Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

For years I have been collecting treasures on my many beach walks. Everyone in my family has been on board; helping me find and even haul big pieces of driftwood to paint on. Come to our house and you will find exquisite beach glass, stones, wampum, shells and driftwood on every windowsill, shelf, and container of any kind. It has even been ever so gently suggested that maybe I have enough shells. To that I say NEVER!!!!! So the question became, what can I do to make a little cash from these treasures? I had the idea to make wreaths to sell for holiday gifts as well as scallop ornaments. I enlisted my friend Anne Brown and for a week we set up camp above her garage and had a blast burning our fingers with the hot glue guns. We shared a table with Taylor Brown of Fisherman's Daughter at The Hook Fisherman's House on 28. The Garden Club hosted their Holiday Fair and famous tree auction there . Sadly, due to sewer construction and poor advertising the event was not well attended and sales were anything but brisk. The good news is Anne and I had a great time and we still have a few wreaths left. There are others on my Robins Nest Art Studio Facebook page which my son Alex set up for me until I figure out a website. Feel free to email me with any questions about prices . My email is A portion of the proceeds will go to the Chatham / Harwich Food Pantry.

Lost and Found

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Life is like Nature

These past few months I have been blessed with the pleasure of nature in my everyday life. I am beginning to understand how profoundly our lives align with the natural world. Some days are dark, turbulent and stormy. Some days are like yesterday when the sun set in a blaze of pinks, oranges, yellows, magentas and colors that cannot be named. The sunsets have been so spectacular lately we have been racing to the beach by 3:30 to get the last walk of the day in.
As Pete and I walked Hardings Beach he said, " There is something so surreal about watching the sunset over the water, it's like nothing else." The night before we walked a stormy, dark beach; the wind stinging our faces and a sunset that was not worth mentioning.
Life is like that. Somedays you are so happy; with a happiness that keeps coming like a long sunset. Other days are dark and stormy and the sunset wasn't worth watching. Keep your broken heart open on those stormy days and keep your beating heart beating on the days when the sunset just keeps getting better and better and you are lucky enough to witness it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A New Life..... The Beat Goes on

It was a spectacular October morning. The sun poured through my window like golden honey. By 8am I was on the beach with Jamie walking from Cow Yard to the fish pier where I spent time chatting with my friend Howie. He was heading out in his catboat hoping to see whales. I learned from his brother in law that a catboat is defined by it's " approximate " measurement of 1/2 as wide as it is long. I was amazed at how big the boat looked from my high vantage point up on the pier.
My Aunt Nannie loved catboats. My grandparents had a spectacular sailboat named " The Riptide." I've never been much of a sailer myself but I never tire of watching them, be it resting quietly on their mooring or sailing elegantly on the ocean.
Later, as I was riding my bike down Shore Road I saw them sailing on the southern tip of North Beach Island. It took my breath away!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

Looking back, notes on the move and September

September 15th
Got here and just crashed in the sunny backyard for a bit before facing unpacking yet another car load. Got the car half unpacked and decided Jamie needed the reward of a beach walk after her many days of uncertainty ( what a good sport she has been! ) We got to Cow Yard around 5. The water was glorious and we swam together letting the ocean wash away all the stress of the move. The tide was high and the light was nothing short of spectacular. A low hanging foggy mist hung over the fish pier with an amazing light that cannot be described; on the dune grass and on the boats. A red boat on the water in September is a red that defies the written word, defies a camera, a paintbrush; it is a red that simply needs to be experienced, at the moment, in the moment and nothing less. I was lucky enough on this last day of moving to experience that red.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

" We Out! "

As I pulled out the driveway I texted to Alex, " We out ! "
After weeks of packing and a complicated move ( we were renting our 3,600 sq. foot Concord house unfurnished and moving into our totally furnished 2,500 sq. foot Harwich house) There were lots of hard decisions. We had an estate sale, made big time donations and rented a storage unit. Now, I am getting ready for a final yard sale in Harwich. This has been a reality check on saving. My humble advice..... If you don't need it or love it, don't acquire it!!!!
As I pulled out of Wright Farm, Charlie and Libby were waving at me from Peter's window. They were deciding who would live in what room and were happily shouting "Goodbye Miss Robin !! "
It was such a good feeling leaving Phil and Kristen and their sweet children in our house. They will have a sweet life there and it is time for us to move on.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Time for a Change

