In addition to finding new people to collaborate with through BlackBeak studios, I have also been fortunate enough to do some work with friends and family.
My latest piece is for my brother Matt, who asked me to honor a special place with a painting. As I had mentioned in a previous post, my brothers and I do an annual camping trip in the Adirondacks. Every year we camp on a little lake called Huntley Pond and every year we hike to a spot on the Hudson River called the Blue Ledge. Depending on the time of year and weather, we may jump in – but usually, we just enjoy the beauty of the place and throw sticks for Matt and/or Ian’s dogs to fetch.
This tradition started 20 years ago with my father and my older brother Matt (my younger brothers Danny and Ian were too young to join back then). 20 years ago we camped on Huntley Pond and hiked to the Blue Ledge. The first time we made the trek to the Blue Ledge, we didn’t come prepared for the swim – but it was a hot day and the river was calling us in. Since nobody was around (we were in the middle of nowhere, after all), we stripped down to our underwear and started to head in to the water with our dad in the lead.
Which leads us to the first of many memories of this trip and this spot. As our dad waded in to his waist, a raft full of about 15 people came around the bend. Matt and I had not jumped into the water yet, so we quickly retrieved our shorts. Our dad was in deep though, and – all while giggling – he made for the shore, soaking wet in his underwear. Making it a funnier scene (particularly for Matt and me), the raft turned to pull up on our beach and unintentionally chased our dad all the way up where his shorts were!
This year was overcast and much colder than that first trip, so there were no swimming antics. Instead, I took some photos and talked with my brothers about our memories of the place. In this painting, I wanted to capture the bend in the river (around which the raft came), the rocks we often play on, a bit of the beach we hang out on – and of course the ledge itself.