The Artist


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Southeast Point

June 2003

A 5 mile loop between New Harbor and the Monhegan Bluffs

When I was last under Southeast Point an incoming hurricane nearly washed me away. On this fair weather day I was surprised to see how narrow some of these beaches pinned beneath the buffs really are even at low tide. Of course in a place such as this I never know if change is due to extreme elements of nature or a faulty memory.

Barlows Point

June 2003

A 12 mile loop between Old Harbor and the Monhegan Bluffs

I did not plan to go all the way down to the beach but once within reach I could not resist. There the clicking pebbles sung a welcome serenade.

Smilin’ Through

June 2003

A loop between Old Harbor and Dories Cove

To follow the elevation lines of a topographical map across this Island is more than confusing. Its large hills and lakes come quickly into focus but as one delves into closer examination the endless abundance of bumps and depressions that fill the landscape render any true understanding of its surface impossible to decipher. One must live the land.

New Shoreham

June 2003

A ramble about Old Harbor

Walking through the landscape is a ritual that has provided me with an abundance of photographs through the years but I have to wonder what I am missing. Whenever I sit down in one place for any extended time I begin to see my surroundings anew and harvest compositions previously unseen.

Pilot Hill Road

June 2003

A 6 mile walk from Pilot Hill to Monmuet Hill and on to Old Harbor

On this island where I thought I’ve been down every path, a tip from a local sent me around a gate and up a hill I had not climbed before. The day could have been better for the taking of panoramic shots of the view that confronted me. The grey sky had lowered contrast to the point that specific features melted into the whole. But as the right combination of grass and weeds came together their color and texture made the place came alive.

Postscript: This once empty field is now full of new homes.

Spring Street

June 2003

A ramble about Old Harbor

The late afternoon mist was very heavy creating a exceptional mood even for this foggy town. Outside of the edge of night it has never looked so dark to me. In passing I have heard this weather referred to as gloomy. I feel totally alive.

Old Homestead Road

June 2003

A l6 mile loop between New Harbor and Great Point via Dory’s Cove

The light overcast grew darker and finally turned to rain as I wandered the western moors. I should have headed strait back to town but I could not resist wandering up side paths whenever they came my way. All was quiet except for a distant murmur from the sea.

Monhegan Bluffs

June 2003

A walk on the Mohegan Bluffs

The gulls and the hawks love the south shore, they seem most content here. Here where the high bluffs meet the Atlantic they can soar on the air currents for miles without the flap of a wing. I fly with them.

Monhegan Bluffs

June 2003

A 14 mile loop between Old Harbor and Great Point via Dory’s Cove

While I know that light is in constant flux I continue to be reluctant to take a new shot from a point where I have taken one before. I do not know where this feeling comes from or why I am surprised that when I view the results of triggering the shutter once again the results are completely different.

Sprage Farm

June 2003

A loop between Old Harbor and Sandy Hill

Scores of tiny cotton tuffs spotted my pants from where the thorns reluctantly released their painful grip. The distance I covered through the thick brambles had seemed short enough to the eye but my flesh disagreed. By the time I entered the back fields of a farm this ordeal had passed from my mind. A wall of grass sprung up flanked by a field of daisies. It is new territory and I am happy.

Indian Head Neck

June 2003

A 10 mile walk from the Central hills to Andy’s Way and back to Old Harbor

I was once told not to take pictures of lighthouses or barns for they have become too cliché to be taken seriously as art. But what is more cliché than a sunset. They have been depicted a million times over the centuries yet no one seems tired of viewing them. It is not always a question of how many times something has been seen, it is about being human.

Fort Hill

June 2002

A 7 mile loop between Old Harbor and Rodman Pond

Block Island is a Romantic place subject to providing Romantic views. But even here the everyday takes hold, and even here there is beauty in it.

Mohegan Bluffs

June 2002

A loop between Old Harbor and the Mohegan Bluffs

How can I answer the voices put to me?

Schooner Point

June 2002

A 17 mile loop between Old Harbor and Schooner Point

I always look forward to the beach but after walking over uneven stones for a few miles I begin contemplating my exit. Some places are easy enough to walk over where I can skirt around each individual obstacle. In other places the stones are packed so tight that it becomes a game of hopping from one to another hoping not to slip or loose my balance. Then there are those stretches of small cobbles piled high by the waves that give way underfoot with every noisy step. I knew of an old road that came down to the beach from across the moors at Schooner Point, only today to my dismay a new home blocked my passage.

Postscript: I used to walk this empty corner of the Island with impunity but it is now full of many new homes and private drives.

Old Dunn Road

June 2002

A 15 mile loop between Old Harbor and Black Rock Point via Franklin Swamp

I had thought I found a new road only to discover I had wandered down it once before lost in the rolling fog. It was like spotting an old friend on the street after many years and wondering if that could really be them.

