I grew up on the Damariscotta River, where my father had a mail-order lobster business and was one of the first to farm mussels in the river. I was fortunate to encounter the extraordinary Canadian-American painter Walter Murch when I studied painting at Boston University. (A team of scholars and I am preparing a major monograph on his work to be published by Rizzoli in 2021.)
Art comes from art, and by staying with the question: What is it that only painting can do? In a sense all painting is still life—silent, but alive in its own terms. I use acrylics because I like the way they dry quickly, permitting swift revision.
I taught art history along with studio courses. Most artists evolve their own private pantheons—those who call us to go further than we thought we could. I often go back to Morandi’s extraordinary etchings. Or to Braque, who wasn’t afraid to make brutally ugly paintings, which allowed him to make elegant ones.
When I moved back to Maine after teaching in Massachusetts for thirty years, I found an open-plan house that had been converted from a kitchen cabinet factory. We paint in a three-season porch with plenty of light, made habitable in the winter by a gas heater. The open plan of the house allows for us to have a small display gallery of our work.