Journey of an Artist on Cape Cod

(See updates at end of this posting)

Cape Cod is a welcoming place for artists.  Since buying a second home on Cape Cod  and living on Cape Cod part-time for 5 years, I’ve been continually taking watercolor painting classes.  Now a full-time resident for the past year or so,  I’ve taken botanical painting at the Cape Cod Art Center in Barnstable and watercolor painting at the Chatham Creative Arts Center and Orleans Senior Center.   I am primarily a watercolor painter but frequently combine pen and ink with watercolor and still dabble in photography.

Besides the important goal of continually trying to improve skills as a watercolor painter, in the past year I’ve been trying to expose my art work to the public with the objective of getting accepted into juried art exhibits and showing my work in a gallery.  To that end, I submitted work to 4 juried exhibits recently:

JURIED EXHIBITS

  1. The summer art show at the Orleans Senior Center.  Happily this watercolor of Mailboxes on Shaker Road was not only accepted but won an honorable mentionMailboxesPainting
  2. The Square Works show at the Chatham Creative Arts Center.  Unfortunately the  watercolor submitted of a Wellfleet surfer was not accepted but it was good practice.
  3. The online Facades photography exhibit hosted by the Cape Cod Art Center.  I submitted 4 entries and one was accepted.  See https://capecodartcenter.org/online-photography-exhibition-facades/
  4. My photo of a butterfly was accepted recently to the juried online Interpretation exhibit  of the Cape Cod Art Center: https://capecodartcenter.org/interpretation.

My recent success getting into juried online photography shows has inspired me to pick up my DSL camera again, after an absence of a few years, and take a photography course with John Tunney at the Cape Cod Art Center.  I’m enjoying the experience again of photo taking on Cape Cod and like to use my photos to paint watercolors from.

GALLERIES

Besides participating in exhibits I’ve been working to get art into a gallery.  After noticing a card on an empty Orleans storefront this spring calling for artists for a new gallery I submitted samples and was accepted but dropped out when the gallery opening was significantly delayed and would miss most of the Cape Cod summer tourist season.  Instead, this summer I found Hidden Gem, a consignment store in Orleans center with a wonderful owner who gives store profits to a mental health charity.  She took 3 prints of Orleans scenes and soon added a 4th.  Over the summer 9 copies of these prints were sold.  Here is one of the prints in the Orleans favorite places series:YoungsShack 1

Besides Hidden Gem sales, I sold 2 paintings and several packets of notecards at the annual Sacrifice Art Sale at the Chatham Creative Arts Center.

Coastal Craft Gallery, Orleans.  Inspired by success at Hidden Gem, I applied to be an artist member of Coast Craft gallery, a co-operative art gallery and was accepted in late September as a member.  My work was first exhibited October 1, 2019.  This is a lovely gallery located next to Oceana and behind Mahoney’s restaurant in Orleans center.  I am thrilled to be part of this gallery and work with this talented group of artists.  See the website: https://coastalcraftgallery.com

NOTECARDS, PRINTS, AND ORIGINALS

Notecards.  I’ve had notecards made by several printers: 2 local printers and VistaPrint– and have a large inventory.  I have started to sell my notecards at Coastal Craft Gallery.  Here is an image from the Cape Cod Birds notecard series:

chickadeebog

Prints.  Through family, over the summer I was able to get an interview with the manager and owner of Oceana in Orleans to seek their advice on how to break into the gallery scene.  An interesting idea they suggested was to make prints of my watercolors and sell them matted and unframed in order to get the price down to an attractive point.  With this suggestion in mind I created some pen and ink and water color paintings of local Orleans scenes that I thought would make good prints and be marketable.  A local photographer and printer at Focalpoint Studio in Orleans made beautiful prints of 4 paintings which were accepted for sale at Hidden Gem.  Recently I’ve had more prints made of new paintings and plan to sell unframed, matted prints in cellophane at Coastal Craft Gallery in addition to the framed prints for sale at Hidden Gem

Originals.  I’ve recently achieved my goal to sell original works in a gallery and have a wall of watercolors for sale at Coastal Craft gallery.

INSTAGRAM

Check out my work (this one is entitled Storm Coming) at: https://www.instagram.com/pegatcape/

StormComing

 

AND WATCH THIS SPACE FOR PROGRESS REPORTS ON THE ARTIST JOURNEY and SEE INSTAGRAM FOR ART.

