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All Calm on West Falmouth Harbor

Like many of us, Velesig knows the waters will not always be calm. Though she tries to bring peace and quiet to viewers with her work, sometimes there are feelings that can ony be expressed and understood through painting. When asked which of her hundreds of paintings has been her favorite, one would automatically assume it would be one of her classic pieces, one that makes viewers immediately say, “Oh that’s Christie Velesig!” But her favorite is one that holds more emotional weight than anything else. “I do have a favorite painting. Right now, it’s at the Cape Cod Museum of Art. There is an exhibit on 21 in Truro and it’s a very special painting to me,” Velesig explains. “I painted it when my mother got sick. My mother had a brain tumor, and it was very difficult for me to paint at that time. She lived in Rhode Island and I was there a lot, helping my father. When I would come home every few days, I worked on a very large watercolor. It’s called ‘Troubled Waters.’ It’s a very emotional painting for me. With the very turbulent, crushing waves, people look at it and say ‘That doesn’t look like your work’ because I’m generally a very calm person and I love calm waters. So, when they see that with the crashing waves and the woman alone on the rocks with her back facing you, it’s a very emotional painting compared the usual paintings I do.” In a statement written to accompany the painting, Velesig says, “Although my mother had friends and family who loved her dearly, ultimately, she was standing alone on a rocky coast facing turbulent waters as sickness took her from us. Tears are literally embedded in this painting as I cried with every brushstroke.” Though the theme and context of the painting is mournful, the brighter than expected hues of grey and blue project a sense of hope.

But Velesig generally prefers to keep things light for most of her paintings, thanks in part to the beautiful light that permeates the Cape. “I love when I see the sun come up and see the sunshine, I love the morning and the start of a new day,” she says. “I’ll go out and just explore and whatever looks beautiful to me, that’s what I paint. Right now I’m focused on boats but, I might be walking by a doorway, and just the way the sun hits the doorway can inspire me or the way the sun hits flowers.   I mostly focus on the landscape with things that make me happy, things that make me feel alive and I just can’t wait to get a brush and colors in my hand.” Velesig ponders what makes the Cape such a special place for artists, as every one of her pieces is infused with its magic. “The Cape is one of the most beautiful places in the world. The colors and the sky and the water; the whole landscape is just so unique. It’s very inspiring,” she muses. “I can’t imagine being an artist and coming here, and not wanting to pick up a brush and paint. When I go out exploring and find an area I love, I can’t take enough photographs. There’s a painting every few feet. And then you turn around and you see it from the other side and there’s a painting every few feet.” As for her favorite spot to capture in her paintings, a dock by West Falmouth Harbor embodies the peace and calm that Velesig hopes to share through her work.

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