't want to hit the buoys as they can damage propellers and/or the lines that the buoys are attached to can wrap around the shaft that the propeller is mounted on and, in the worst case, stop you. If that happens, someone needs to go into the water and cut the line from around the shaft in order to be able to get underway again. Maine ocean water is anything but warm and the job can be hazardous.

You may be asking what all of that has to do with art.  Those same buoys at times, on a bright sunlit Maine day, can be things of beauty. Looking out across a bay covered with their many colored bobbing heads is something to see. It is joyful and happy .. an unplanned living painting by the many lobstermen/women who work the waters. They come in every color combination imaginable, both to make them easy to see and to make them easily identifiable for a particular lobsterperson.

Another sight of unintended artistry is the dance of the seagulls around lobsterboats as the trap bait is changed out … out with the old, in with the new and then the traps go back in the water. The gulls love that smelly old bait and wheel through the air competing for the tasty morsels, calling dibs in their less than melodious voices. 

There is art that surrounds every day in the simplest things .. all it takes is seeing.

 

 

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Upcoming Show in March 2017

I will be having a small show in March at the Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery at 136 State Street in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  It will be part of the first in a series of Body of Work shows that will take place over the course of the year, sharing the spotlight with 7 other artists. 

I have 3 new works that I will be exhibiting called Moments of Quiet.  Once again, I have been drawn to paint the ocean. What is it about the ocean that draws us to it? To say it is fluid is redundant, after all it is water.  It can be as silent as a meditation or thunderous with crashing waves. It can be brilliant in blue, somber in gray or inky in black. It is ever moving even when there doesn't seem to be a breath of air or current touching it. It is deep even in its shallowest places. It can be transparent to the point of exposing grains of sand at its base or opaque enough to turn back our attempts to see its secrets. With all of that, I always find moments of quiet, of peace, of wisdom with the ocean ... a place to share my thoughts, to rest my soul.