Afternoon Sail in Edgartown: Yachts and Ice Cream

When we used to visit the Vineyard, I would fish from the Edgartown warf as the Chappy ferry went by. There was always a richness of fish and bait in the air. I don’t think I ever caught anything, but I liked going into the little bait shop nearby that shared a building with an ice cream parlor.

The smell of the wharf and a trip to the ice cream shop with my kids brought back some of those great memories. We sat out back overlooking the harbor and the sailboats bobbing on the light waves. Our view was a little obscured by a large yacht dock right alongside the the 3/4 sized buildings, dwarfing them in its shadows. A moment later another even larger yacht pulled up and double parked alongside it, making the small yacht seem 3/4 sized and the town itself look like the mantelpiece village it has been in my mind for so many years. I don’t remember the super-yachts, though.

Today I made some good progress on the painting, working as much as I could with an old Grumbacher 3/4 inch flat I got from my dad’s box. Details and darks to come next time to finish this off.

Thanks for reading.



Afternoon Sail in Edgartown: Laying in the Sky

I don’t recall spending time on the beach opposite Edgartown when I was a kid. Instead I made my parents ride the Chappy Ferry back and forth all afternoon. Not sure that’s a good idea today. It is $4 per person round trip. Back then the ferry men wore change dispensers on their belts. Then again, it has been 20 years.

When I drew out this composition, I wasn’t thinking much about what to do next, other than setting the orange sails against the blue afternoon sky. David Tripp commented that he saw a Hopperesque watercolor coming from this, which prompted me to look back at some of Hoppers sailing paintings, and gave me some direction. I am going to keep this one simple and straightforward–compositional–with some elegiac tones. To start, I laid in a basic muted sky of diluted Prussian Blue and Ultramarine, and base wash of the same for the water, over which I will lay the waves and reflection of the boat and sails.

Thanks for reading.


Starting a new painting: Afternoon Sailing in Edgartown

When we were up in Massachusetts in August we had the chance to visit Martha’s Vineyard for a day and walk around Edgartown, where my family used to go in the summers when I was a kid. I haven’t been back in over 20 years, so it was interesting to see the place as an adult with kids of my own, and give a small nostalgia tour for them. Through adult eyes, the whole place seemed three-quarter sized.

We took the Chappy Ferry across to Chappaquiddick and let the kids play on the small beach facing the Edgartown warf. I enjoyed watching the daysailors scooting out as the yachts came in. One of the small sailboats caught my eye, and I planned to paint it. I am just now getting to it. Here is the framing drawing. Thanks for reading.