Martha Thinks

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Painting Essex Day

Essex, Mass is the dreamiest town, I've always thought. I imagine a tourist who does not live on the coast driving around here on vacation falling in love with the place. The marshes, the salty air, the seafood and the charm. Filled up flowerpots and windowboxes, funky treasures and antiques spilling out of storefronts make it a really special place.

Yesterday was "Paint Essex Day". There has been a lot of roadwork done on the main drag and the businesses have suffered. So this was a wonderful effort to get people back walking along Essex. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., there were 45 painters tucked in all corners of the village and a red balloon was tied to their easel. Then from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. there was a silent and live "wet paint" auction at the Cox Reservation.  This was the first year, but it seemed like a great success so I think it will be the first of many.

This painter was inspired by Woodman's as he set up across the street (and so were we). 
  Yum.  The slightly damp weather kept the crowds away.  Maybe not good for the artists, but good for a nice outdoor seat.
Everything for sale has a certain patina, a certain age, a certain history. 

It's in the details, the way you feel grounded.  The old granite, the tilt of the home, the old iron strappings on the wooden door.  

A former diamond, now a bit in the rough.  But even this Victorian Colonial looked a bit dreamy, like a painting herself.  Yet still a wreath in the door and a light in the window (Mary Margaret...for Margo..)
The kid is getting a new bedroom now that both brothers are going off to college.   This is the painting that we were watching the artist paint (see above photo).  The kid said he would love it for his new room.  Way to get to me.  So mom and the boys came back from Essex around 3:00 pm and the grown-ups went back around 5:30 pm for the "wet paint" auction. 

We had the loveliest all seriousness...go next year!  The paintings were all set up in this magnificent old barn, hanging on all of the walls.  There was cold beer and wine and tables set up outside under an apple tree with vintage tablecloths.  A local caterer had fabulous cheese and dips and fruit and crackers and white twinkle lights were strung through the trees - and a bluegrass trio played.  Another perfect summer night.

And one lucky boy.  The painting was in our price range and he has offically started his art collection.
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