The building at 3217 Main St. in Barnstable Village doesn’t look like it’s haunted. But don’t tell that to the lawyer who rented an office there a few years ago. He was working late one night, heard a strange noise, and saw the door latch to a closet drop down. Things got even more eerie the following day when he witnessed a ghostly woman entering his room, wearing a dress and carrying a hatchet. In the next room, he reported seeing a woman churning butter next to the fireplace. He immediately broke his lease. Perhaps not coincidentally, the building is now for sale.
David Kelley has never been hesitant to push the envelope, whether he’s working in the corporate world as an illustrator or painting an ethereal Cape Cod landscape. His multifaceted background has taught him to stretch the boundaries. “I’m always evolving,” he says.
His career path has veered off in many directions through the past five decades. He worked as a medical illustrator and graphic designer for advertising agencies, insurance companies, and book publishers. He designed a reading program for elementary schoolchildren. He was a printmaker. But he never lost his love for painting. “I find that lots of artists start off as graphic designers or illustrators and paint on the side,” he says. “Their passion is painting. Anyone who gets into it (as a career) is very lucky. Lots of people have the potential, but have their desires squashed.”
After graduating from Providence College, he enrolled at the Rhode Island School of Design. It was at RISD that he first began exploring the limitless bounds of creativity. “That was a major factor behind my design work. If I was having problems, I’d think what other artists would do and I’d refuse to be limited by restrictions,” he says.
After stints as a photo re-toucher for an advertising firm, a designer for Aetna Life Insurance, art director at Houghton Mifflin, and a freelance sports photographer, Kelley relocated to Cape Cod in 1991 and, inspired by an eight-week oil painting course, began focusing on painting during the past decade. “I didn’t want to design anymore,” he says. “I just wanted to be free and loose. I wanted to develop a spontaneous approach. I had worked on the computer (creating illustrations and collages) since 1987, but I wanted to get away from the tightness of all that.”
Distinctive shapes and evocative shadows have always intrigued David Kelley. He initially worked in acrylic and oils, but eventually shifted entirely to pastels because of that medium’s versatility. A former president of the Falmouth Artists Guild, he is now a member of the Pastels Painters Society of Cape Cod. Determined not to have his work pigeonholed, his paintings range from landscapes and wildlife scenes to portraits to the occasional sports piece.
“I just react to the situation. I like the excitement of a situation that is changing,” he says. “Doing different kinds of work and different disciplines has helped keep things natural and exciting.”
Poems have been written about them. Artists are stirred by them. Photographs of them adorn walls around the world. “My son saw a photo of one of the cottages when he was in Greece on the island of Mykonos,” says Marie Jones of Enfield, Connecticut, who has journeyed to Truro’s Beach Point every summer since she was a baby, some 74 years ago.
Days’ Cottages turn 80 this summer. They have survived coastal storms and historical Nor’easters, including the Blizzard of ‘78 that washed away the seawall but left the cottages undamaged. Their appeal is ageless and their customers are seemingly forever faithful, many returning every summer, renting the same cottage, and settling in next to the same tourists. Through the decades, strangers have become friends, sometimes almost family.
“It’s been passed down from generation to generation,” says Joe Days, who now operates the business started by his grandfather. “We put them in the same cottage every year, and they’re next to the same people. So it’s like an annual reunion.” Read more…
Hinge your wrists. Rotate your hips. Turn your shoulders. Don’t move your head. Shorten your backswing. It seems that no matter what ails your golf game, there’s a tip that promises a cure.
Just head to the magazine rack at the nearest bookstore and the headlines will scream back at you: “Swing Like a Home Run Hitter For Longer Drives.” “Sink More Putts From Six Feet.” “Fix Your Slice in Five Seconds.” Those are actual headlines from recent golf magazines. And they’re merely the tip of the iceberg (pun intended). Read more…
I’ve never been much of a walker, unless the journey included 18 holes featuring fairways, bunkers, and greens. When I did walk, I just about ran, as though the undertaking were something to endure-—think root canal surgery-—rather than to savor like a vintage wine. But exploring wonderful Cape Cod winter walks seemed like a fine idea, combining exercise, fresh air, and an opportunity for reflective isolation that is usually unavailable in these parts during peak summer season. Read more…
The two-wheeled designs first pioneered by Janice Chesnik are captivating, yet rarely if ever imitated. Read more…