In Thoreau’s Views
Continually enriching Cape Cod’s standing as a significant cultural mecca, this year the Addison Art Gallery is presenting In Thoreau’s Views, honoring the work of Henry David Thoreau, further immortalizing the places he explored and we cherish today.
In Cape Cod, based on several trips made in the mid 1800s, Thoreau shares thoughts on geography, natural beauty, local history, philosophy and the characters he met.
The premier In Thoreau’s Views exhibition will open with a reception on Saturday, August 17 from 5:00 to 7:00 at the Addison Art Gallery.
On the morning of Saturday, September 7, plein air painters will be found capturing some of the sites Thoreau so beautifully described. The wet paintings will join the In Thoreau’s Views exhibit at the Eastham Public Library for a reception from 2:00 to 4:00.
At both receptions the public is invited to join us in a step back to the mid-1800s to meet Henry David Thoreau (portrayed by historian Richard Smith) and a chat about his visits to Cape Cod. For more than 20 years, Smith has “become” Thoreau, dressing in meticulous 19th-century regalia, sounding philosophical and looking as pensive as Henry. He has been featured on C-Span’s American Writers series, BostonTV5’s Chronicle, and traveled the country presenting Thoreau's essays for libraries, historical societies and schools.
Robert Abele | Paul Batch | Linda Beach | SaraJane Doberstein | Jonathan Earle | Maryalice Eizenberg | Stephanie Foster | Frank Gardner | Marc Hanson | Catherine Hess | Philip Koch | Marc Kundmann | Jonathan McPhillips | John F. Murphy | Andrea Petitto | James Reynolds | Amy Sanders | Paul Schulenburg | Fay Shutzer | Catherine Skowron | Cleber Stecei | Linda Turoczi
"Much of what Thoreau discovers about the Cape he learns through his encounters with ‘wreckers.' The wreckers lived at and by the threshold, always at the mercy of the energy of the ocean. At the time of Thoreau’s visits to Cape Cod, these coastal residents lived within earshot of the roar of the surf, using the dunes and squat trees to protect the small cottages they lived in from the ferocious thrashing of the sea during storms . . . Wreckers were often witnesses to the tragedies of the era as bodies and cargo washed ashore. Thoreau ‘parlayed' with many a wrecker, gleaning bits of fact and lore from the men. He describes one such Cape Cod man: '[he had] a bleached and weatherbeaten face—within whose wrinkles I distinguished no particular feature. It was like an old sail endowed with life . . . like a sea-clam with hat and legs, that was out walking the strand'). Theirs was the primary form of commerce on the shore. These men scavenged the beach for the cargo washed ashore from shipwrecks. Virtually anything that washed up had value, everything from barrels of apples to luggage, or rags to tow-cloth.” — Elizabeth Kalman in At the Threshold of Chaos
Robert Abele studied fine art at the School of Visual Arts in New York City earning my BFA in 1993. He furthered his education at the prestigious Art Students League. His first plein air painting was done on Cape Cod in 1987. For the past 25 years he has studied and practiced to perfect this difficult form of painting. His work is collected domestically and internationally residing in over 200 private collections.
"On the beach there is a ceaseless activity, always something going on, in storm and in calm, winter and summer, night and day.” — Henry David Thoreau
Paul Batch is a contemporary painter praised for his evocative atmospheric landscapes. His paintings are a poetic response to the fleeting and ephemeral light cast by the passing sun or rising moon. He focuses on transitions, painting various times of day, changing weather, and the rich seasons New England offers.
Paul received his BFA and MFA from the Hartford Art School where he studied under the late great Stephen Brown. He is an award-winning member of Oil Painters of America and Portrait Society of America. His work has appeared in numerous publications including the Artist’s Magazine, International Artist and Fine Art Connoisseur. A native of Massachusetts, Paul resides in Western Massachusetts with his wife and their two children.
“When the roses were in bloom, these patches in the midst of the sand displayed such a profusion of blossoms, mingled with the aroma of the bayberry that no Italian or other artificial rose - garden could equal them. They were perfectly Elysian, and realized my idea of an oasis in the desert.” — Henry David Thoreau
"Like Thoreau, I began my journey to Cape Cod in the coastal Cohasset, MA where I spent my youth. Now I paint the natural beauty of the Cape of my summers and the vineyards of Livermore, CA of my winters. Thoreau writes about the seashore as a'“most advantageous point from which to contemplate this world.’ My pastel landscapes evoke calm and serenity. As an avid plein air painter, painting on location brings an awareness of senses as Thoreau paints in words, the 'color of the purple sea. . .the scents of the bayberry . . . and the roar of the sea."