 

More scenes of the season on Cape Cod

RockHarborPathIce

Ice in the bay, Rock Harbor, Eastham  #CapeCodInspiration

FortHillWinter

Winter day at Fort Hill, Eastham  #CapeCodInspiration

NausetLight

Winter at Nauset Light, Eastham

#CapeCodInspiration

 

Winter Escape to Southern Oregon

Winter Escape to Southern Oregon
by Peg Flood
(Published in Mature Years magazine, UMpublishing Winter 2017)

welcomesign

As a native New Englander I love the distinct seasons of my home but the 2015 winter almost broke me with snow piled on top of snow from January to March. Over the years I’ve been to several places to escape the winter for brief periods of time including Florida, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Las Vegas, and Arizona but this year I found a new place to go. I spent two weeks in January 2016 on the coast of southern Oregon visiting my brother who lives in Bandon.
Bandon, Oregon, population 3100, is named after Bandon, Ireland which it resembles with its rolling green countryside and stands of wild gorse. Bandon, Oregon is well known for its lighthouse at the mouth of the Coquille River where it empties into the Pacific Ocean. Golfers know Bandon for the famous Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, http://www.bandondunesgolf.com
The winter weather on the southern Oregon coast is mild but not exceptionally warm. It’s not a tropical place like more famous winter escapes and it rains frequently in winter but does not snow. The temperatures were in the 50s and 60s during my visit in mid-January. Though it rained most days of my stay, there seemed to be dry breaks even during the rainiest days when I could walk my brother’s dogs around the neighborhood cranberry bog or stroll the beach. For a better idea of the climate see http://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/bandon/oregon/united-states/usor0023. I’ve been told that Oregonians do not use umbrellas. One shopkeeper I asked confirmed this fact. I suspect Oregonians may have a serious case of rain denial. On sunny days the temperature reached almost 70 degrees and I walked outside without a jacket. You could tell it was winter by the bare deciduous trees but the lush green lawns and blooming shrubs like Camellias belied the fact that it was winter. In any case, I’ll trade the warm, rainy days of southern coastal Oregon for the harsh, snowy cold winter of New England any day.
It was clearly “off-season” in Bandon when I was there. It was quiet around town. Some area attractions were closed such as Jerry’s Rogue River Jet Boats, http://www.roguejets.com and Bandon Beach Riding Stables; and West Coast Game Park Safari had limited winter hours. However, the official website of Bandon, http://www.bandon.com, lists plenty to do in the winter months including golf, bicycling, beach combing, bird watching, fishing, day hikes, restaurant dining, museum visits, gallery exhibits, and shopping in Old Town Bandon. The free little daily newspaper, The Coffee Break, lists events, such as the days when the Labyrinth at Face Rock Wayside Beach is created in the sand, or the library hosts an art exhibit. There are several hotels, motels and inns as well as vacation rental homes available in Bandon with lower rates in the winter and early spring.
What did I most enjoy doing around the south coast of Oregon while I was there in winter? The answer is easy for me. As a part-time Cape Cod resident I love beaches and the beaches I visited in southern Oregon were spectacular and best of all, always free and open to the public. The large rock formations rising like small islands out of the water of the Bandon beaches south of the Coquille River mouth, are unlike anything I’m used to on the East coast. I found the beaches especially exotic when wrapped in the mist and fog of overcast winter days and the weathered patterns carved in the rocks were like intricate abstract art when viewed up close at low tide. The beaches north of the Coquille River are quite different from the southern Bandon beaches. They have rolling dunes instead of dramatic rock formations and remind me of Cape Cod. I was fascinated by the super-sized driftwood that washes up on most beaches. These large logs and stumps are escapees of the Oregon timber industry along the nearby Coquille River. As an amateur photographer the beaches were a dream. I took many dramatic beach shots in the photogenic winter light and never tired of bringing my camera to the beach.

