Welcome to the maverick life of artist Ryan Young. Since age 14, almost 40 years past, Young has labored long hours as a dockworker for the Steamship Authority in Woods Hole. His long workdays are followed by whatever time he can grab—perhaps an hour or two—to work on his lilting watercolors. “I guess you could call me a blue-collar painter,” Young says. “There’s not enough hours in the day.”
The peaceful spirit in Young’s watercolors—scenes of the Cape and Islands in endearing detail—is as counter as it could be to his working style. Dock work is the medicine he must swallow; art is the tonic.
Almost all his paintings depict a classic Cape Cod element: a road winding to the beach, a pair of swans on a lily pond, dories tied up at a dock. Ebb Tide; Little Sippewissett, centered on a meandering tidal river, lined with eelgrass and prints from a visitor, has all the majestic depth of nature itself. Amycita depicts a sweet little dory tied up at Eel Pond in Woods Hole.
The Falmouth resident felt the urge to paint as a small child and by age 12 or 13 was selling pieces. It was totally unplanned. “I was around the water a lot, loved to draw, and fell into painting,” Young says. Then, he adds, “somebody noticed and stuck me in a decent art class.” As a high-schooler, he took lessons from Falmouth artist Joe Downs.
“He was a watercolorist and kicked me in that direction,” Young says. Jan Collins Selman, who hangs his work in her Main Street gallery in Falmouth, has been impressed by Young for decades. “I met him when he was 14,” she says. “I loved his work even then.”
After high school, Young studied at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where he fell in with a group of Italian art teachers and thrived. He married his childhood sweetheart, Frances, and life rolled out in its busy way: establishing a home, raising children, working to send them to college. Painting became a passion that he refused to give up. Today Young shoots photos and then, in the studio, places them on a computer monitor to paint. He also builds walnut furniture in Queen Anne and Chippendale style, inspired by the many afternoons he spent as a boy admiring the furniture at his grandmother’s house
He still thrives on his artwork and nurses a yen to paint full time. “This painting thing is a double-edged sword,” Young says. “It’s a delicate balance, painting and going to work. Painting is still a passion.”
Ryan Young’s work may be seen at Jan Collins Selman at 317 Main Street in Falmouth (jancollinsselman.com) and at Watershed Gallery in Kingman Yacht Center, located at 1 Shipyard Lane in Cataumet.
Rambling old off-season houses, spare and silent, pop up in winter like acorns along our area’s winding streets. In Joan Albaugh’s hands, they thrum with uneasy silence.
Whether her focus is a house, a buoy, a snorkeler, or a kiddie pool, the Nantucket painter’s canvases almost always center on an isolated figure and an unnerving air. For Albaugh, it comes down to simply being. “It’s the human experience, with yourself and with nature, the fleeting time we have here,” Albaugh says. “Maybe it’s living on an isolated island in the winter.” She laughs and adds, “I’m still trying to figure it out.”
Albaugh’s focus on isolated objects and structures began almost two decades ago when she divorced and moved to Nantucket with her son. “When I first moved to Nantucket, I was attracted to these empty houses off season,” she says. While she is known for painting houses without windows, sometimes windows appear, but are disguised by powerful slants of light. “The light can often be so strong, you’re more entranced by it; the light can obliterate the details.”
Each depiction is, Albaugh says, “a portrait of isolation.” The ultimate in cool solitude may be her painting of an iceberg, cloaked in blue and towering into a steely sky. The pristine brushwork stems from the skills she learned at the School of Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and she says her artistic influences include Edward Hopper and Rockwell Kent.
She recently started a series on what she calls lost lighthouses, unmanned and isolated, almost to the point of appearing bereft. “But I got burnt out,” Albaugh says. “That’s when I turned to the kiddie pools. There are no kids; it’s almost like it floated away, got lost, or abandoned. Not that I was thinking that when I did them, but I like the mysteriousness.”
Albaugh is looking forward to traveling to Norway and the Arctic this summer. After that, she says, “Maybe I’ll try more icebergs.”