"In summer the mackerel gulls—which here have their nests among the neighboring sand-hills—pursue the traveller anxiously, now and then diving close to his head with a squeak, and he may see them, like swallows, chase some crow which has been feeding on the beach, almost across the Cape.” — Henry David Thoreau
SaraJane Doberstein is a Signature member of the Oil Painters of America, American Women Artists and the American Society of Marine Artists. She travels to the coast as often as possible to find the inspiration for her surf, shell, and shorebird paintings. She has been a full-time artist since 2000 and her work has won awards in prominent juried exhibitions across North America, including the Grand Prize at AWA Rockwell Museum exhibit in 2018.
"Everything told of the sea, even when we did not see its waste or hear its roar. For birds there were gulls, and for carts in the fields, boats turned bottom upward against the houses, and sometimes the rib of a whale was woven into the fence by the road-side.” — Henry David Thoreau
“Creating a sense of place in the landscape is at the core of landscape architecture. A sense of place is the experience or emotions associated within a familiar setting. It is this principle that I draw upon when painting, the dimension that is formed by people’s relationship with their physical setting, whether an actual figure in the painting or the viewer. I aim to capture the emotion and energy of that place. Whether it be the energy of a crowded street or the potential energy of idle traffic at a stoplight, both evoke emotion and feeling for a place.” — Jonathan Earle
Maryalice Eizenberg is an award-winning artist who has has been drawing and painting all of her life. She found her passion in plein air landscapes and florals. Dramatic patterns of light and color are what attract her most to a subject. It is her emotional response to these elements that she strives to share with the viewer.
Photographer Stephanie Foster feels a kinship with the sea and sandy landscape of Cape Cod, and with the musings of Henry David Thoreau who describes the rough open terrain, unpredictable ocean, briny air, and wildlife in words. Foster strives to capture that wild beauty with her photographs. Her work is included in the permanent collection at the Cape Cod Museum of Art which presented two solo shows of her fine art photography.
"The ocean is a wilderness reaching round the globe, wilder than a Belgian jungle, and fuller of monsters, washing the very wharves of our cities and the gardens of our sea-side residences. Serpents, bears, hyenas, tigers rapidly vanish as civilization advances, but the most populous and civilized city cannot scare a shark far from its wharves.” — Henry David Thoreau
Frank Gardner was born and raised in New York. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1986 with a BFA in Painting. A desire to find true inspiration for his paintings eventually led him to México. He has been living in México since 1990 and now resides in San Miguel de Allende with his wife and daughter.
Gardner paints on location and in the studio using paintings or sketches done on the spot and or photo references. His combination of confident brushwork, dynamic compositions and lively color invokes true character in Frank’s work.
Traveling and painting is something that he loves to do. “A fresh set of eyes on a new landscape is good for the art spirit.” Frank says, “It pushes me in my work with new challenges”. Cape Cod is a frequent destination for his painting trips.
"We went to see the Ocean, and that is probably the best place of all our coast to go to. . . I do not know where there is another beach in the Atlantic States, attached to the mainland, so long, and at the same time so straight, and completely uninterrupted by creeks or coves or fresh-water rivers or marshes; for though there may be clear places on the map, they would probably be found by the foot traveller to be intersected by creeks and marshes; certainly there is none where there is a double way, such as I have described, a beach and a bank, which at the same time shows you the land and the sea, and part of the time two seas.” — Henry David Thoreau
“I have pursued a career as a painter for many years now. Along the way my methods, materials and focus have evolved. A naturalist at heart, the landscape is the perfect vehicle for expressing the joy I have for the world that surrounds me. My real interest and challenge as a painter is how to best manipulate the core principles of painting into effective visual statements. I’m most successful when I’m able to communicate that joy to the viewers of my paintings.”
A master artist with national first place awards for his oils, acrylics and pastels, Marc has shown his work in galleries and museums nationally and internationally since the early 1980s.
