Studio Show Recollections – page 2

Studio Show Recollections — page 2


During these trips it was not unusual for me to visit Dad in his studio. He seemed to respect my eye, and he often asked me what I thought about paintings he was working on at the time. Since I had just begun to paint myself, I eagerly looked forward to our discussions. He made me believe I had a keen eye for identifying "authenticity" in his work.

The Greenwich studio is where he spent the rest of the year painting. It was more organized by "zone." He had separate studios for each medium—seven in all, including a large print studio, a collage studio, a painting studio, and so on. The large expanse of the main studio, a former carriage house, had sliding racks that seemed to come out of the walls from nowhere. On each rack he hung his largest paintings for easy viewing from a distance. When he no longer wanted the distraction of these pictures, and so he could focus more on making new paintings, he simply slid them back into the wall. This was also a very efficient way for curators, collectors, and visitors like me to view his larger work.

Another factor about this particular studio was the daily routine he developed working with his three-person "crew" to help run his business. Sometimes he would entertain friends, colleagues, and critics at lunch where he often told marvelously eloquent stories about artists he knew, the state of the art world in relation to modern art, etc. By night, he would paint after dinner until 2 a.m. or so before retiring for bed.

Today I can see how Dad's work ethic is clearly influencing mine. While I am employed full-time at Boston University by day, each night I religiously retreat to the bottom floor of my townhouse to be in my studio. It is my sanctuary where I can drown out the stresses of the day and be in my own uninterrupted world. I have a television and a music box that I paint by; I let the answering machine take my phone messages; I have clippings and works by favorite artists hanging on my walls; and I work on several paintings at a time. I often work in series. All these things I learned from having visited my father's studios so often.

Dad was most prolific in his Provincetown studio. Spending only four months of the year there, he produced more work than he did in any other of his studios or at any other time of year. As was the case in his work, my painting is often influenced by Provincetown and the views we shared from our respective studios on the water—with a profound love of the ever-changing Provincetown bay. Though I have not had a studio in Provincetown for years, my work still reflects the strong impact it had on me.