Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Why do artists charge so much for their work?

Twenty five years ago I walked into the Lange Miller Gallery with my mother.
The building was old with tall ceilings, wide pine floors and the space was
flooded with light. The first thing I saw was a 5 by 5 ft oil painting
of peonies, tulips, a chair, pears and an empty white plate. The painting was a
riot of color and it literally stopped me in my tracks. I stood there completely
transfixed for 5 minutes, saying over and over, "Mum, look at this, can you believe it?'
I could barely breathe and I knew I was experiencing something profound.

My mother quietly went into the back of the gallery and told the artist, Janvier Miller,
she was buying the painting for me. It was $5000- and it was "my birthday present for
the rest of my life" It was the first real painting I ever owned.

Most mornings I have my coffee with this painting. It is like a muse of sorts. I never
love it less. At the time, $ 5000- seemed like a lot of money but now I truly understand
"why artists charge so much for their art " The response to that question, which was
asked of me a few days ago, will be my next blog.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

My Shore Road

Everything was different then; my grandparents house was grand.
Even before George Colt wrote " The Big House " we all referred to
it as such. The Briggs/ Birch house was was pretty grand as well with
it's fabulous windmill standing high on the bluff, greeting fisherman and women
as they came in with their catch.

We knew everyone from the Townsend/Weller house next door all the way to the
Burroughs house on "the point". There was a wooden turnstile between our house and the 
Townsend's, symbolic of friendship and welcome. There were no fences or privet hedges
between the other houses so we all ran freely back and forth across the properties.
That's how it was. 

Three generations; our grandparents, our parents and us. The Townsends, the Lincolns,
the Tyners, the Briggs, the Russells, the Garres, and the Burroughs. Of the seven houses
five have been torn down and the big house and it's two side cottages are unrecognizable.
When I drove by the big house on Sunday I thought it had been gutted by a fire. This feels
more tragic. My friend called it "wanton disregard" for the history of a place, it's charm 
and how it fits into the landscape. I could weep.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Proud to be an American?

Last night I went to a concert and the performer kept saying she was
" Proud to be an American " I beg to differ. I can only speak for myself.
I feel like I am living in a chilling time with a president who got elected on
 a platform of change and is staying elected on a platform of silence.

In my opinion he is a man with no moral compass, no understanding of history
and no political experience. He is a dangerous man, revealing and exploiting the
darkest side of humanity. There is no greater perpetrator of " fake news. " I can only pray
that this too shall pass but I fear it will not be soon.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Wren's buoy nest

It was rainy, foggy and windy until the last week of June
and then the magic began.

Every morning I wake to the birds outside my window.
I get up and have my coffee on the terrace around 6am.

Yesterday I noticed the tiniest wren flying around the buoys
hanging from the outside shower. In and out, in and out with
twigs in her tiny beak. She would perch on the fence chirping away
and then take take her treasure into the perfect hole inside the buoy.
It was like watching an incredible movie or reading a book you can't put
down. Nature is my church!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Values Matter

I am sitting at the kitchen table feeling humbled and small after my painting class.
I struggled all morning to get a decent drawing/ underpainting of two pears in a bowl;
yes, two frigging pears in a bowl. I came home with nothing but a piece of 12 by 18
canvas paper toned with burnt umber and the realization that I didn't know squat about
drawing, painting, color and especially value.

After class I decided to go to Whole Foods; when in doubt, food shop. I needed two things and yet I managed to spend $100 which fit in two brown paper bags. At least dinner was covered and I found
the two items.

 I got home ,left the brown grocery bags on the kitchen table and unloaded the painting supplies. As I hauled in the last of the supplies my bin of oil paints slipped out of my hands
leaving a nice stain of cadmium red on the carpet. Was this a sign?

Later, as I sat down to eat lunch I looked at the still unpacked  grocery bags on the table.
Nestled between the the various writing on the bag, "watermelon, green juice, organic eggs, sushi"
was "Values Matter" I looked at it in disbelief. Though I am discouraged, part of me feels this could be a really important day for me. "Values Matter "

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The "Washashore " aka "Chatham Charlie "story part 2

The response to the cover photo was so positive that Lisa Franz, the Executive director of the Chatham Chamber of Commerce, decided to use him in the current cross marketing campaign. Her Operations Manager and right hand woman, Danita Scribner, came up with the idea to call him "Chatham Charlie". So this will be the summer of Charlie for the Litwin family and the town of Chatham. My husband Paul is beside himself. He is obsessed with all three of our Goldens ( our 15 year old girl Jamie and our 10 month old puppy Rosie ) but Charlie has clearly stolen his heart. Our boys, Peter 27 and Alex 25, loved marching in the 4th of July parade with Charlie.

We hope he brings a smile to your face and helps you discover the many wonderful places to go and see in Chatham. The card, print and posters are available at Local Color Art Gallery on Rte 28 in W.Chatham. The posters are also available at Where the Sidewalk Ends Bookstore, Chatham Clothing Company, The Chamber Visiter Center on Rte 28 and the visiter booth in the middle of Chatham center. Proceeds from the sale of the poster will go to the Chamber's scholarship fund and local animal rescue efforts. For more updates check out and "like" Chatham Charlies FB page as well as the Chatham Chamber of Commerce FB page. Wishing you all an EPIC summer and don't forget to take time to smell the roses.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The story behind "Chatham Charlie" aka "Washashore" Part 1

Charlie was 8 months old when I took the photo of him in the washed up blue dory. Last year
the photo was featured on the "Welcome to Chatham" page of the Chamber's guidebook. To have it picked as the cover shot is truly a thrill and an honor!

So many people have asked about the story behind the photo that I decided to share it on my blog. When you live here year round people ask "What do you do here off season?" The short answer is " I walk on the beach and take lots of photos. " On a chilly day in late April we walked was out to see the new cut with my friend Ann Brown. On the way back we decided to walk the inside of South Beach and that is when we saw the washed up blue dory. It was Ann's idea to put Charlie in the boat. He was good at sit, stay and look good even at 8 months. I took a few shots with my point and shoot Canon Power Shot and the rest is history.

I thought it would be fun to call it "Washashore" as I am a summer girl, aka "Washashore" My grandparents, Dick and Jean Tyner bought a house here in the 1920's and I have never missed a summer. The distinction between " a local " and "a washashore" is very clear and some people take it quite seriously. Even though Charlie was raised here he was born in Upton, MA at LazeDaze Kennels. Therefore he is and always will be a " Washashore " He's cool with it.