Catherine Hess has spent decades on the Outer Cape and maintains a studio in Wellfleet. She is inspired by the constant and often dramatic changes in tides, sun, clouds and winds, as they alter colors, shapes and shadows in marshes, shores, and dunes. She primarily paints plein air, relishing the challenge of capturing a scene’s essence amid these changes. Hess exhibits on Cape Cod and in the Washington DC area, her winter home.
"When we have returned from the seaside, we sometimes ask ourselves why we did not spend more time in gazing at the sea…” — Henry David Thoreau
Philip Koch fell in love with the distinctive landscape of Cape Cod on his first visit in the 1970s and has painted on location there every year since. He has had the unique opportunity to enjoy 17 residencies in the former studio of Cape Cod’s most famous artist, Edward Hopper, in South Truro. 16 American art museums hold Koch's paintings in their permanent collections. From 2015 to 2018 he was the Artist in Residence at the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo, NY. He is a senior Professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
"This was the most completely maritime town that we were ever in. It was merely a good harbor, surrounded by land dry, if not firm,—an inhabited beach, whereon fishermen cured and stored their fish, without any back country.” — Henry David Thoreau
Marc Kundmann combines wax, oil, and acrylic media allowing him to build and remove layers of color, transparency, and pigments — and also use texture expressively. His hope is that the resulting layers create not only intriguing and beautiful surfaces and compositions, but also give emotional life to the subjects and hint at the mystery inside.
Kundmann studied and workshopped with fine artists connected to the long tradition of creating on Cape Cod including Robert Henry, a student of Hans Hofmann, and Fine Arts Work Center Fellows Jim Peters, Bert Yarborough and Richard Baker. Through them he learned to explore materials, freeing himself from the constraints of representing the real world and allowing him to work expressively, responding to color and composition allowing the painting to evolve into its final form
"Each painting is a problem to solve, or a puzzle to piece together...a playful, yet serious endeavor, and a celebration of our surroundings. There is no greater reward than knowing that a painting has somehow captivated a friend or a stranger. We see many things everyday with heightened digital clarity, yet original artwork always conveys a sense of mystery and magic for us all. I see painting as an unspoken and unwritten way to connect our hearts and minds through depictions of shared experience.” — Jonathan McPhillips
Jonathan graduated from Connecticut College in 1993 with a Cum Laude Distinction in Fine Art. Jonathan’s artwork has evolved into a celebration of coastal New England. Working equally in the studio and on location, his work includes the harbors, beaches, vessels, and architecture of our coastal marine environment
"When the roses were in bloom, these patches in the midst of the sand displayed such a profusion of blossoms, mingled with the aroma of the bayberry, that no Italian or other artificial rose-garden could equal them. They were perfectly Elysian, and realized my idea of an oasis in the desert.” — Henry David Thoreau
John Murphy attended the Butera School of Art, opened The Land Ho! and painted with master painter Robert Douglas Hunter who has been a mentor and friend for over three decades.
While serving in the United States Navy, John designed a plaque presented to President John F. Kennedy at his inauguration on the behalf of the U.S.S. Warrington. John F. Murphy paintings have been chosen for the cover of Orleans Town Guides, Pops in the Park signature posters, as well as being hot items at the annual Cape Cod Museum of Art Auctions. His work is in the permanent collection of the Cape Cod Museum of Art and many prestigious private collections throughout the Americans and Europe. His work has been positively reviewed in the Boston Globe, Cape Cod Life, Cape Cod Times, Cape Codder, A-Plus and Cape Cod View.
"... the sand-pipers, and the screaming gulls overhead; nothing stood still but the shore. The little beach-birds trotted past close to the water's edge, or paused but an instant to swallow their food, keeping time with the elements. I wondered how they ever got used to the sea, that they ventured so near the waves." - Henry David Thoreau
Andrea Petitto has had a fascination with human and animal figures all her life. In her paintings, she captures a sense of movement and gesture and she enjoys depicting scenes of human activity around the Cape and beyond. Andrea is an award winning artist member of the Copley Society of Art in Boston and has shown at the Copley Society and in many venues on Cape Cod and New York. She is currently a member of the faculty at the Creative Arts Center in Chatham.
