Friday, March 29, 2019

Rocky Neck Nights

Rocky Neck Nights 1977, ed touchette
24x30 oil canvas

Rocky Neck Nights (Snippets from memory belying the admonition—If you remember nights on Rocky Neck You Were Not There.)

I had never painted with oils on canvas when I decided to paint a night scene. I’m certain you recognize the nightlife.  The location I knew well—Rocky Neck Avenue at the front of my apartment and studio at the end of Rocky Neck, over the coffee shop that Penny ran, near the entrance to the Railways, next door to George Bleich’s Gallery.

There I was, young, innocent tossed to the wolves at the bitter end of The Neck. Having survived two stints at the Rockaway Hotel could not prepare me for the neighborhood where Casper and Arthur sold costume jewelry by day and by night, entertained a bawdy, raucous crowd at the Studio piano bar. Evie, entertained celebrities at the Rudder. (How I wish I’d been on the Neck  when John and Lionel and Judy performed at the theater.) I did hear Dominic sing Embraceable You, over and over again.  And there was a rumor that a bare breasted trumpeter performed somewhere north of the The Studio. (I dare not be too specific. One character in the infamous novel, In a Place Like No Other,  mentioned that he/ she had married an attorney. Oh, dear, where is Denny Crane when I need him.)

Parker Lee had spent a summer across the street at West Wharf, the rooming house that the harbor eventually reclaimed. Ray Frasier painted clipper ships and David Pollack, set up his director’s chair and umbrella to offer his talents as a portrait painter.

The Beaux Artes Ball in the Lobster House parking lot. The mad man in Captain America underwear climbing the fence to enter without a ticket. So many Carmen Mirandas, you might have thought you had been beamed onto a fruit salad.

The antique shop above the rudder, Tragabigzanda, held treasures suitable for John Smith’s Greek princess for whom the shop was named. The three Turk’s heads were stored safely off shore. Nightly, folks lined the street to wait for a seat at the Rudder to enjoy the world famous clams casino and hopefully hear Evie sing a broadway tune. Anthony Newley frequented the restaurant but I never heard him sing, actually, I never saw him but I’d heard he was there. Similarly, every summer a humongous yacht or motor sailer would dock at the Lobster House. One year it was rumored that Keith Richards was aboard. One year it was rumored that the boat belonged to Ringo Starr or maybe it was, oh, you know, that other famous musician actor whose name I can’t recall. (If you can think of it, let me know, Please.)

So many famous people tied up at the Lobster House it was difficult to sort through the directory. No one ever claimed to have actually seen them and no one has reported seeing John Hays Hammond Junior's lobster boat cruising the harbor without a soul aboard. Nonetheless, the sea monster that lives under Ten Pound Island frequents the harbor and each summer Eric Clapton’s yacht drops anchor near Niles Beach.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019


Chair, ed touchette
c 1983
oil/ canvas 25x 22

Sit and rest
It is best 
to rethink your time

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Near Middlebury 2003
36" x 60"
A Memory of Mountains 
Near Middlebury, where I paint, fields and pastures loll westward.
The lake in the distance shimmers below granite cliffs.
A stand of trees draws a line.
A stone wall crosses — interrupts, but briefly.
 The landscape is its own being and cannot be other.

This patchwork of cornrows and lush, verdant grasses,
rich umber furrows where stalks will sprout,
eases the eyes to the deep, ultramarine.
That is Champlain.  

Beyond, near Port Henry, mountains rise from the waters. 
Not gently, as if to ease your soul to a higher plane.
Severely, demanding to know why you approach.

Once you’ve explored and exhausted all answers,
given yourself to the simple majesty that once, millions of years ago,
was the verge of the ocean,
you will let go of that to which we cling,
those feeble attempts to dominate the indomitable. 
Reinterpretation of
Near Middlebury 2010
India Ink/ Canson 20 x 24

Friday, March 08, 2019


Weather Map (new title) acrylic/ canvas 20" x 24"

The cold recedes leaving the browns of autumn
Behind the barn chickens cluck a welcome to
Spring is nearby. You can recognize the green of early risers.
Hank Baldwin, the resident gardener, readies his tools.

Sunday, March 03, 2019


Not to worry.
Spring is coming. 
Following this storm.

Friday, March 01, 2019

Dance at Winn's Barn, 2013

(Published in the Watershed Review, CSUC, Spring 2018)
acrylic, India ink, Walnut ink, graphite/ Arches 300lb. CP

Living on the Farm
Change your aspect
Regard the world 
As connected.

Edge of the Known Universe, c 1980

28 x 24, oil/ canvas

The edge of the known universe is doubly oxymoronic.
Universe implies all. That would include infinite. 
How arrogant are we to establish a boundary, an edge, a perimeter, asserting our knowledge of the dimension of infinity. Of course, we could argue that by establishing an edge to that which we know, we are implying a continued search as our adventurous spirits will impel forward movement. That would be acceptable.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Adirondack Sunrise, watercolor/ Fabriano 140lb. CP, 9 x 12 (")
Painting in the mountains is peaceful. 
interested in this piece, email