In early July we made the decision to rent out house in Concord and move to our summer house in Harwich. Time for a change...... without the boys the Concord house was too big and Paul was tired of the 3 hour commute to Boston everyday. Downsizing and simplifying sounded good. So fast forward to September 15th. With an estate sale behind us plus tons donated to the Concord Art Association's Fundraiser on September 24th, Home Goods Recycling of Mass and Cape Abilities we have lightened our load significantly.
We still plan to spend time in Concord and Boston. Paul will continue to practice in Boston and will have an office in North Chatham. I will set up a studio in the guest room and Robin's Nest Art Studio will expand from here. So in the spirit of my friend Jan, who has also just made a big life move, I thought it would be fun to devote the next few posts to this new chapter and Fall on Cape Cod. Stay posted!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Gallery Night in Chatham Part 2

As usual, my ambition fell short of my reality. I did make it to the new Cove Gallery ( well worth it ) but by the time I got to the other end of town Narrowland and Odells were closed.
What struck me at the end of the day was how many amazing people I met in those 2 hours; Michael, a photographer, Christine, a poet, Debby, an art teacher and artist, Cindy a photographer and gallery owner, and Roberto, a film maker and producer.
The vibrancy of Chatham's art scene reminds me of Park City, Utah. We lived there for 3 months in the winter. Park City may have been one of the original towns to do the weekly gallery stroll. The town has one long main street like Chatham and is filled with phenomenal galleries. It is also home to Sundance Film Festival and every week the library features one of the films from the year before. There is always something to do in Park City as I know there is on the Cape. This will be my first fall as a year round resident so I have much to learn. Please feel free to send me an email if you have any hot tips. ( I know posting a comment is a pain but those are always welcome as well )

Friday, August 19, 2011

Gallery Night in Chatham Part 1

Last Wednesday I made my way into Chatham for the weekly Wednesday Gallery Stroll. Chatham is a small town with an amazing number of galleries. I knew the photographer Michael Kahn, a featured artist at The Focus Gallery, was going to be there so that was my first stop. Focus Gallery is in what used to be the old High Wheeler Square; Fire Signs Jewelry and Susie Nickerson's Health Food Store used to be there. If that doesn't ring a bell, it's behind Carmines Pizza and Dunkin Donuts.
Focus Gallery is devoted solely to the fine art of photography. The space is open and airy and the photographs are stunning. Michael Kahn's work is shot with a 2 1/4 square Hasselblad camera, he still shoots film and he prints his own work; all impressive to me given the size of his prints. What I loved most were the 5 small prints he brought in just before I left. They may have been original proofs, probably 5 x 5 and they were printed on what used to be my favorite paper, portriga rapid made by Agfa. I loved that paper; it's warmth and luminance and it's yummy browns. It's been years since you could get that paper and I remember stocking up on as much as I could afford when I heard of it's impending demise. The photos were wrapped up so I didn't get a close look at them but I could tell they were exquisite gems. I will make my way into town again for a closer look before some lucky collector buys them as a set.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ocean's Pull

Today I went out to North Beach Island in Chatham with friends who have a camp there. It was one of those changeable Cape days; the kind that keeps you guessing.....foggy haze rolls in one minute, burns off the next, then diamond glints as the sun begins to lower a bit. In a word, magic. As we walked out to the " new cut " I noticed a sweet low tide pool that called to me. There were a few people frolicking in the waves and the bobbing looked too good to pass up. I tried to entice my friend into the water but she passed. Venturing out into the water; I jumped the waves, floated, and bobbed blissfully. Luckily I never went further than my chest. Suddenly I realized the undertow was significant With every step I made in it was pulling me out. I realized the undertow was more than I bargained for. Luckily I was able to touch, dig in and brace myself against the tide. The force of the ocean pulling me out was alarming. I am a strong swimmer but I knew I needed to dig my feet in and head toward shore with all I had in me. When I got through the scary zone I told my friend about my "moment of terror". She had been caught in a rip tide at age 18 and knew what I was talking about. This was my second scare of the summer and it made me wonder, is the ocean getting stronger or am I getting weaker? I think wisdom is prevailing.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Latest oil painting on driftwood

This is my latest driftwood oil painting. I am selling my paintings, cards and shell/beach stone magnets at" Fisherman's Daughter ", a fantastic eco boutique in Chatham behind the post office. I am also selling them at the farmers market in Chatham on Tuesdays from 3.30 t0 6.30, next to the Box Office Cafe on route 28.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Backyard fun with Tatem and Indie in Harwich

