Another snowy Sunday, happily housebound. West Tisbury seemed divided into two camps. Everyone I spoke with either was busy with projects or snuggled up with a good book or movie to wait out the storm.
I was glad we went out to breakfast because Henry Bassett was there, already enjoying his French toast with his dad, Brian, grandfather, Bob, and friend, Jill. Seeing each other for Sunday morning breakfast is part of our tradition for Henry's holidays on the Vineyard. Maybe we will even get in some time painting together during the week. While here, the Wasserman/Bassett clan will celebrate some February birthdays: Bob and Suzi share February 18, and Sarah's is on the 27th. Happy birthday to you all.
Happy birthday, too, to Gaston Vadasz on February 21, Diane Wall and Ernie Mendenhall on the 24th, and to Blue Cullen on the 25th.
Folks were able to get out last Tuesday for the West Tisbury Church's pancake supper. Libby Fielder reported that over 100 revelers attended, wearing feather masks and Mardi Gras beads, for traditional pancakes and Caribbean music by Rick and Hudson Bausman and Brian Weiland. If you're interested, the pancake recipe is on the church's Facebook page.
Paul Karasik has returned from his third stint teaching a Master Class in Comics Narrative, prior to the 2013 Comics Festival in Angouleme, France. While there, Paul did some sightseeing that included a day trip to Bordeaux, where he and a fellow cartoonist discovered some old comics in a junk store. He also saw cave drawings at Font de Gaume and visited the Chateau de Commarque. Paul's commentary and photographs made it all sound so magical, especially the medieval carved surrounds on Bordeaux's Saint Pierre Church and the cave drawings.
About the cave drawings, the description is best in Paul's own words. "These drawings may have been done 20,000 years ago but there is nothing primitive about them. They are well-observed, anatomically correct, proportionally correct, and indicate an understanding of overlapping to suggest depth. Most importantly they are full of vigor and intelligently integrate the textures and topography of the cave into the designs...Plus, how utterly cool is it to look at ancient drawings in their own home?"
I will admit to leaving off the column here to go online for some explorations of my own. I read about the construction of the Gothic St. Pierre de Bordeaux, about Isabella, Queen of England and Countess of Angouleme, and her first husband, King John, of Magna Carta fame. An interesting digression. I will leave it to you to pursue yourselves, or not.
If you are looking for something special for your kids to do during the up-coming school vacation, Chris Murphy will be teaching a decoy painting class next Wednesday, February 27, at the Martha's Vineyard Museum. It relates to an exhibition, The Art of the Hunt: Martha's Vineyard Decoys, on view through March 23. Chris will talk about different bird species on the Island and show examples of traditional Vineyard decoys. Then each kid will paint a duck decoy to take home with them. Reservations are required, so please call Katy Fuller at 508 627-4441, ext. 123. There is an $8 fee for members, $12 for non-members. The class will begin at 1 pm.
Due to the storm, the Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center cancelled the scheduled showing of two documentary films by Robert and Marjory Potts. The program has been rescheduled for Sunday afternoon, March 3, at 4 pm. The films are "Making Music: The Emerson Quartet" and "Their Lives in Art: Robert Henry and Selina Trieff."
The Polly Hill Arboretum has lost one of their special trees, a result of our first weekend snowstorm. A mulberry tree, planted behind the farmhouse in 1934 by Polly Hill's mother, Margaret Butcher, fell — fortunately, away from the house. Plans are already underway to replace it this spring.
The morning skies have been spectacular. Subtle and ever-changing, I have watched the early colors as they appear and move across our woods. One day it is the palest lavender. Yellow cream comes next, barely different from the snow-covered branches it lays behind. (I mean "lay" as though I placed it in a painting.) Then there is clear blue, what one would call "sky blue." Sunlight picks out the tops of the rhododendron hedge and draws long streaks across the snow. The branches are bare once again, only a few clinging oak leaves making a russet-y haze in the distance.