Return to Bass Rocks

TM9109 A Day at Bass Rocks #48 7×7 oil on paper

TM9110 A Day at Bass Rocks #49 7×7 oil on paper

Bass Rocks, in Gloucester, Massachusetts, is a favorite subject for many artists. Not only is it strikingly rugged, but it’s easy to get to. Setting up to paint on those jagged rocks is a problem. Many artists manage it quite nicely, but for me, I’d rather stand there and imagine painting it, then take lots of photos. Back at the studio, I paint – no wind, rain, or sunburn. These two studies from low tide show the fissures and abrasion caused by the relentless seas. Stubborn rocks, stubborn sea, and I guess stubborn me. I love figuring out these little paintings. Enjoy.


The Old Quarry

TM9060 The Old Quarry 36×48 oil on panel

After hiking with dear friends recently, I just had to spend some time savoring the joys of being outdoors in October. The Old Quarry sums up many impressions from that hike, along with a few memories of favorite old quarries. Something about the turning colors and pine needle smell is so exhilarating….enjoy! Detail below.

TM9060 The Old Quarry – detail

TM9060 The Old Quarry – detail from upper left



Two aspects – one painting from a foggy day, the other bringing back the blue. Enjoy.

And then it started to clear…

Of course the storm leaving has its own charms, with those big rolling waves.


Busy Skies


We’ve had some stormy weather lately, and the skies say it all. I used a palette knife and Winsor Newton Alkyd Impasto medium to capture the rough seas and clouds. Enjoy.

At Bass Rocks

TM9042 A Day at Bass Rocks #44 7×7 oil on paper

So many artists have loved and painted Bass Rocks in Gloucester, Massachusetts. It might be the rugged and colorful fingers of granite clawing out to the sea, or the elevation – just high enough to raise the horizon line and provide a different perspective from the nearby beaches. As an artist, I know it could also be the difficulty of anyone climbing out to watch over your shoulder as you paint or sketch. It is public and private at the same time.I was out there recently, and, as usual, found much inspiration for more coastal paintings. The first study, at the top, is looking directly out to sea, while the rest of the gallery concentrates on the rocks. Enjoy.

The Greater Symphony

TM9035 The Greater Symphony 36×54 oil on panel

Life is music, and when I feel and hear the thunder of a great wave I think of the symphony – all the instruments in unison bring a moment to absolute pitch and excitement. Part of me still feels that thrill later when I’m painting the wave, pulling all my knowledge of oil painting and monoprint into capturing the moment. I love the droplets and the spray, and the weighty mass of the water. More difficult is painting the shallow, quiet, salty lace of the foam and ripples. In The Greater Symphony, I layered straight painting with rolling on thin films of paint to imply the density of movement and spontaneous quality of the foreground. The warmth of the sand balances the green/blues. Calm and thunderous. Yin/yang. Enjoy. Details below.

TM9035 The Greater Symphony – detail

TM9035 The Greater Symphony – detail