Wednesday, February 16, 2011

First Post, And an Explanation

First off, welcome to my blog. I've had a website for years ( but after a number of changes to the software I used to build it and the aging of the overall design, I've decided to relegate it to an archive and continue to post my work here. Yes, that is my real name. It sometimes strikes even me as somewhat preposterous. In the unlikely event that I learn PHP, MySQL, XHTML and the rest of the alphabet salad that makes up contemporary Web-design, I suppose I may redesign that space, but in the meantime....

I've Been Working on Landscapes
The area I live in has a lot of salt-marshes, and I've become enthralled with painting them. One in particular, Jacobs Point (no apostrophe) seems to take a lot of my attention. Perhaps because it's a nature preserve, perhaps because it's so conveniently close, but it's also gorgeous. I've done a number of paintings of the place, and have plans for many more. I've settled on a standard dimension for the pieces, too--two feet by four. The panoramic proportion seems to suit my sense of landscape design. I suppose it's because, growing up as I did in New York City, the broad view was always both rare and exotic, confined to such things as Central Park, Riverside Park, tall buildings with large windows, and Summer vacations.

This one is called Jacobs Point-September, and was inspired by the way the different types of grass brown over at different speeds, and by the way the few trees out at the end of the point cast long shadows over the marsh in late afternoon. This clump of phragmites reeds caught the light quite dramatically. The Warren Land Trust has been trying to return the Point to its original plant species by increasing the salt-water flow through the marsh. This will push the freshwater reeds back closer to the mainland and rather extensively reorder the painting possibilities of the place. At the moment the reeds, being so tall, create backdrops, walls and curtains that restrict the space in interesting ways. I'm looking forward to seeing how the local spartina grasses affect the overall look. I can only presume (and hope) that they regain some of the appearance that Martin Johnson Heade painted in his saltmarsh pieces, notably Newburyport Meadows.


  1. Welcome to the blogosphere, Nick...a marsh of words and're off to a good know I consider you one of the best in the whole damn marsh-destroying human world.

    Is that a Walmart developer looking at Jacobs Marsh as perhaps the site of megastore with 5 miles of concrete parking space?

    M Greene