Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Cliff Island is the most remote inhabited island in Casco Bay and is eleven miles from the mainland.
The ferry ride takes an hour and a half and it's the last stop on the line. This gentleman, whose name is Billy O'Reilly, is one of only 65 hearty year 'round Cliff Islanders. He's a tall rugged lobsterman with a face that's been etched by a life of working on the sea. Billy's lineage traces back to one of the first families to settle the island more than two centuries ago and I have no doubt that he knows the waters around the island and bay as well as he knows the back of his hand. When the photos were taken for this painting it was a bitter cold December day, but the sun was so bright it lit up the dinghy like a red hot frying pan. Billy was hamming it up for the camera here.....hence the toothy grin just barely seen through his heavy beard. I love the simplicity of this image... just a man and his boat in the water.. but it's a bit surreal because they appear to be levitating over the deep blue.
Maybe he knows something we don't...
This is one of two paintings that were recently accepted into the Pastel Society of the West Coast's 21st International Exhibition, which runs May 8-June 2, at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center in Carmichael, CA .