James Reynolds is a plein air landscape oil painter, focused in Cape Cod and Vermont. He imparts an impressionistic approach using a limited palette and aggressive brush work. Reynolds studied art at University of Massachusetts (B.S. in Finance and Economics) and also directly with New England painters Mark Boedges, Stapleton Kearns, Jerry Weiss and Jonathan McPhillips. He is a present or past member of Oil Painters of America (OPA), Cape Cod Art Association and the Plymouth Guild (Plymouth Center for the Arts). Reynolds' work is collected throughout the region, and he and his work have appeared in South Shore Living Magazine, The Boston Globe, Associated Press, New England Cable News (NECN), Banker & Tradesman, Boston Voyager, Patriot Ledger, Provincetown Banner and The Cape Codder.
Amy Sanders renders richly detailed paintings in pastel, capturing the intricate beauty of nature on the Cape. She chooses pastel as its flexibility allows her to expressively capture the beauty and depth of the scenes to which she is drawn.
Amy is an award-winning artist, Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America, and respected art juror on the art show circuit. Her work resides in collections throughout New England and abroad.
Paul Schulenburg is an internationally collected artist whose work has shown at the Hopper House Museum, in solo shows at Cape Cod Museum of Art, at Provincetown Art Association and Museum and Cahoon Museum of American Art. He has appeared over dozens of times in respected national art publications including on the cover. Schulenburg is a first place Copley artist, member of Oil Painters of America and was commissioned by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to create a portrait of museum trustee Eliot Forbes.
"But first and last the sea is of all colors...Commonly, in calm weather, for half a mile from the shore, where the bottom tinges it, the sea is green, or greenish, as are some ponds; then blue for many miles, often with purple tinges, bounded in the distance by a light almost a silvery stripe; beyond which there is generally a dark-blue rim, like a mountain ridge in the horizon, as if, like that, it owed its color to the intervening atmosphere. On another day it will be marked with long streaks, alternately month and rippled, light colored and dark, even like our inland meadows in a freshet, and showing with way the wind sets.” — Henry David Thoreau
Fay Shutzer’s landscapes reflect her New England roots and her passion for light on rural buildings. Having spent her high school years in Concord, Massachusetts, she finds the focus on Thoreau’s time at the Cape particularly intriguing. Shutzer is a popular plein air workshop leader at the Truro Center for the Arts.
Catherine Skowron has been an artist and educator on the lower Cape since 1969. “Skowron’s oil painting…provides viewers with originally interpreted Cape Cod themes that transcend the genre. Her landscapes reflect the naturalist in her soul—she knows these dunes and paths intimately and revels in bringing people into her own special places.” Provincetown Banner 1/30/2014.
She has studied art in France and Italy and on Cape Cod with Carol Whorf Westcott, Sal DelDeo and Elizabeth Pratt.
Catherine has exhibited in a variety of venues in both open and juried shows, and her works are in private collections throughout the US, Canada and Europe. In 2015 Skowron received an award from the Edward Hopper House Art Center in Nyack, NY for works included in “After Hopper” events sponsored by Addison Gallery, Orleans, MA.
"It was like a thick stuff of worsted or a fleece, and looked as if a giant could take it up by the hem, or rather the tasselled fringe which trailed out on the sand, and shake it, though it needed not to be shaken. But no doubt the dust would fly in that case, for not a little has accumulated underneath it. Was it not such an autumnal landscape as this which suggested our high-colored rugs and carpets? Hereafter when I look on a richer rug than usual, and study its figures, I shall think, there are the huckleberry hills, and there the denser swamps of boxberry and blueberry: there the shrub-oak patches and the bayberries, there the maples and the birches and the pines.” — Henry David Thoreau
Born in Brazil, Cleber Stecei began experimenting with abstract painting as a teenager. After arriving in the United States at the age of 19, he became inspired by the beautiful New England scenery and has since excelled in landscape painting.
Cleber has a great appreciation for realistic portrayals of the human form, as well as the spontaneous brush work of a plein air painting, and he carefully tries to combine those qualities in his work. Stecei’s work is done both from photographic references and on location (en plein air), allowing him to respond to the effects of natural light and atmosphere.
Stecei is a member of the Cape Cod Art Association and his work has been awarded numerous times, including a Best in Show. Since showing at the Addison Art Gallery, his work has enthralled collectors as well as judges and has been featured in respected regional and national art publications.
Linda Turoczi has a deep love of color. She paints in Pennsylvania during the winter months, looking forward to the lovely landscapes of Cape Cod.
“My favorite time to paint is in the early morning when the light is just arriving and changing the landscapes. My paintings are my response to color.”
In Thoreau's views is supported by