Monday, March 30, 2015

"Spring" - ing Forward..."

Spring continues to show more of a presence here on the River, as larger and thicker pans of ice drift continuously toward the east. The quiet groups of robins just arrived a week ago have swung into their noisy... boisterous and aggressive territorial pursuits which signal the mating season and the lead in to nesting. Trumpeting Canada Geese do continual flybys along the edge of the river ice, while squadrons of returning turkey vultures circle their way northward on their annual migration trek. Many can be seen lunching on the plethora of inexperienced winter born young of squirrels... raccoon and skunks... now lying as fresh road kill to satiate the vulture's ravenous hunger resulting from the huge energy demands of their long migratory journey back.

Shards of ice headed downstream towards Tar Island... where the current will whisk them to the outer channel and down river along Grenadier Island and into the main Seaway Shipping Channel.

Sea Prince... fully inspected... and "at the ready"... to "heave off" on her inaugural 2015 voyage this Friday. Rumor has it that she will carry over a thousand Asian visitors over this weekend... providing the weather holds... and the ice presents no shipping danger.

In the bird feeding area of our yard... winter residents must now compete with newly arrived red winged black birds, starlings, emerging chipmunks and night time masked bands of resident raccoon... fresh out of hibernation and anxious to find their share of the booty. The yard echoes with the challenges and squabbles of a variety of voices... new and old. Even the familiar soothing smell of the once covered grass and soil can be detected. Spring is indeed... in the air!

Mourning Doves preening n' pecking... courting is under full steam!

Anxious irises... poking their heads through the still frost-filled soil and ice to retain their crown as first to emerge in our garden

On a personal note, we can now divert our energies and attention to preparing for the opening of The Paint Box Gallery in early May. Withe my solo show in Kingston successfully out of the way this past weekend... I can resume my own painting journey attending to themes of my own liking and interest. I very much look forward to being able to get outside more regularly... since the cold seems to be relenting.

While the show was not what I had hoped for in terms of attendance or sales at this point... it has already accomplished the goals that I had intended to achieve in accepting the challenge to produce it. I have created some of the very finest work that I have produced and I know from my years of retail experience... that openings are hardly the measure of the overall success of a show. Many factors play into opening success... and those factors are beyond my ability or responsibility to control. I am after all... only the painter!

Curator Kate cruising the early visitors at the show

My talk was well received by those present and it offered me an opportunity to reflect and deliver a precised overview of my journey and process. Judging from the interest and the quality of the many questions asked of me... my talk was indeed a conversation... that is... a successful invitation to discuss and share opinions and ideas. Mission accomplished!

"Me"... giving my talk... while couched comfortably in the warmth and ambiance of the artisan glass wood and pottery.

Kate Ducharme, the gallery curator did a splendid job and completed the hanging job flawlessly.... articulating a flow and artful interaction between my work and the many other creative pieces in the gallery space. Thank you Kate... for all of your hard work!

A  full wall housing a nice cluster of four landscapes... depicting the four seasons

A trio of River landscapes... fronted by a tiered grouping... blending beautiful and varied hand crafted pieces.

"River Dance"... the tour de force in my mind for this show... nestled between two very different landscapes and fronted by some magnificent glass,,, wooden bowls and pottery. A spectacular looking natural wall.

 My son... and supporter Bryn... admiring some of the glass.

The small "Time Stands Still... on the River" triptych tucked into a small alcove in concert with the warmth and natural quality of these salad sets and delicate glass.

"Tangled Garden"... standing tall and alone... above the elegantly sculpted trio sitting colorfully below.

These three River scenes blend ever so naturally and handsomely with the bevy of handmades on the shelves below. Bravo Kate!

Deb and I are ready to sit down together this weekend to fully review our inventory of creative offerings that we stocked throughout last season... to facilitate re ordering... or not. It also will be the time where we will determine what new products and projects each of us will undertake to create new and exciting additions in the Gallery for Summer 2015.

