There is a song on Paul McCartney's new CD called "Gratitude," and that describes how I feel the morning after my opening. The sun was shining, a breeze kept it comfortable, Ruth Kirchmeier's woodcuts made the most amazing statement of a long and accomplished career in art, my paintings looked beautiful, and we were both celebrated by our friends and neighbors. Although catered by Periwinkle, additional food was brought in the best West Tisbury potluck tradition. Even the garden was perfect, melon-colored daylilies putting forth a spectacular display and my beloved green nicotianas attracting comment. I felt proud and honored to be hosting Ruth's retrospective, grateful for her regard and friendship, and that of all who attended. Whatever success I may or may not achieve as an artist, I am awed and humbled by what I have achieved as a wife and a friend. Thank you to everyone who was part of this most special day.
In the commentary that Ruth wrote to accompany and explain her work, she ended by giving thanks to her partner, Nelson Bryant, for introducing her to the places that inspired her "Water Series" of woodcuts and also noted, "Plus, he makes my frames, a greater gift no man or woman could ask." Both Nelson and my husband, Mike, were proudly in attendance and I join Ruth in gratitude for their support of our artistic life and their framing skills that enhance our pictures.
It was a busy week all around for the town's art community. Max Decker opened a show of his new landscapes Saturday night at Pik-Nik Gallery in Oak Bluffs. Ben Cabot's stone sculptures are on display at the Field Gallery. Beth McIlheny celebrated the opening of her store on State Road in Vineyard Haven, showcasing her hand-made jewelry, and The Granary opening Sunday night featured the latest of Kenneth Vincent's paintings. Al Hurwitz's paintings and monotypes are on view through July at the West Tisbury Library.
Barbara Cotterill stopped by with news of her recent trip to the mainland. She attended the swearing-in ceremony on July 3 of her grandson, Mark Renker, as a Firefighter/Paramedic with the North Attleboro Fire Department. Mark is following a family tradition; his father, Richard, was a member of the West Tisbury Fire Department, his grandfather, John Sr., was Chief for many years, and his uncle, John Jr. has served on the department for many years as well. Congratulations.
We are in the throes of summer with visitors at many homes around town. Linda Holt welcomed her nephew, Peter Duffy, with his friend Kathryn Emmett, to her home on Pin Oak Circle. Peter is enjoying his first vacation after two tours of duty in Iraq. A long-time visitor and appreciator of the Island, he serves as a corporal in the Marines. We wish him a lovely holiday and reunion with his aunt, and a "thank-you" for his service.
Matthew and Tracy Day, with their sons Garrett and Jackson, came for the Fourth of July weekend to stay with Matthew's parents, Bob and Barbara Day. They live in Bethel, Conn.
Also for the holiday festivities, Ralph and Alvida Jones had two of their granddaughters visiting. Kati Jones and her friend Bucky Oliver arrived from California for their stay in West Tisbury. Sarah Jones and Hyle Bradley came from Boston. There was a family picnic on the beach which included Ann and Bill Fielder, Cynthia Riggs, Gary and Dionis Montrowl, Evan and Chris Fielder and their three sons, and Jay McGurren. I'm sure "Aunt Cynthia" will give tours of her new boat. Set on its shell pad, the wooden boat is being restored by Cynthia, in full view of the Edgartown Road, where I enjoy watching her progress when I am driving by.
Ann, Adam, Katherine, and Meredith Ogburn arrived in time for the Fourth of July festivities, their annual visit with Sue Hruby. Ann's father and Sue's husband, Roy Dickerson, died this past February. We were all glad to see the Ogburns, although disappointed their visit was a few days shorter than usual due to Adam's work schedule. There was enough time to see the parade and fireworks in Edgartown, for the girls to have several rides on the Flying Horses carousel, and for a special cruise on the Alabama. They left on the 8:15 boat Sunday morning to return to Atlanta.
I was thrilled to meet Michelle Jasny's mother and her husband and nephew, who happened into my gallery last week. It turns out that David, Michelle's nephew, is an art student. He wanted to see Ruth's woodcuts, as he would be taking a course in the medium this fall. A spirited discussion with another artist or art student is always interesting and enjoyable. The Colins are from Norwalk, Conn.
Happy Anniversary to Betty and Bill Haynes, who celebrate together on July 10.
Paul Karasik will be discussing his new book, "I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets: The Comics of Fletcher Hanks," at the West Tisbury Library next Monday, July 16, at 6:30 pm. There will also be two origami workshops at the library led by Elin Nelson, this Thursday and next, from 4 to 6 pm. Please pre-register at the library.
Enjoy the week and the summer weather.