West Tisbury: Spring delights, Marie-Louise Rouff, blues legends, and Rosemary Confalone

—MV Times

It’s been nice, then rainy, then a thunder and lightning storm; it’s been a week of weather. 

Everything is green, green, green. The big maple trees along the Edgartown Road always surprise me. One day they are bare, the next they have fully leafed out. They never exhibit the slow process of oaks, whose buds notably swell and color, making a fuzzy froth around the canopy, before unfolding.

Fields are green, too, or newly plowed. Lambs, ducks, chickens, goats, cows pick and graze for all to see. Farmstands are displaying colorful bouquets, and early salad greens or young plants for sale. Walking into the anteroom at Ghost Island has piqued my curiosity, as I look at the names of all the new varieties of tomato plants, and wonder what they will look and taste like. Pea shoots are a spring treat. Everyone has eggs in all the colors of the rainbow.

All of this is a reminder that we are blessed to live in a farm community.

I visited Marie-Louise Rouff to work on a talk we are giving together at the Martha’s Vineyard Center for Living. We put together a slideshow and picked a few original pieces to bring for people to look at up close. She told me she is showing her work at the Field Gallery now. I couldn’t be more excited, and plan to make time to see her paintings there.*

Marie-Louise’s son, MIchael, is here for a few days with his niece, Marie-Louise’s granddaughter, Rachel. They arrived with a box of scones, overnight bags, and enthusiastic hugs. Rachel is a student at Boston University. They will be coming to hear our talk, along with dear friend to all, Beth Kramer.

I rushed to get to Chilmark to attend the celebration for Jane Slater last Saturday. The parking lot had lots of empty places, and when I went in, the library seemed oddly quiet. Of course it was, since I was there on the wrong day. I must have misread the date. Most of all, I missed seeing Jane, and being part of the crowd as she received the Chilmark Historical Commission award. Congratulations, dear Jane. 

At the West Tisbury library this week:

  • Thursday, May 16, 6 pm, Felix Neck is hosting a book discussion of “Bloodtide” with author Eli Nixon. Copies of the book are available at the library. Sign up at wt_mail@clamsnet.org
  • Friday, May 17, 3:30 pm, certified crystal practitioner Sue Angeley will speak about crystal healing, with resources and examples from her collection.
  • Saturday, May 18, at noon, senior plan consultant William Rowbottom will lead a workshop, “Planning for Medicare: Countdown to 65.” Sign up at wt_mail@clamsnet.org. At 1:30 pm, “The Ayurvedic Spice Rack: The Medicine Cabinet in Your Kitchen,” with Ayurvedic health counselor and chef Jacqueline Foster. At 3 pm, Dave Kish will screen and lead a discussion of a documentary about a group of blues legends who gathered a year after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Memphis, Tenn. The concert documentary was filmed over three days in 1969.
  • Sunday, May 19, noon to 4 pm, visit the library’s table at the Climate Action Fair at the Ag Hall. You can sign up for a library card if you don’t have one. There will be books about climate and sustainability to look through and check out.
  • Tuesday, May 21, 3:30 pm, gardener and floral designer Helene Barr will present photographs of flowers taken in her garden, in France, and in gardens she has visited.

I attended the recital by Maureen Fisher’s piano and voice students in the library’s program room last weekend. The music was terrific. What a group of talented kids. 

While sitting there, the colorful paintings on the walls caught my eye, and I was able to look at them carefully after the concert. The artist is Rosemary Confalone. Her paintings are all done in India ink, clear, rich colors, depictions of leaves and woodlands, many set against geometric or fluid backgrounds. There will be an artist’s reception at the end of the month, but do make time to go when the room isn’t crowded. It is work that needs to be closely observed, as the artist observed the materials she painted.

* I went this afternoon, taking a break from column writing. Marie-Louise’s paintings are wonderful, and look striking in the gallery. There is lots of other new work to look at, as well.

If you have any West Tisbury Town Column suggestions, email Hermine Hull, hermine.hull@gmail.com.