WinterBeachinBandon
One very windy, rainy day we left Bandon to see the marina and beach at nearby Port Orford. I had heard about glass floats, glass balls of various sizes, that wash up on West Coast beaches. According to Stu Farnsworth in “Glass Treasures of the Sea” in the March/April 2007 edition of Oregon Coast magazine, (www.oregoncoastmagazine.com/oregon_coast_glass_floats.php.), these glass floats were made starting in the early 20th century by Asahara Glass Company in Japan for the fishing industry to hold up nets and for trolling.

glassfloats

The floats began to wash up on the Pacific Coast in the 1920s. I came across a number of old glass floats in Begin Agains, a Bandon antique store, and asked the shop owner where they came from. She said they had been picked up on the beach by a man in Port Orford over the last fifteen years. That’s all I needed to know and I was off to beach comb in Port Orford. I searched for awhile among the logs, small bits of wood, and huge kelp stems the size of Indiana Jones’ bull whip that had washed ashore but I found no glass floats. Despite my unsuccessful hunt I was impressed by the picturesque rocky shore, high winds, heavy surf and fishing fleet that could be seen in Port Orford. However, the next day we heard on the local news that a fishing boat out of Port Orford had foundered on the jetty of Coos Bay with loss of life. It was a reminder of how dangerous and precarious the life of a fisherman can be.
Leaving the coast one day we drove inland through the Coquille River valley past flooded farm land and saw a small herd of wild elk huddled on dry spot of land. We continued along Route 42 driving through the coastal mountain range to the Umqua Valley heading towards Roseburg. Along the way we snaked past a landslide on the road and saw winding rivers, waterfalls, and steep hills covered with large conifer trees including fir, spruce, cedar and hemlock. Silvery aspen trees heavy with moss punctuated the green roadside border of evergreen conifers. Mist rose out of the trees and hung in pockets on the hillsides. We continued to Roseburg arriving in time for lunch at McMenamins Roseburg Station Pub & Brewery.
Besides our day trip to Roseburg we drove to Coos Bay one day for shopping in some large chain stores unavailable in little Bandon. Coos Bay has a downtown full of historic buildings, a railroad museum, and a gritty waterfront that I could imagine as the setting of a John Steinbeck novel. The drive along Highway 101 into Coos Bay is green and scenic and you pass a few lumber operations. Just outside Coos Bay off Highway 101 on Seven Devils Road we stopped at the South Slough National Estuarine Research Center and wandered the Interpretive Center seeing exhibits of local plant and animal life. Unfortunately it was raining too hard for us want to hike the Reserve trails that day.
Back in Bandon for the remainder of my visit, we enjoyed some low-key, in-town activities. We stopped into some favorite restaurants. We enjoyed morning coffee in the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of the Bandon Coffee Cafe. We ate a hearty breakfast sitting at the counter of the Minute Cafe. One evening we got take-out pizza at Pastries & Pizza. We ate tasty crab cakes and crab sandwiches at Tony’s Crab Shack on the pier. We went to the Face Rock Creamery intending to get ice cream but nibbled on samples of their homemade cheese. Somehow I ended up with a bowl of scrumptious, warm macaroni and cheese instead of ice cream. We checked out the art exhibit at the Bandon library. We also visited some local stores. Bandon Mercantile, where we bought a garlic press, has a mixture of gifts, kitchen and home items. The Wool Company has all kinds of yarn, spinning, felting and weaving supplies and you can take knitting and crochet lessons in a cozy room with a wood stove. I made a second visit to Begin Agains looking for vintage decorative items and to see the glass floats again. At each of these stores we had conversations with the shopkeepers about the advantages of living in Bandon. Most of them were transplants who had moved to Bandon for the mild weather and friendly, small town feel.
When it was time to return to Boston I flew out of Southwest Oregon Regional Airport, a small modern airport in North Bend-Coos Bay that is a pleasant 40-minute drive from Bandon. United Airlines and PenAir offer scheduled flights from North Bend.  [Note: Airlines serving Bandon have changed since this article was written so check online for options]. For more flight options you can also drive further to Eugene or Portland. From North Bend I flew to San Francisco and after a short layover took a direct flight to Boston. On the plane from North Bend I sat beside a man who told me he left his home in San Diego to spend two years driving the country in an RV and knew he had found his retirement home when he arrived in Coos Bay. His story was an echo of others I had heard around Bandon. These people all felt lucky to have discovered the south coast of Oregon with its gentle weather, beautiful scenery, friendly people, and relaxed pace of life. As for me, I arrived home in Boston to 8 inches of fresh snowfall and biting cold. Back to winter!

