Tuesday, July 28, 2015


In The Dunes 18 x 24" Oil by Christine Sullivan
August, boy August on the Cape. As young children it was simply paradise. Our last grasp of summer before school, a way to hammock ourselves and yet alive with the possibilities of what was ahead. And how appropriate that it is the same window for my first solo show on the Cape.
Please join me for my opening reception
437 Commercial Street, Provincetown MA
In our family, much like many of you, our parents would pack up the station wagon to the gills and make the trek from Syracuse to the Cape the first two weeks of August. We'd stay in the same, small cottage in the Nauset Heights area of East Orleans known as the "Blue Shutters" and owned by Mrs. Hopkins. Complete and unplugged it sat on a spit of land with the Mill Pond, a salt water tidal pond, on three sides. It was where the salt air and the salt water meet and became my center. 

Harbor House, 20 x 24" c sullivan
And while the "big beach" surf of Nauset was the main attraction during the day, it was the quiet moments back at the cottage when we were left to ourselves that I remember most. Alone, down at the  edge of the Pond pulling clams from the mucky sand earning my .50 cents a dozen, or out rowing around the Pond while my brother snorkeled for and speared small crabs, even as I sat on the stone steps outside the rickety screened kitchen door shucking ears of corn for my mom, hearing the Bob White calling in the distance, I somehow, even then, knew. It was all around me as my tanned arms pulled at the green husks. Seeping into that place where we go when things get tough, as they surely would, becoming my Bell Jar. I was seven years old. And it is there when I open a tube of paint. Back once again I go. The pink of the late evening sky above. The tips of the sea grasses bending in front of me. The quiet of the purple beach heather, almost whispering as the tide slowly shifted with a gull overhead.

Of course I have had these experiences as an adult. After I grew out of the summers with my parents I returned alone to live and work on the Cape. Then my parents moved there for twenty-five or so years. My mom returned to her landscape painting, my dad to his 18 foot sail boat on Pleasant Bay. Knowing full well that none of this would consider me a native but my fifty year relationship may stand as an acceptable close second, at least for some. My nights on the bar stools of the Land Ho! well set. But it's always the childhood memories that are the strongest. That I pull from. That joins us all. Especially while painting. 

This was never more evident then during my last workshop with Anne Packard and her daughter Cynthia Packard this past June. We were standing there. On Ms Packard's deck. About ten of us. Busily setting up our easels and paints with little to no small talk. Looking out at the Bay. The Pier. Wondering what we would stare down and attempt to capture and hearing Anne and Cynthia making the rounds...when a brisk wind brought with it the sharpness of that familiar combination of salt air and low tide (which my best friend still refers to as "dead fish!") and my heart lept. Literally. And I was brought back…to those summer days…that love. The sea. The boats. 

Provincelands 30 x 40" Oil, c sullivan
I have about a dozen paintings in this show all of which are Cape images. Oils By The Sea / ROCCAPRIORE GALLERY is located on the East End of Commercial Street and is owned by long-time local artist & film producer Shirl Roccapriore. The history of the location is deep as it was once home to a strong Portuguese fishing family that drew their livelihood from Cape Cod Bay and the surrounding waters. Later it became Harvey Dodd's gallery (1933-2011) for decades. I couldn't feel more honored to be represented by this high quality gallery and to have a solo show here in August. 

Come join me Friday, August 7th for the opening reception. The gallery is located directly across form Ciro and Sals Restaurant and next door to The Mews Restaurant so it's easy to find and to make a night of it! And if you are not able to come see the show in person please visit the gallery website at oilsbytheseagallery.com

All the best! /c.

P.S. While you're in P'Town be sure to pick up a copy of the Provincetown Art Guide magazine and check out my full page ad. 

437 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Three's A Charm: Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition

It was both exciting and challenging to work on this, my first attempt at melding my present painting process with my cartographic past. As it was to learn that "Finger Lakes Geomorphology" was juried into the 65th Rochester-Finger Lakes Biennial Exhibition. This years juror was Michael Rooks, Wieland Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Atlanta's High Museum of Art, who chose 68 works by 46 artists from a field of 920 entries by 330 artists - thus I am honored to be in such good company. This will be my third appearance and is largely credited for launching my professional art career.

It is also exciting as this was a bit of a departure for me. The base of the painting is a "map" - harking back to my geography/art degree and early days as a cartographer on Cape Cod - describing the locations of the eleven long and narrow lakes that make up the Finger Lakes. But it was the energy of the earth event that created these lakes, about two million years ago, that shaped my painting process. As did the human interaction and migration as the sense of place evolved. There are nods to the early towns and villages, the salt mines, open farmlands, recent vineyards, the NY State Thruway - but it is more personally an example of my love of paint, rocks and of this region. One that I hope will lead to a bend in the road in my own painting journey.

The exhibition opens with a reception on Saturday, July 25th from 8pm - 11pm.  There will be live music (including a large dance band in the grand ballroom), a drinks and dessert bar and the museum is open so you are able to stroll through five centuries of world art in a marvel of architecture. 

Memorial Art Gallery is located at 500 University Ave, Rochester, NY. I will be lecturing here during the exhibition on Thursday, August 27th at 7pm and the exhibition ends September 13th.