Joan Albaugh’s work may be seen at Old Spouter Gallery at 118 Orange Street; Nantucket Looms at 51 Main Street; and the Artists’ Association of Nantucket at 19 Washington Street, all on Nantucket; Kindreds Antiques and Folk Art at 845 Main Street in Osterville; and at joanalbaugh.com.
Hutker Architects designs a getaway home full of rustic touches on a tranquil pond in Chilmark.
When Patrick Mahady began searching for a vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard, he was nearly set on purchasing a place in Edgartown when his real estate agent told him about a three-acre parcel on the opposite end of the island. A drive down the long winding dirt road to the site revealed a mix of open meadow, woodlands, and pond shoreline with views to a barrier beach beyond. Mahady was hooked. He bought the property and contacted Hutker Architects—a firm well known for its thoughtful approach to island homes—to design a place that would fit well into its rural setting. Read more…
When Rob McBride and Scott McCoy purchased a charming little house in the new Herring Cove Village community in Provincetown, they needed some guidance on how to transform the bare interiors into their personal space. “Rob and Scott walked into the shop and were looking for wallpaper for their master bathroom,” recalls Herbert Acevedo, owner of Shor Home Furnishings, a home furnishings and interior design shop on Commercial Street in Provincetown. “We began looking at a few selections, and during the process, they asked if I could help with the outfitting the rest of the house,” he says. Read more…
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World class wines from France. Fresh oysters from Duxbury. Black bass caught off the coast of Nantucket. Superb salmon flown straight from Scotland. Fine cuts of lamb from Colorado. Black truffles ordered from Paris. All prepared and served by highly regarded chefs and sommeliers in an elegant Nantucket home on a lovely summer evening.
These were just some of the attractions for a “Great Wines in A Grand House” dinner held last summer as a premiere 2011 Nantucket Wine Festival event. The evening was a star-studded extravaganza created by well-known chef, Robert Sisca of Boston’s award-winning Bistro du Midi, several French winemakers, and a Nantucket couple who shared their historic home with 18 lucky guests. Read more…
On a beach with panoramic ocean views. In a field with vintage touches. At an inn, surrounded by gardens and village charm. The possibilities are endless, and armed with a vision, engaged couples can use wedding tents to build a venue with emotional resonance. A tented wedding is a creative, personalized approach to a memorable day.
From classic designs to seaside bouquets, Cape wedding floral ideas come alive on a visit with Verde Floral Designs in Mashpee Commons.
“Elegant, romantic, and traditional—or beachy, casual, and natural. Those are the words that I hear from Cape brides,” says Jeff Sawyer, owner of Verde Floral Designs. Jeff (in this case Jeff is a woman’s name!) has a passion for flowers—and Cape Cod. After 15 years of success in the corporate world, when she enjoyed the Cape as a getaway, Jeff opened a lovely Mashpee Commons shop where she is finally able to combine both her loves. She particularly enjoys working with Cape brides. “When I ask brides what atmosphere they want at their wedding they all have their own ideas—but almost every bride wants her flowers to reflect that special Cape Cod feeling,” says Jeff. Read more…
Cape Cod’s natural beauty and a historic mansion frame a perfect seaside wedding.
Most people who live on Cape Cod year-round already have a certain reverence for the physical beauty just minutes from their door. When it comes to weddings, no fancy trimmings or extraneous bells and whistles are necessary to celebrate the spirit of this place. All you really need to do is show up and let the timeless, intoxicating fusion of ocean and sky work its magic (a little prayer to the weather gods never hurts either). Read more…
On Cape Cod mornings in weather fair or foul, you might see 79-year-old Stan Snow rowing his boat on Orleans’ Town Cove. Just like his great grandfather, Aaron Snow, who often sailed up and down the East Coast in search of the best products for the family’s famous store, Stan knows the importance of sticking to things. Read more…
Scan the footnotes of Theodore Roosevelt’s life story and you’ll find the name Joseph Bucklin Bishop more than once. Bishop was a Roosevelt booster in the editorial pages of New York newspapers, a controversial appointee during the construction of the Panama Canal, the first of many biographers of the 26th president, and editor of the 1920 best-seller Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children. Read more…