Martha's Vineyard 2008
JUNE 24, 2008
For the 14th year in a row, Elizabeth and I started our summer by going to Martha's Vineyard. The location of our honeymoon, this spot in Chilmark is really breathtaking. For the past few years we have gone with our friends and their kids so it's a really fun time. Eddie Rosenstein, who is a documentary film maker, (look for his series on the History Channel on the Sand Hogs) is a great cook and does his magic in the kitchen each night. Randi Blanco is fun and athletic and game for any adventure and their kids Isaiah and August are great and together with Cassius, have a great time.
The house from the back
I spent quite a bit of my time working on art in some way. First, I took a job while I was there from Time.... more on that later.
I created a trompe l'oeil on the ceiling of the main house. A few years ago the old ceiling was damaged and a plank had to be replaced. I was asked to try to make this stark white plank fit in the room again. Some of the family wanted a match of the wood there already and some wanted a look at blue sky. I had no opinion either way but thought of a solution when I was asked to come up with an idea myself. One idea was to have a broken board up there with some light shining through. This was passed over after I saw a window there that looked great and would be a good model for a relica of sorts up there.
Here is the ceiling before I began. I just washed one side...(thanks to Peter Darling for the step ladder)
Ready to work
More plotting and fretting over the finality of it all.
I painted this very quickly but it had to be in layers, so I started in gouache to get 'close' to the value and color. The good thing about that is that it dries instantly and had tooth enough to draw on.
First pass and it's looking okay.
I drew on some grain with colored pencil.
Time to move to the other side. I was stuck for a while because I couldn't find a ruler. I had to make one out of a piece of cardboard. I realized that the light would almost always come from the bottom left so I painted it with that lighting situation.
Time for the oil paint. I would glaze several times over the left side panel to try to match the color and depth of the ceiling wood. The window and sky were something I pondered for a while. Should I do puffy "O'Brien" clouds or clouds I think of when I'm there. I opted for light, wispy ones.
I had to be careful with all sprays and paint to not get in on anything near it.
Back to the window. It was HOT up there and very difficult to paint on that odd angle. Luckily for me, the look of this lovely camp is kind of rustic. Edges COULD be a bit wobbly.
The payoff was getting to remove the tape.
Here is the window. Small flaked chips of paint are seen as are rusty hinges and a hook/question mark below.
The vacation itself was needed. I was overworked and so was everyone else, including Cassius. I ran two long runs to Vineyard Haven, ate great food and laughed hard. I did have a few drinks here and there, I won't lie.
New dog Luka is still a bit of a city girl.
Now this is an air pump!
Vacation is a time to try out how good you are at balancing on a bike rack. Eddie was the best on this day. We had just left the pub.
Luka and Elizabeth
Cassius turned 8 and a half on the 18th.
We love the Vineyard in early June because no one is there yet. Solitude.
Catch of the day is actually lobster bait. Menemsha Dock (where Jaws was filmed)
The boys love crabbing. The funny thing was I went to the fish market and asked Stanley for some scraps and he gave me a big hunk of Tuna and some swordfish. I had paid handsomely for the same stuff the night before!
I have this routine that I started not long ago of painting on the hands of kids with gouache and watercolor. They all have elaborate requests and it's really fun...for a while.
Peter DeSeve was orphaned at Chilmark Store. He had JUST done that piece too. Pity.
Cassius learned and loved to Boogie board!
A reminder of the home falling apart at home
A view down the beach at the cliffs.
Beach combing is important work
So, another year and a great visit to paradise. I love it there and of course doing a job for Time and a sketch for another client made me feel so able to live anywhere. Elizabeth is a busy NY City Executive Art Director and that health insurance is mighty sweet as well. Back to Brooklyn...until Eagles Mere!
No one wanted to leave.
© 2023 Tim O'Brien