We had a sweet reunion with my niece Brooke and her awesome hushand Ryan in late June. The day started at Lighthouse beach and ended in our backyard. It was a perfect cape day and I was sad to see it end. Giggling in the waves with Indie, hiding Tatem in a beach towel and snuggling with both of them on the sofa at the end of the day are moments I will never forget.
What sweet souls these two little ones are. Bright and innocent, dear and daring, cozy and quiet are words that come to mind. They are each their own unique person . Indie is a little man and Tatem is years beyond her age of four.
I photographed Brooke when she was close to Indie's age in our backyard in Rye, New York. The camera was probably my first Minolta, the film was Tri X black and white and I printed and toned the 8x10 prints in my darkroom. Brooke was the first and only grandchild and we were all totally smitten with her every move. I took those photos over 30 years ago. A feeling came over me as I shot those images so many years later; how the magic then was the magic now.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Calendar Girl for Concord Art Association February 2012

I am delighted to share the news that this image, featuring Elizabeth Weir, was selected for the February image for the 2012 Concord Art Association calendar. There were 54 entries and 13 chosen so I am very pleased. Elizabeth grew up in Concord and her parents still live here in Concord center. It was literally so cold I could only take a few shots at a time with my little Canon G12.( I highly recommend this camera, though it's a bit larger than a point and shoot it has manual control for f-stop and shutter speed ) I remember a photographer once saying," You get the best photographs in the worst weather. "

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Collage workshop with Robin Litwin - June 4th and June 24th

Join local artist Robin Litwin in creating a mixed media collage that represents your memories and reflections. This is a special opportunity to combine Robin's expertise and instruction with your creative spirit and personal experience. You will construct a unique and personal collage on canvas during this one day workshop. Robin will teach a range of artistic techniques including: composition, layering, the use of gel medium and brayers, scratching in with sandpaper, and final accenting with acrylic paint. The followup class will cover paste paper, stencils and cutting/tearing techniques. Bring photos and other printed memorabilia that speaks to you to incorporate in your final piece.To sign up call Dabblers in West Concord, MA

On exhibit at Dabblers Cafe in West Concord

Artist Statement: " Memories "
This series is about ambiguity in our most intimate relationships; the promise of love and love unfulfilled. For me making art that examines the fragile nature of love is both healing and disturbing. Lines between memory and reality are constantly shifting in and out of focus, posing the intriguing question, " How do the memories of our past shape our future? " RGL

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Nettuno, Italy Part 2

After the beach we took a tour of Nettuno where we saw a fortress turned art museum, the family pharmacia and then a ride into the countryside to see Miss. Ellie. I heard my first cuckoo bird and met the oldest cat I have ever seen. I saw flowers that took my breath away and I saw love. We ate ice cream and drank peach juice, we walked around the beautiful yard and watched the day turn to night. At the end of the day we said goodbye to Miss Ellie. She waved and smiled and we all felt sad to leave her alone.
We drove into Rome for a real Italian dinner and great conversation. The most interesting thing for me was about language and music. Both Luisa and Carlotta agreed they learned a lot of English listening to the Beatles as young girls. They talked about how all the repetition in the lyrics helped them learn the words. All I could think of was " All you need is love, love, all you need is love."
We certainly had love that day and night and I hope we can be as wonderful hosts to Ettore and Carlotta in the near future!

A Day in Anzio and Nettuno, Italy Part 1

A week ago we were in Rome. Time is so weird, surreal actually. It seems like yesterday we were in Nettuno, Italy basking in the love and happiness of Ms. Ellie and her family and listening to the rapid, passionate Italian that filled the room. Almost all of it was lost on me but I didn't care. I could feel the love, the connection of family and it felt good.
We took the morning train from busy Rome to the seaside towns of Anzio and Nettuno and arrived midday. Our wonderful hosts, Carlotta and Ettore met us at the train and in moments we were strolling through Anzio's quaint harbor side. We were both so excited to be out of the city and by the ocean; it was as we expected, the highlight of the trip. We explored the harbor, stopped in a cafe and had a latte and a sweet, did a little shopping and headed to the beach. I couldn't believe the colors. Ruins ran behind us and there was a natural cave from one beach to the next. the water was warm with big rolling waves and we didn't waste any time getting in. ( I was the only woman on the beach with a one piece bathing suit, a strange experience! ) The feeling of freedom in the water after a week of negotiating big foreign cities was glorious. We bobbed and dunked and swam with total abandon, shedding all the stress of the city in moments.