West Tisbury
Posted March 30, 2006

By Hermine Hull - 508-693-2525 - hrmhull@gis.net

Everywhere I've gone all week I have seen bouquets of Cancer Society daffodils. My bouquet has sat on the windowsill in our living room right beside the sofa, my favorite place to sit and read. Their fragrance is a welcome companion. I cut the stems down so they would fit into an old glass vase I remember my grandmother having on the windowsill in her kitchen when I was a child.

Our sofa is placed beneath a bank of west-facing windows. Especially in the winter when the sun is low, there is no better spot to spend some time. I can look outside to the woods and rhododendron hedge that daily inspire my paintings. There is always sun from the south and west, making the room cheerful and warm. The sofa is comfortable, too. Mike calls it "sofa central" as I am likely to spread out my tax papers and work on my lap there, or settle down with the paper or a book, Talley and Murphy at my feet and Grace along the high, upholstered back. If it sounds perfect, it really is.

A new acquaintance, sitting there last evening, commented that she felt immediately comfortable in our house, sitting on our sofa. I am pleased, as I told her, how often I have heard that.

Happy birthday to Bruce Keep, who celebrated with a weekend trip to Wellesley with Mary Lu to visit their son, Stephen, his wife, Dana, and their two boys, Ryan and Matthew. Barbeque ribs and birthday cake was the featured menu.

Ruth Kirchmeier, Claire Chalfoun, and I took a day off-Island last week to see an exhibition of new paintings by Cynthia Packard at the Cape Cod Museum in Dennis. I recommend the show to anyone interested in contemporary painting, although for lovers of the more traditional, in an adjoining room there is a collection of paintings by John Joseph and James Edward Enneking newly donated to the museum. Downstairs is the museum's permanent collection of work by Cape artists, which includes two splendid paintings by Selina Trieff and Robert Henry.

Cynthia Packard lives and works in Provincetown. I have long admired her work. She uses a lot of paint, built up in layers that seem to allow the subject to emerge and disappear simultaneously. The subjects are, loosely, trees, figures, and still life, but the real subject is paint. The surfaces of her paintings reminded me of encaustic, but now she literally mixes tar, shellac, and wax, all of which are mixed with paint and, in some places, manipulated with a blowtorch. And they are huge - 12 feet high and some as wide. It was a wonderful and exhilarating day for three artists/friends to spend together. There is an article in the current issue of "Cape Cod View" magazine if you are interested to know more about her work.

There are lots of activities around town and the Island this weekend. On Saturday, April 1, plan to drop in to the library to decorate eggs with tissue paper and beads. They may be taken home or hung on the library's "Spring Tree" in the Children's Room. Children's librarian Nelia Decker will have the materials out all day, from 10:30 am to 4 pm.

A reminder, that there will be a Rabies Clinic at the Edgartown MSPCA from 10 am to 1 pm.

Parks and Rec is hosting a program at 1 pm at the West Tisbury School. "What a Guy" Joe Howard will entertain the whole family with magic, puppets, balloon art, and more. Admission is $1 for kids and $3 for grown-ups.

You have a choice of events Saturday evening. The Ag Society is hosting a potluck dinner at the Ag Hall at 6 pm. The whole community is invited; the party is not restricted to members. Kathy Lobb requests that you bring a copy of the recipe with your dish. Also at 6 pm, a benefit dinner for Sharon Rzemien, also a potluck, will be held at the Portuguese-American Club, Vineyard Avenue, Oak Bluffs.

Sunday afternoon at 2 pm come to the library for another installment of "Guys Read." The guest reader will be Skipper Manter, our own West Tisbury policeman. Young children and their families are welcome.

I ran into Bill Honey the other day. He, very kindly, told me how much he enjoys my column. So I asked him, "Do you have any news?" "I'm still alive," he replied. "I'm so glad," said I.