Old Mill Road

June 2002

A 12 mile loop between Old Harbor and the Turnip Farm via Graces Cove

There is such beauty in grass, a beauty so easily overlooked. On the greyest of days its ever changing colors glow, its rhythms unsurpassed. Why some feel the need to cut it I'll never know.

Crescent Beach

June 2002

A walk down Crescent Beach

I roll up the legs of my pants and take a long walk through the surf. The water is still cold and the few sunbathers further down toward town have dwindled with the sun’s rays. I am not alone. A new home peeks down on me from the bluff. For a moment I stare back.

North Light

June 2002

A 14 mile walk from Cow Cove to Old Harbor via Clayhead

The gulls ride the currents rising off the warm sand and the lighthouse sails the dunes.

Old Harbor

June 2002

A 6 mile ramble about Old Harbor

The brightning sky forced me up and about before dawn despite my inclination to get more rest. A glowing orb peeking over the horizon is a sight in itself, but set in a morning mist it can put on a show like no other.

Southeast Light

June 2002

A 6 mile loop between Old Harbor and the Monhegan Bluffs

I have not been able to comfortably adjust to the new location of the lighthouse since they moved it back from the bluffs edge. No mater how beautiful I find the day’s light there remains something askew with this view. I guess this has never just been a view to me. The drama I faced on my early visits has impressed something so strong into me that reality seems more of an illusion.

Old Harbor Point

June 2001

A walk from New Harbor to Old Harbor

An empty home stood at the end of the road, now too close to the high bluff’s edge for occupancy. A number of new homes had been added to the collection of the old ones nearby, fresh paint contrasting with weathered wood. It all seems unreal, a giant toy village dropped here as if without consequence, set in place by invisible by an invisable hand following boundary lines instead of the flow of the land.

Paynes Dock

June 2001

A ramble about New Harbor

Usually I do not linger in one spot for too long regardless of its beauty. But there are those moments when there is something about a place that just demands further contemplation. Sometimes this attraction is subtle, today it was dramatic. From the end of a dock I stood watching the harbor transform before my eyes. Every time I thought a peak moment of color and light had been reached I was surprised to find an even more spectacular scene before my eyes only moments later. The sun may set every day but we are blessed by evenings such as this.

Black Rock Road

June 2001

A walk down Black Rock Road

The fog continued to roll in from the Atlantic today but did not drift far inland. Once out on the moors I had to continually stop to retie my shoelaces as the thorny brambles greedily reached out for them with every step I took.

Near Fresh Pond

June 2001

A 9 mile walk from Fresh Pond to Black Rock Point and back to New Harbor

As I reached the far side of Fresh Pond I found the hollows slowly filling with fog as it drifted in off the cold Atlantic. Further along where the trail dropped steeply before me I paused for a moment. The humidity was high and bands of mist streaked across the far side of this depression altering its scale until the distant mountains of a tropical jungle appeared before my eyes.

Sandy Hill

June 2001

A walk on the west side

The light was already fading when I reached the far side of the Island. What I first mistook for kelp covered rocks sitting out in the still low tide turned out to be the dark whiskered heads of seals eying me with great care. A single distant sail sat on the horizon.

Fresh Pond

June 2001

A 9 mile loop between New Harbor and Fresh Pond

The fog took me by surprise as I headed south for it was pleasantly sunny in town. Fog is never an unwelcome development here but it is difficult to know if it is around if you are not in it. It often sits quietly out on the cold Atlantic before suddenly rolling over the bluffs and onto the moors. Once in the hills its life is limited.

Indian Head Neck

June 2001

A loop between New Harbor and Indian Head Neck

It grew overcast before it grew dark. There would be no sunset, only a tinge of warmth added to the sky before night fell.

Great Salt Pond

June 2001

A loop around the Great Salt Pond by kayak

By roaming about by kayak I was able to reach new vantage points to shoot from. What I did not expect was how difficult it would be to shoot a drifting object moving against a select backdrop from another drifting object. With paddle in one hand and camera in the other I tried to steady my shots and not splash water onto my equipment. This is not the best way to create photos.

Fort Island

June 2001

A ramble about New Harbor

Composing a shot is not just about balance but what is included and excluded from view. Illusions of a vast pastoral landscape can often be created if I can shoot around trash cans, rusty boat frames and porto potties.

Postscript: This tranquil hillside has since been marred by the construction of a number of new homes and boat landings. Sometimes there is just too much to shoot around.

Clayhead Swamp

June 2001

A ramble in the Bluestone Maze

The light started soft today and only grew softer until every scar in the landscape rid itself of meaning to become lost in shape and color and grey.

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