Saturday, December 31, 2011

Feels Like Home To Me

Moving between my summer and winter studios was more difficult this year. Mainly because I was more involved with the art life in the Finger Lakes and stayed through December. In the summer months I participated in two large regional shows and as part of a 4-week artist residency I not only painted for 30 days straight I also drove all over the region taking photographs for reference and slowly felt the smell of the farm lands and the light off the hills and lakes embedding themselves once again into my heart.
I also experienced two long stints on my old stomping grounds, Cape Cod, where I was able to witness for the first time in nearly thirty years the changing of both summer to Fall and then Fall to Christmas - and Christmas on the Cape is truly a Rockwellian experience. And yes, I found it difficult to leave. The fishing boats tied to the wharfs rocking with the tides along with the tapping sounds of the lines on the masts of the sail boats moored in the distant bay rang deep within my very soul. And I can still hear them. This is why I often paint boats, they represent so much more to me. I only learned this truth after a few months of painting alone in my studio when I stepped back to see all these barns and boats and farmlands, even after living in Florida for 15 years this is where my passion lies.  
And now on the eve of another year in the creative life I look forward to 2012 with nervous anticipation as I feel I am at a fork in the road. While I can’t yet put into words what is stirring about between my brain, heart and brush I can’t wait to get back in my winter studio and “let her rip!” I am thankful that I’ve come to learn, sooner vs later, that the joy in life is not only “in the journey” it is more importantly being in the “here and now” and appreciating each day and the time spent with family and friends. 
I thank you for being in my life, for your support and kind words this past year and wish you all the best in life, love and living with passion in 2012!
P.S. While I will try to keep up on my Right Whale Watch blog my Yellowfish Living blog will now relocate to my website at
To contact Christine Sullivan send an email to

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Helen Frankenthaler: 12/12/28 - 12/27/2011

Another of the world's great painters leaves us for the big studio in the sky. RIP Helen, you will be sorely missed but your unique staining process and color field images that you leave behind have changed and will continue to change the art world for all time.

P.S. When I first started studying the works of the abstract expressionist and color field painters I was first and fully drawn to the work of Helen Frankenthaler. I bought every one of her books, started working on much larger canvases and even tried to meet her a few times as she was active most recently in the print workshops at Rhode Island School of Design and in California. I recently found notes of how much I loved one of her large works at MOMA before I was a painter as well as a photo of my dorm room with one of her Boston Museum of Arts posters duck-taped to my cinder block wall. Helen was an explorer with vision and the verve to make it all work. I often imagined she just said damn to all the attention the men like Pollock and Hofmann were getting and decided to simply press on and do her own thing...and press on she surely did. Here are a few of her works in her honor...