 

 

 

Scenes of the Season

Collapsing dune after winter storms at Nauset Beach Orleans #Capecodinspiration

duneafterstorm

Dune at dusk, Nauset Beach, Orleans

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Winter dune, Nauset Beach, Orleans

snowdune

 

Nativity scene, Rock Harbor, Orleans

Shepherd

Stone angel, Lemon Tree Village, Brewster

smallangel#CapeCodInspiration

Cape Cod Inspiration

Photos by Peg: my favorite Cape Cod inspirational places

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Chatham beach rose

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Monomoy Wildlife Refuge beach, Chatham

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Orleans Farmers Market

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Sunrise tidal pool at Tonset Landing, Orleans

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Tonset Rd. Landing, Orleans

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Dusty Miller at Chatham Beach

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Skaket Beach dawn, Orleans

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Rock Harbor sunset, Orleans

 

BridgeRoadOrleans.jpg

Bridge Road, Orleans

 

ptownlight

P-town Race Point Light

Why I love Cape Cod:  Cape Cod is a very special place for me filled with memories of family and good friends.  The Cape has been a magnet for my family for over 50 years.  The center of the magnetic force were three little, squat, old cottages on a bluff above the Town Cove in Eastham.  Built in the early 20th century and owned by family friends, the cottages at Smith Heights were old and primitive even 50-60 years ago when my family first started to stay in them.  Acting as caretakers, my father and grandfather rescued one of the cottages from ruin, and were rewarded with an invitation to use 2 cottages as our summer homes on the Cape for over 10 years.  At first we had no hot water in the cottages and heated water in a kettle on the stove for our weekly baths.  One cottage had a wood stove for cooking.  Gradually we added “modern conveniences” like a water heater, bath tub, and kitchen range but the essential character of the cottages and the place did not change.

Joined by my aunt, uncle and cousins who lived in one cottage, my family filled our days with trips to Coast Guard Beach where we rode the waves on canvas rafts, and bayside beaches where we floated gently on the calmer, protected water.  Sometimes we walked to “the Point” on the Cove where we dug quahogs after feeling them in the mud through the soles of our old sneakers, or we took our small boat and 5HP motor on the Cove to trawl for stripers or drop-fish for flounders.  Less frequently we put-putted in our boat to “the Inlet” for a picnic lunch, walks in the dunes and surf casting by my father.  Later we acquired a Willy’s Jeep and took the dune road out to the Inlet with our feet hanging out of the back of the Jeep, hitting the sand with each bounce.  Some evenings our grandparents joined us for a cook-out on the beach.  We gathered driftwood to build our campfire and cooked hotdogs and marshmallows with the sound of the surf in the background.  I remember rolling down the dunes for fun.  We also built small tunnels and ramps in the sand banks by the water and watched a small, pink, rubber ball make its way from the top of the bank to the bottom.  We flew kites on windy days.

Returning to the cottages, we picked daisies in the meadow by the cottages.  We climbed the big old maple tree and I carved my initials in the bark.  We picked blackberries up the dirt road from the house trying very hard not to get our bare arms and legs scratched.  My father loved his breakfast cereal and milk with fresh blackberries, and my cousin learned to bake blackberry pie.  One summer my brother,cousin and friends dug a 6-foot deep pit beside the barn and we buried a time capsule, a glass jar filled with small objects and sand.  We cut up an inner tube from a tire and created a catapult trying to launch a heavy object to the other side of the Cove.  We never succeeded and fortunately never hit any unlucky boaters within our range.

My cousin and I played house in the bunkhouse wing of the barn.  We made “coffee” in an old kettle by filling it with mud and water.  My brothers, cousin and friends conducted “raids” on the bunkhouse pretending to be Nauset Indians.  Sometimes they also made night-time raids on our playhouse leaving the mark of Zorro behind.  Zorro was popular on TV at the time.  I remember putting on plays in front of the barn for our grandparents and being criticized by my brothers for charging a dime for our performance.  I guess I was a business woman even at that young age.

These are some of my strongest memories of Cape Cod growing up during summers at the Smith Heights cottages.  The Cape remains for me a very special place set apart in time and space from the everyday world.

Cat Haikus

sleeping-susie

Sleeping Cat #1

Like a loaf of bread

Rising in the warm sunlight

The little cat sleeps.

Sleeping Cat #2

The white cat curled up,

Tucked between two bed pillows,

Fur puddle purring.

Sleeping Cat #3

Tightly wound bundle

Tail encircling paws and nose

The white cat dozes.

Sleeping Cat #4

Breathing in and out

Safe atop the warm comforter

The cat dreams of mice.

Sleeping Cat #5

Mice dance in meadows,

Birds sing in trees, crickets chirp:

Cat dreams in winter.