Sunday, March 29, 2015

Getting Ready for the Springs Mystery Art Sale

This afternoon I was readying a piece for this year's Springs Mystery Art sale. For those who would like to submit a 5" x 7" work of art for this year's fundraiser the time is drawing near. Submissions are due by Sunday April 12th. I wrote about last year's fundraiser here.
For further information and to discover a few of the artists participating, visit here
This year's event:
Ashawagh Hall
Wednesday April 29th through Saturday May 2nd
Closing Reception Saturday, May 2nd from 2 - 5:00 pm 
(live auction at 3:00)
All proceeds will directly enhance arts education at Springs School, including the Visiting Artist Program, which has inspired hundreds of students, while supporting local artists. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Mermaid Bath

It is snowing again in Sag Harbor. The beautiful soft flakes that I greeted with joy in December now create sighs of resignation on Palm Sunday weekend. Annie Cooper Boyd had a secret place for days like these. She could retreat to her mermaid bath and run a hot tub. A seaside mural with mermaids framed by hollyhocks adorns one wall of the bathroom. When you visit the Sag Harbor Historical Society this summer, remember to visit this room. By then real hollyhocks will be blooming in their front garden.
Annie inherited the little house when her father died in 1894. A year later she married John Boyd and the couple took up residence in New York City. They used the cottage as a summer home for family vacations. In 1926 when John retired, he and Annie moved to the Sag Harbor cottage full time. Annie lived in the house until her death in 1941. Over the years the house was adapted to the family's needs and was adorned with Annie's whimsical inspirations. She painted all of her life.

P.O. Box 1709
Sag Harbor, NY 11963
Individual: $25
Family: $50
Senior: $15

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Annie Cooper Boyd

I recently read the wonderful book, Anchor to Windward, The Paintings and Diaries of Annie Cooper Boyd.  The book's editor, Carolyn Oldenbusch, offers a glimpse into the life of one of Sag Harbor's early artists by combining quotes from Annie's diaries with sketches and watercolors. There are also some precious early photographs. The book is an introduction to a woman that I immediately wanted to know more about.
Annie Cooper Boyd (1864 - 1944)
image courtesy Sag Harbor Historical Society
On Main Street Sag Harbor, it is easy to walk past this small shingled house without a second glance. It is surrounded by mansions built during the halcyon days of Sag Harbor's whaling industry. A sign in front labels the cottage a museum, the Sag Harbor Historical Society. In smaller letters the sign reads, The 1796 Home of Annie Cooper Boyd. I had visited the museum previously for a show of Hjalmar "Cappy" Amunden's work, but was ignorant of who Annie Cooper Boyd actually was. My recent reading reveals her to be a woman who could easily have been the inspiration for a heroine in a Edith Wharton or Henry James novel. Her diaries and artwork characterize an enthusiastic spirit and capture the atmosphere of the time in which she lived.
Watercolor by Annie Cooper Boyd 
image courtesy Sag Harbor Historical Society
Annie Burnham Cooper was born in Sag Harbor. Daughter of William Cooper, a prosperous master boat builder, Annie was the youngest of 11 children. Her childhood home is the stately home next door to the modest cottage which she later inherited.
Annie Cooper Boyd (nee Burnam Cooper) grew up in this house built by her grandfather in 1813.
Sketch by Annie Cooper Boyd
courtesy of Sag Harbor Historical Society
Sag Harbor Historical Society, Home of Annie Cooper Boyd
The first record of the home that was to become the current museum is a 1796 mortgage record. Annie's father acquired the little house next door in 1871 and left it to Annie upon his death in 1894. A year later Annie married William John Boyd. She and her new husband took up residence in Brooklyn and used the Sag Harbor cottage as a summer residence. They had two children, William Cooper (1898) and Nancy (1902). Annie eventually moved to the cottage full time. It was her daughter Nancy Boyd Willey who bequeathed the house and her mother's diaries and art collection to the Historical Society.
image courtesy of Sag Harbor Historical Society
"What I'd like you to say about my mother's painting goes something like this - My mother, Annie Cooper Boyd always had a paint brush in hand. Her art was a vital thing in our lives, but always subordinate to the summer joys of picnicking and swimming, games, partying, and charity work. My father, William John Boyd, was the ultimate supporter of her art." - Nancy Boyd Willey, from the preface to "Anchor to Windward"
I visited the Annie Cooper Boyd house this past Saturday to photograph its exterior with a fresh dusting of spring snow. As I walked towards the front door I was surprised to see a light on inside. Members of the Historical Society were holding a meeting and generously allowed me in to take photos of the interior.
Taken from back window in Cooper House
by Annie Cooper, 1886
image courtesy of Sag Harbor Historical Society
"... One day I was riding on horseback, through West Water Street in back of my dear old 'Home Sweet Home'. At High tide the water was so high that the horse (whose name is Jenny, how I love that horse) could scarcely keep from swimming. I just put my feet up over the animal. Almost in my lap, and sat there just as if I was in a rocking chair at home. ... Many and many a times I have rode in the 'Bay'.. I am nearly the only girl here that rides all year around. "Diary - August 30, 1880
Annie and "Jenny"
image courtesy of the Sag Harbor Historical Society
View from Annie's bedroom in the Cooper house depicting  her father's barn and whaleboat shop.
image courtesy of Sag Harbor Historical Society
"... I took painting lessons of the Misses Granbery on East 47th St, NY. Everyday for a month and worked real hard at it. I did enjoy it more than I ever can tell anyone. Since my return I have painted quite a good deal, keeping up my practice, paint an hour or two every day if possible. I do hope that my kind Heavenly Father will prosper me in my chosen profession and beloved Art, for I do love it and now what I want to do is to have a class in painting next fall and winter and to sell my work, get orders, etc. so that I may be able to help support myself and the family expenses to help bear. I am 22 years old and I think that it is only right that I should be doing something and I consecrate my work all to God's service." Diary - April 7, 1887
Annie's bedroom in the cottage with painted mural on the dormer wall.
Sculptural details on old chimney brick.
Sunset Beach (at the end of the road) North Haven L.I.
Watercolor by Annie Cooper Boyd
courtesy of the Sag Harbor Historical Society
The Annie Cooper Boyd house exhibits the artist's creative touch on multiple surfaces.
 Closeup of cherub faces painted on canvas.
On a door, a painting of the Beebe Windmill, built in Sag Harbor in 1820. The Windmill was later moved to Bridgehampton.
The Beebee Mill 1890
As it stood on Suffolk Street 
Sag Harbor, LI NY
by Annie Cooper Boyd
Open May through September
Hours Saturday and Sunday 1:00 - 4:00 pn

