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MAINE ARCHIVED WORK
Please note that the paintings on this page are in private collections and are not available for purchase.
Sizes listed are image sizes.
FISH HOUSES, MONHEGAN ISLAND
Watercolour, 20-1/4 x 29-1/4 inches
Located just a hundred feet from our Monhegan Island studio and gallery on Fish Beach Road is a group of historic fish houses.
The one on the left was built in 1873 and is known as the Claudin Winchenbach Fish House. It is unique and recognizable by its second-story stove pipe.
The fish house in the middle was built in 1873 and is known as the Alonzo Pierce Fish House. It is recognizable by its shark cut-out above the door.
The house on the right is known as the Ruby Brackett House and was brought to Monhegan from Barters Island near Boothbay Harbor by barge in 1925. The weather and tides had to be just right. The house was brought in through the harbor at high tide to Fish Beach, where it was put on rollers. Using a human-powered capstan, it was rolled up to its present position.
Drybrush, 15-1/4 x 17-1/4 inches
Here's a statement that I wrote several years ago about the house in this painting:
"From the first time I ever got off of a boat on Monhegan Island, I have been intrigued by the large, rambling, old house that sits atop Wharf Hill overlooking the harbor. You can see it's present owner, sitting on the knoll most summer afternoons, at the top of Wharf Hill, watching the events in the harbor. Known officially as the John Sterling House, it is one of the oldest houses on Monhegan, dating to 1809. It is in disrepair -- boards falling off, dark and looming. To me, it conjures up images of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, Nathaniel Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables, and Stephen King's Marsten House (in 'salem's Lot). I have never been in the house - maybe it's best that I don't go in; maybe it would take all of my feelings away, when I saw that it was just an ordinary house inside instead of the haunted house I've imagined."
Well, in the summer of 2006, I went into the house, as the owner, then in her 90's, had moved off-island. The house had been fixed up, with new roof, new windows, and new clapboard siding. It's now divided into two halves, each one a rental unit.
Over the years, I have done a number of paintings of the front facade of this building and have once again returned to the textures of the wooden clapboards that so intrigue me. And blue - I love blue - the door, the window shade, the oar.
"No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone."
The Haunting of Hill House
Drybrush, 26-1/2 x 20-1/2 inches
Located just a hundred feet from our Monhegan Island studio and gallery on Fish Beach Road is a group of historic fish houses. This one was built in 1873 and is known as the Alonzo Pierce Fish House. It is recognizable by its shark cut-out above the door.
I was painting this fish house on location on Fish Beach when I was surprised by an old acquaintance of mine. This collector of my work from Virginia had stopped by our Monhegan studio/gallery and Katy told him that I was painting on Fish Beach. Although the painting was only about one-third of the way complete, he fell in love with what I was doing and said that he wanted it upon completion. This gentleman was on his first trip to the Island and was leaving that day, so he never got to see me finish the painting. As it turns out, he is the retired admiral from the USS Nimitz, a US Navy supercarrier and one of the largest warships in the world. So, as I finished the painting, I honored him and his service by painting the name "Nimitz" on one of the skiffs in the foreground of the painting. He was surprised by the personalization that I had given to the work, which now resides in his collection. The painting is signed "Bradley Hendershot / Nimitz, Monhegan".
During the execution of the painting, I became very interested in the textures of wood and shingled surfaces of the fish house. The capture of these textures was perfect for instituting the painstaking process of drybrush, using very little water with the pigment and many small strokes of the brush to build up layers that describe the detail.
Watercolour, 18-1/2 x 29-1/4 inches
When I'm staying on the mainland in St. George, Maine, this is the first thing I see upon looking out my bedroom window in the morning.
The porch pillar cutting vertically through the American flag creates the namesake for the painting DIVIDED, as that's where I see our country right now (this painting was completed in 2011). Notice how the right side of the flag is larger than the left side, subtly stating my political affiliation; and there is more red showing, as the blue is reduced. The open attic window symbolizes "out with the old and in with the new", a changing of politics in Washington. The flowers on the porch symbolize a re-birth, and the watering can is their nourishment. I just had to include the power meter on the right side of the painting, representing all of the power in Washington. The red, white, and blue theme of the flag is repeated in the items on the porch. I've also changed the colour of the roof to red, which, along with the white of the house and the blue of the sky further emphasize my patriotism.
My friend Robert Skoglund, "The humble Farmer", who I rent from in Maine, used to own the property. He says, in a recent e-mail:
"When I was 10 I used to deliver newspapers there. I can remember going down to that dooryard in the 40s and watching Ernest polish his motorcycle. I owned it for 20 plus years. I have seen it every time I have looked out of the window for over 40 years. I have seen paintings of it by Gary Akers and Barbara Ernst Prey and Jamie (Wyeth). I had Mac Daggett put on the power entrance. I stuffed insulation in the cellar window. I had Faustini fix the chimney. I rebuilt the porch and put on the storm windows. I caught the kid who kicked out the front door. I have laughed at the chair and the flag and the flower pot on the porch as blatant, obvious props to draw in artists and chided Gary Akers for being sucked in. I have looked at this house many tens of thousands of times over the past 65 years. So what is there not to recognize unless it is the trees to the left on the northern side?" (some artistic license by me, the artist)
Drybrush, 21 x 29-1/4 inches
This drybrush is not an exact depiction of any one building on Monhegan Island, but rather an imagined composite of the various fish shacks on Fish Beach. The painting was actually started during a lecture/demonstration I gave on the Island, where I was showing the audience how I replicate the many interesting textures of weathered shingles. After the lecture, I continued on with the painting, inventing the subject as I went, but always keeping the general essence of the fish houses in mind..
study for INDEPENDENCE DAY, I
Watercolour, 18-1/2 x 29-1/4 inches
Collection of the Artist
This watercolour was painted on location on Monhegan Island, Maine. I've attempted to capture the early morning light striking the side of the lightkeeper's house on Lighthouse Hill. I find endless satisfaction in painting the varied angular red rooflines of the lighthouse structures. Here, a red, white, and blue bunting has been hung from the eaves in celebration of Independence Day, and also in recognition of the seasonal opening of the Monhegan Museum, which is housed in the lightkeeper's house.
