I'm back from a trip to Cuttyhunk Island in the Atlantic off the coast of New Bedford, Mass. It's near Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket and is the first of the three that I've visited.
Until this trip, I've always chosen to visit Cape Cod or Shelter Island for an immersion into beach landscapes and to be able to find wonderful scenes of the shore and surroundings to paint.
This year, my son and his family invited me to join them on Cuttyhunk, where they would be visiting with my daughter-in-law's extended family and friends who have been summering there for several generations.
This isn't an island designed to encourage hoards of visitors. Each day there is one ferry which leaves early in the morning to take you over to the island and another in the early evening which returns to the main land. Any other time for arriving or leaving requires hiring a water taxi or having a boat.
In order to make the 9 AM departure time, I drove up to New Bedford the night before and stayed in a motel. The ferry pier was right alongside a number of good sized fishing vessels that were setting out for the day's catch. I found the port and the activity fascinating and thoroughly enjoyed the hour-long ferry ride to the island.
The island is usually cool and breezy, so islanders were unprepared for the heat wave that was baking the entire Northeast. Very luckily, I had specified that I must have a fan or would bring one with me. It turned out to be one of the few fans I saw during the week I was there. Walking everywhere on a very hilly island and having no respite from the heat, made the trip more challenging than it might have been otherwise. It was simply too hot to paint en plein air and often too hot to walk to some of the scenic spots along the coast to take photos and carry my backpack and heavy camera. I did manage to get some good shots in spite of that and this painting of beach roses along the path is based on a couple of photos I took of the scene--one for the scene itself, the other of clouds which I added to the scene.