There is more to tell and more to find out about Annie Cooper Boyd.
Until next time.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Spring Training

Frida Khalo's Rookie Card by Jennie Cooley
Acrylic on Canvas 14" x 11"
image via
Kathryn Markel Fine Arts Gallery is hosting a Popup Art Show from now until March 29th to benefit Artists and Writers Softball Game Charities. The East End Hospice, Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center, The Retreat, and Phoenix House Academy of Long Island will all be beneficiaries of proceeds of the sales of works shown.
2nd Base by Patton Miller 2015
Oil on Paper 15" x 17"
image via
The Artists and Writers Charity Softball Game, which had its beginnings in 1948, is held every August. This year's game is scheduled for August 15th at Herrick Park in East Hampton.
This first Spring Training show is curated by Ronnette Riley, an Artists and Writers board member and artist softball player. She coordinated the show with the help of fellow committee members Elena Prohaska Glynn and Alison Milano. Wonderful idea! Why wait until August to celebrate the camaraderie of the game and fund raising for our community. I'm thinking about a Writer's poetry slam as a possible next chapter in their book of good work. 
Waiting for Spring, 2015 by Geoffrey Stein
Acrylic and Collage Material from New York Times, 18" x 24"
Contract by Charles Waller
Ink and Pencil on Vellum 8" x 9"
A number of the baseball themed works were created specifically for this show, but works were not required to have a particular theme. The equestrienne themed pieces remind me that Bridgehampton is also the home of a world renown polo team.
Study for the 2057 Artists-Writers T-shirt by Eric Ernst
4 Color Archival Ink on PVC
20" in Diameter
Day Dreaming in Right Field by Leila Pinto
Painted Collage on Canvas 24" x 18"
image via
Collision, 2014 by Richard Sullivan
Watercolor 24" x 36"
image via
Sinkers by Kryn Olson
Acrylic and Mixed Medium on Canvas 40" x 40"
image via
Go here for the Paddle8 auction
Not all of the pieces in the show are on Paddle8 (yet?)
Visit Kathryn Markel Fine Arts Gallery and see them all.
Ump by David Geiser
Oil, Varnish, Gold Leaf on Board, 48" x 38"
image via
Paddle8 to bid here
East Hampton Artists and Writers website here
Dan's Papers article here
Sag Harbor Express article here
Kathryn Markel Fine Arts Gallery here
Artists and Writers: They Played in the Game Hamptons Art Hub here
AW Slideshow for Guild Hall 2013 from Brandman Entertainment on Vimeo.
Thanks to the artists, writers and volunteers contributing to this community event.  Thank you to Kathryn Markel Gallery for being its gracious host.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Anastasia Casale: Sag Harbor Florist

Anastasia Casale has transformed a Bay Street brownstone into a floral oasis. Sag Harbor Florist is filled with gorgeous flowers, plants and accessories. A visit there is a required retreat from the winter chill.
The colorful flowers are eye candy. The plant scented air a tonic. 
Quince blossom boughs remind that spring will come.
The orchid room also holds an armoire filled with Anastasia's Flowers soaps, candles and home scents.
At the back of the shop is the skylit studio where Anastasia Casale performs her floral artistry. On this February Saturday, Casale was composing centerpieces for a multi-table birthday party while alternately consulting with three brides. Go here to see photos of previous weddings and events.
I first met Anastasia Casale while she was teaching a floral design workshop outdoors at Madoo. Afterwards, as she raced off to a bridal consultation, I remember thinking that she must be the busiest woman in flowers. Either that or floral design on the East end is a much more demanding job than I had envisioned. Probably both! Great florists and sushi restaurants are both the ones that are in strong demand.
This thought was reconfirmed as I watched Anastasia and her co-designer Ashley coordinate the floral designs for the weekend's events while attending to the walk in business. A request for a delivery that afternoon of a dozen roses did not faze. In February! Restaurants and stores in the Hamptons close in February, not Sag Harbor Florist.
In season, Casale grows much of the plant materials for the shop on her own property. Freshly picked viburnum, lilac, peony and hydrangea among others highlight many of the lovely long lasting arrangements. When Casale's garden isn't blooming she utilizes her relationships with the local farm community to acquire beautiful and unusual plant materials. The shop was filled with blooms.
I should have asked Anastasia to look up so that you could see her lovely smile! Next time. 
Sag Harbor Florist is also at the Topping Rose farmers market in Bridgehampton on every third Saturday from 11:00 til 2:00 p.m. 
Sag Harbor Florist 
3 Bay Street
Sag Harbor, NY 11963
on Facebook here
Instagram here