Sunday, July 31, 2016

Chasing Chase to Meschutt Beach

Morning at Breakwater, Shinnecock
William Merritt Chase, ca.1897
oil on canvas 40" x 50"
William Merritt Chase's paintings never cease to inspire. The paintings also intrigue. Where did he paint and how would the plein air location look today? This weekend we were inspired to find the site where Chase painted Morning at Breakwater, Shinnecock
The Shinnecock Canal first opened to boat traffic in 1892. Chase's painting is thought to have been painted around 1897. Bathing at the breakwater near the colorful sailing ships must have been picturesque in Chase's day and it still is today.
The beach near the canal is called Meschutt Beach
Chase's paintings seem more real to me after being here.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Ann Lombardo: Art Going Rogue

Along a winding road on the way to Southampton a sign says "Art Sale". I look, but blow past the white tent before I know it. A big truck in the rearview mirror cautions me from braking. I drive along a bit further and think, "I should go back, I probably won't come this way again today." I turn around and go back. Ann Lombardo is going rogue, offering her paintings for sale. Not in a gallery, not in a show, just right here right now, on the side of the road.
I'm so glad that I stopped. I have admired Ann's work previously at the Guild Hall member's show. It was so nice to meet her and see more of her work. Who would have thought!? 
I couldn't resist buying one.
Go here for Ann's website
Back home, Ann's still life of fishing lures fits right in.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Harp, Derek Bell and O'Rourke's Feast

It was a beautiful day.  Perfect for pursuing any number of outdoor activities. I was forced to remain close to home to await a repair technician. One good result:  I was inspired to tune my much neglected celtic harp and take out some equally neglected music. While leafing through music, I rediscovered the tune that Irish artist Derek Bell kindly arranged for me of O'Rourke's Feast.
I began studying the harp as an adult, but became truly obsessed with the celtic harp and its history while falling in love with my now husband and Bronx Irishman, Hugh Gallagher.
Me and Derek Bell
New Jersey, 1990
My Irish harp obsession of course led me to its preeminent artist of the day, Derek Bell (1935-2002). Derek Bell was a member of The Chieftains when I met him in 1990. The Chieftains were touring the U.S. and of course I had to see them. Before the concert, Hugh and I went back stage and ran into the Chieftains founder Paddy Moloney. Moloney graciously introduced us to Bell. I think he was having fun having me as Derek's groupie. Upon meeting Derek, I did express my appreciation of his work, but we also chatted about Irish music history, specifically, the music legacy of Turlough O'Carolan. One of my coworkers at the time by the name of O'Rourke was also an Irish history nut. He constantly asked me when I was going to play O'Rourke's feast for him on the harp, preferably in the office so that everyone could see. So when I met Derek Bell I asked, "Why has no one done a harp arrangement of O'Rourke's Feast?" explaining why I was asking. He seemed intrigued. I never expected to hear anything further, but some time not long afterwards, I received an envelope in the mail with a note and arrangement of O'Rourke's Feast for harp.
Darling Gail,
Probably won't see you but don't know how long you'll be in Ireland!!! You might spot our Prom concert in the Dublin NCH Sept 6th otherwise we're hibernating after our August U.S. tour. Oyster Bay was the nearest to N.Y. Anyway here's O R's Feast. 
Fix it up how you like!
Love, Derek
O'Rourke's Feast
Carolan - Bell
A genius musician with an audacious sense of humor.
The world lost him too soon.

Video of Derek Bell from here

"I'd known for a long time that various cosmic forces were encouraging strongly nationalistic people to send their music to different countries because the theory was, if different nations could understand each other's music, it was a very high ladder to understanding the people...and there would be much less trouble in the world if people played and understood each other's music.  So we must enjoy that sense of difference between us. If we were all copies of each other the amount of fighting would be something phenomenal." - Derek Bell

If we all played music together, the world would be a better place.

Chieftains and Friends recorded in Matt Molloy's Pub, Westport, County Mayo from here
As I pluck the strings the vibration of the harp resonates against my heart, filling me with a sense of peace.

Friday, July 15, 2016


I visited the Southampton Arts Center ostensibly to see their current art exhibit Water | Bodies, but was surprised to find a Healthy Guru fitness event going on.
The combination of the two events created some interesting juxtapositions.
It was wonderful to see so many bodies inside the art center.
A series of free classes were held on the back lawn.
Southampton Arts Center is creatively working to serve the community.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Shelter Island

We were inspired to explore Shelter Island. 
Smith Cove near the old ferry landing.
The preserve would take weeks to fully explore.
A road seldom travelled.
Crescent Beach
I think the windmill is a water pump.
Shelter Island has the feel of childhood summer, unspoiled by adult pretensions. Though we visited on an overcast day, kids were trouping down to the beach undeterred.  Camp sites and cottages are more common than shops and restaurants, though there are a few of those too. I wonder if some Hampton residents also have summer cottages on Shelter Island. 
While on the departing ferry a sea plane passed overhead.