Tuesday, July 20, 2010


On July 6 we set out for Wellfleet on Cape Cod via Allentown, Milford, Kingston, Providence... with an agenda that included a visit to Kobalt Gallery in P'town. It was a family visit - my in-laws are 89 and 96!- but had a striking amount of art activity for me.

We stopped in York to check out my work there at York City Arts, stayed with Barbara Crooker, VCCA poet friend in Fogelsville PA, visited Blue Stone gallery in Milford, got to Kingston in time for a Richard Frumess tour of R&F, stayed with Carl's cousin in Red Hook NY, then with another cousin near Providence, and on the way to Wellfleet spent a couple of hours at the Cape Cod Museum in Dennis. All this before getting to the target.

Gabe's friend Ryan says that the elder Banner house is really the Marilyn Banner Museum. I have to admit that hanging out there in the living area overlooking a marsh, light flowing in, and gazing around at my work from the 70's (a huge lily of the valley center oil painting), the 90's (a deep dark Presence of Spirit piece) and the new millennium (think Prague Cemetery gravestones on yellow fabric, Scenes of Childhood (Carl's) and a dynamite big collage from the Song of Songs), and you might get a glimpse. Their home is FULL of art and music - including a mammoth Leonard Baskin rug in the bedroom. Enough said about that. I left them with 2 newish small encaustic paintings. They love them.

Provincetown! On Sunday that weekend we drove into P'town and meandered down the packed main street. Stopped into T J Walton's gallery (I had researched via the gallery guide a bit) and talked with the artist/owner. She was the opposite of pretentious and we later watched an interview with her on the web. Google her and find it and you'll see why. Cool woman and good art. She wore a t-shirt that said "F**k Me I'm Famous". And she said "and believe me, they do."

We went to Julie Heller's gallery to see the encaustic work I saw in the guide. Small world department - she's from !!! Kensington Maryland !! I pass near her childhood home each time I drive to my studio in Kensington. Julie's gallery was full of art - stacked on the floor, all over the place - much of it by well-known artists like Karl Knaths. Her gallery is the oldest one in Provincetown, and she was very simpatico. I felt like I knew her. Not a gallery for my work (maybe if I lived there), but a person I want to see again.

Eventually we made it to Kobalt - still looks good to me but the energy was a bit down, clearly from the recession mood. I like the place and John O'Shea suggested I send in some hard copy images for the owner to see. I'm on it, will send a package by the end of July.

We stopped by Cynthia Packard's gallery. Hmm, what to say. She's the artist whose work I fell for in Boston and I was so excited to see that she had a gallery. She generously demonstrated for me her use of encaustic - she uses oil paint mixed with Dorland wax and torches it right on the canvas. It ignites (!) - looked pretty crazy dangerous to me but she is very experienced and casual with it. Her attitude toward me was not the best - she kept trying to get me to study with her! Enough said.

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