Watercolour, 19-3/4 x 29-1/4 inches
John Sterling's Cistern House, also known as Uncle Henry's, was built by Sterling on Monhegan Island around 1815. Originally known as the Cistern House, it protected a water supply for the John Sterling House which sits just up the hill. The little building was also called "The Shop" for years and was used by various Islanders. The building was owned by the Davis family (heirs of the Starlings, or Sterlings) from 1844 until 1938. It became known as Uncle Henry's in the 1930s when Henry Shaw used it as a place from which to sell his fresh produce and milk, which he brought to the Island once or twice a week. He would set out his wares along with a box for the Island people to drop their money in when he wasn't there. The building was bought by Gerald Stanley Lee in 1938 and was used as a studio where he taught his "sensitivity" classes. Lee was a bit of an odd bird; tall and quite thin, with gray hair, he always wore a tweed suit and white cotton hat with a green visor. He would often be seen walking around with an orange balanced on his head. Elizabeth Neilson purchased the building in 1946, passing it to her daughter Caroline Steiner in 1973. Uncle Henry's was gutted by fire in 1979 and was rebuilt by Vernon Burton in 1982. During this rebuild, the chimney was placed on the opposite end. William A. Oram bought Uncle Henry's in 1993 and it is currently a rental unit in the summer months. The building is still without electricity, and the orange glow of the gas lamps and the smell of wood smoke are pleasant reminders of Monhegan past.
This painting was done on location on Monhegan Island. Although the building is fairly accurately rendered, some artistic license was employed in the surrounding landscape in order to evoke the feeling of windswept Monhegan Island. The painting depicts the morning sun displaying distinct shadows. The open door invites the cool air as the empty chair on the rooftop porch seems to suggest that the house is not abandoned. A ship's nameboard above the door reads "B. L. Eaton".
BUOYS IN THE WINDOW
Watercolour, 14-1/4 x 29 inches
This watercolour was painted on location on Monhegan Island, Maine. While studying the lightkeeper's house and dory, I rose early each morning, toting my painting gear to the top of Lighthouse Hill to take advantage of the morning light. The building just to the right of the dory is known as the tool house. I've attempted to capture the mood of the lightkeeper's house early in the morning, just as the sun was catching the buoys hanging inside the window of the tool house. The fog bell has been moved from Manana Island, the small island that protects Monhegan's harbor from the winds and seas of the North Atlantic. The tree to the right of the fog bell is a healthy tree. The tree to the left has succumbed to eastern dwarf mistletoe, or witches' broom, but due to its picturesque quality, the President of the Monhegan Museum won't allow it to be cut down! When I was on Monhegan during the summer of 2004, we had a problem with the E. coli bacteria in the Island water. This is the water that I used in doing the painting, so I've signed "e.c." behind my signature!
Acrylic on Board, 14-1/2 x 24 inches
The Monhegan Island Schoolhouse was built in 1847 on a lot of land known as "Ledge of Rocks". The school is still active today, and is responsible for educating the Island youth from grades K through 8.
Acrylic on Board, 18 x 24 inches
Collection of the Artist
Monhegan Island, Maine, has long been known for its artist's colony. A visit to the Island on a summer day will find artists in abundance - in the village, at the lighthouse, and, as depicted here, on the rocks. The idea for this painting came about as I was walking out near the rocks at Lobster Cove. I happened upon an artist friend of mine, perched on a rock cliff and totally engrossed in sketching the sea. Numerous studies were done, and the finished painting was completed in the studio. Although the model is a specific person, only a back view of her is shown in the painting, so her figure becomes representative of all of the artists that have painted on Island over the years.
Watercolour, 31 x 46-1/2 inches
The concept for this painting began more than a year before this painting was completed. I was doing studies of Jamie Wyeth's house on Monhegan Island in the fog. A young man of the Jewish faith, named Menachum, approached me and asked if I minded if he said his morning prayers next to me. He thought this was one of the most beautiful locations he had ever seen. The man adorned a hooded robe and commenced to kneeling and saying his morning prayers as I sketched the fog-bound house. The man had trouble envisioning my finished painting based on the few quick notations of my sketch, and quoted an old Jewish folk saying "Never show a fool half a job." This large watercolor was completed in the studio more than a year later, with my memories of that day vividly in mind.
The painting depicts Jamie Wyeth's house, known as the Sarah Kent House, on Lobster Cove. The house was built in 1908 by artist Rockwell Kent for his mother, Sarah. This is my favorite locations on Monhegan Island - the area around Lobster Cove and Lobster Point, at the southern end of the Island. For a number of years, I made a point of walking to this area daily to watch the surf pounding the rocks.
study for PAINTER'S SEA
Watercolour, 20 x 29-1/2 inches
One of my favorite locations on Monhegan Island is the area around Lobster Cove and Lobster Point, at the southern end of the Island. For a number of years, I made a point of walking to this area daily to watch the surf pounding the rocks. The painting is of Jamie Wyeth's house, known as the Kent House, on Lobster Cove. The house was built in 1908 by artist Rockwell Kent for his mother, Sarah.
Although this work was done in August, as I painted, a strong cold wind stung my back and chilled me, and periodically I would have to climb down in between the rocks to get out of the wind for a while. Amazingly, the easel stood up to the wind and the painting was completed on location.
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