It is a wonderful and exhilarating feeling to be thinking summer again... and well before it is actually upon us. While we have worked continuously downstairs in our shared winter studio space... there is a sense of freedom gained by visualizing the end of the confinement which winter brings here in Rockport. Many of the resident winter "snowbirds" have found their way back... and human activity has once again returned in its usual gradual fashion. It is rumored that the first boat cruise might head up River under the International Bridge... as early as Friday... despite the existence of a lot of heavy river ice. Spring ... is on the water as well!

In closing... I hope that you have enjoyed my offerings of a few jpeg glimpses of the show opening. Hope that these provide you with some insight into the space and the presence of paintings there. Certainly... a "jump start" for The Paint Box Gallery for Summer 2015! I am pleased...

Good Painting... and Happy Easter Egg!... to ALL!

A "Sweet Taste of Spring"... to All!! Happy Easter from The Paint Box Gang!


  1. Bruce, I had to laugh because your words are always so poetic, so beautiful...then you toss in a word like "roadkill" and the dichotomy was almost shocking! LoLoL Made me smile this a.m. That is one gorgeous venue you had for your show and that green and blue set of glass vases? Oh my! Made me catch my breath, they did. I am excited for you to focus your efforts on your painting again. The weather is turning into your best time of year for your plein aire work...The gallery is opening soon...the river is coming alive...sigh...all magic!

  2. Good morning Sherry!... Glad that the post made you smile... even in response to my intended irreverence- a great tool to grab attention. Learned that early in high school... and it still works well! LOL !

    Ready to resume my plein air painting... been too long away from it. Weather is looking more promising by the day... and the flu/cold has all but left the room completely. Quite a dose!

    Stay tuned.. spring stuff soon to be delivered to your doorstep!

    Thanks for dropping by and for leaving such positive and uplifting comments!

    Good Painting!... Happy Easter!... and keep smilin' !
    Warmest regards,

  3. Hi Bruce, the exhibition looks good. Preview nights are so unpredictable aren't they: they're so dependent on the weather, competing events etc. They're not always the best time to see the work either, with the possibility of noise and distraction. I hope that people went away thinking about your work and will be mentioning it to others.

    It sounds exciting to have such an obvious start to the season. It just seems to creep in gradually here, with occasional setbacks: we are having a bit of winter weather again at the moment.

    Hope you are "getting out there" soon.
    All the best,

  4. Hi there Keith!!!... Thanks for stopping by! Your comments ... as always are solidly thought out and support my own observations.

    One can only paint the show and hang it. After that... it is in other hands and that is exactly where it is in this case. I am relieved to have the work done and to have it in the hands of the gallery.

    As you said... I am now free to sat sail on other painting journeys and preparations for opening here in Rockport in May. Am heading off up to Toronto today with Frank to make a purchasing trip to load up on new supplies. We plan on "weasling" our way back via the bac k roads looking for some painting material.

    A nice way to kick off the Easter weekend!

    Happy Easter to you and yours!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  5. The exhibition looks great! I'm sure you will have great success with it. Opening nights are so hit and miss... I think quite often the real buyers and art enthusiasts pass on them because they can feel a bit too pressured. (They definitely feel pressured when it's your work on the wall.) I'm sure the red dots will start to appear like measles soon and you will be returning home with a lot fewer paintings than you started with. I just wish I could go to visit myself.

    As an aside...I couldn't see a link on your blog to the gallery website...

  6. Hi there Lisa!... Thanks for stopping by and adding your encouraging words and thoughts!

    I quite agree with your observations about show openings... they can be feel pressured... but timing and weather for opening a show is critical as well.

    I would love to find a bad case of "measles" in the gallery by the show's closing. But I would be even happy... if there was only a bad patch of "scattered acne". HA HA!!!

    Wish that you could make it as well... I'd really love to meet you in person!
    You can find the gallery link by googling

    Good Painting! and Hoppy Easter!

    Warmest regards,