Monday, September 10, 2007

Our Trip to Cape Cod

Coast Guard station at first light

We returned from our trip to Cape Cod yesterday morning. I don't think the visit could have gone more perfectly. With all of the press about how bad air travel had been this summer, we were planning for the worst. Our experience was quite the opposite. The flight up thursday morning left precisely on time, and arrived twenty minutes earlier than predicted. Smooth clear air all the way. A very pleasant flight.

We picked up our rental car at the airport, and headed out to the cape. The weather was cool, dry with a wonderful breeze. I haven't been to Massachusettes since I was ten, but it had a very familiar "feel". Like coming home. It would be a toss up between Pennsylvania, and New England in a race for my favorite previous residence location. In other words, it was good to be back. We arrived in Chatham around mid-morning, and checked into our room. A very nice place called the Bradford Inn near the center of town. We dumped our luggage, and walked up main street to the Wynne/Falconer Gallery.

Kenny Wynne hanging the show

Karen and I introduced ourselves to Kenny and Ally Wynne, then toured the gallery. Kenny (above speaking with a client in the midst of hanging the show), and Ally are great people, who made us feel very much at home. Their gallery is in an ideal spot, located in the heart of the shopping district. The flow of traffic into the gallery literally never stopped. Following a long visit, we headed across the street to the Chatham Squire for a bowl of New England clam chowder. Karen and I were both starving, and it really hit the spot. The remainder of that first day was spent exploring the town.

Cape Cod National Seashore

Friday morning we were on the move, driving through one quaint town after the other, and hitting a couple of the beaches on the way up to Provincetown. I wanted to go all the way to the tip of the cape, and the drive through the dunes out to Race Point was beautiful. The National Park Service has a great visitor center there, which includes a high look-out providing a 360 degree view of the surrounding area. Gorgeous! I could have spent the whole day there walking the trails, but our time was limited, so we headed into P-town.

Provincetown Public Library

Provincetown was a crazy place. People, people and more people. Lots of shops, lots of historic sites, and lots of art galleries. Karen and I visited a bunch of those galleries, and spoke with a number of artists that day. We went to the Packard Gallery, which features the work of Anne Packard (a local legend), and her daughter Cynthia. It is a beautiful space, built in an old church. Another gallery we visited was the Gallery Voyeur. It features the work of two artists, Johniene Papandreas, and her partner, who paints commissioned dog portraits under the title "Lucky Dogs!". We hit it off immediately with Johniene. She too was from Atlanta, and we had a great time talking with her.

Tree's Place Gallery in Orleans

The bulk of the day was spent in Provincetown, but on the way back to Chatham we made a side trip into Orleans. We wanted to see Tree's Place Gallery. They were featured as the gallery of the month in the same issue of American Art Collector as we were. It was a gorgeous space, easily the most elegant of all the galleries we visited. The paintings on display were great, but we were both especially blown away by the work of Michael Whelan. He is primarily a sci-fi cover illustrator, but his oil paintings were amazing.

While we were there I casually mentioned to Alison Collins, the director, that Karen and I were in the magazine. She was very sweet, and spoke favorably of our work. We talked for a few minutes, then thanked her, and left. As we were getting into our car, she came out and asked us to come back in. Alison said that Donna Steele, the owner, wanted to meet us. Karen and I came back in, and Donna greeted us very enthusiastically. She told us that the entire staff, including herself, had seen our work in the magazine, and felt that it was possibly the best in that issue. By this point the remaing staff members had gathered around, and were adding their own positive comments. That moment was the emotional highlight of our trip. Everyone there was so nice it was hard to leave, but we returned to Chatham feeling pretty good about our work.

Saturday morning we drove into Dennis to see the Cape Cod Museum of Art, after that it was back to the beaches. We returned to Chatham late afternoon to get ready for the show that evening. I had my camera with me at the reception, but didn't take a single photograph. We weren't sure how many, if any, people would show up, but the doors opened at six, and the traffic didn't stop until long after nine o'clock. Everyone was very nice, and complimentary of our work. Karen actually sold a painting during the show. It was really fun. When the show was over, and the sales were tallied up, Karen had sold seven out of nine pieces, and I had sold seven out of thirteen. I think I can say it was a pretty successful event. We said our good-byes to Kenny and Ally that night, and thanked them for all they had done for us, because we were heading back to Boston before sun-up the next morning.

Me outside the MFA waiting for Jeff Hayes

Karen and I had a nice drive back into Boston very early sunday morning. We had been told by those in the know that driving in town was a problem, so we un-loaded the rental back at the airport, and took a cab to our hotel. I have to say that I went a little crazy on our accomodations in town. For one night in my life, I wanted to see, how the other half lives, so I booked us into the Nine Zero on Tremont street. We arrived way too early to check in, but they were very nice, stored our luggage, and said we would have a room with a great view when we returned later in the day. They were right. The view over the Boston Common was fantastic! Especially at night. The "other half" gets to live pretty good.

We had breakfast in a popular spot called the Paramount on Charles street, then took a leisurely walk through the common to the train station to catch the "T" down to the Museum of Fine Art. We had three hours at the museum (not nearly enough time), before we were to meet Jeff Hayes. Jeff is an artist I've been corresponding with for sometime now, who has spent quite a few years in Boston. He offered to be our guide for the afternoon. Jeff picked us up at the MFA, and drove us all over the city. The galleries on Newbury Street were a must see for us. Martin Lawrence who shows our friend Bob Deyber is among them, so we definitely made a stop there.

We had an early dinner at a wonderful Indian restaurant in Cambridge, after which Jeff took us out to see his studio space. It's a great spot located in a building populated by artists. He had to split at six to meet someone, but by this time Karen and I were pooped anyway, and were looking forward to spending a little time in the, way too expensive, hotel we had waiting for us. Five a.m. came early, and it was time to head back to the airport for our flight home.

It was truly a "perfect" trip. The flights, the weather, the people, everything was great. Kenny and Ally are already planning our show for next year, so maybe we'll be able to go back, and do some of the things we didn't have time for on this visit.


Jennifer Tolman said...

Your work is amazing and beautiful!

The Painted Sky said...

Congratulations on the show ( both Karen & Neil ), it's good to hear of it being such a ( much deserved ) success.

There is nothing like travelling to your own exhibition and saying goodbye to your art.

Kelley MacDonald said...

I've been 'lurking' on your blog for a long time, admiring your work (both of you!) and was also on the Cape on a painting trip with 3 friends last week. I hope to see your show if it's not taken down already! Loved your blog, you took me on a 'tour' of my favorite things in Massachusetts :) And I know Jeff gave you a wonderful tour, having met him at his Open Studio, I know he's such a friendly and sweet guy. Glad your trip and your show was so successful, come again!

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling we wont be seeing any of your work on eBay again :(

Best of Luck!

Janice C. Cartier said...

Wow! Just found you. Googling the world of painters' blogs. Very new to it myself. I have to say you manage to keep the warmth in potentially very cool subjects. And "coolness" in all of your work. Many congrats and best wishes for continued success. Lots of grace. You have lots of grace. All best,Jan

Jelaine Faunce said...


Cooper Dragonette said...

Congratulations to both of you on a successful show. I am heading to the Cape this coming weekend--will the gallery still have all your work or did they let them go at the opening?

James Neil Hollingsworth said...

Thanks everyone! It was a great few days. Cooper, I think all of the paintings that sold will have already been shipped. If you decide to visit the gallery, the unsold pieces will still be on display.