Six months ago, my wife and I wandered the warehouse districts of Farmingdale, the airport district of Bohemia, the defunct factories of Patchogue.  I was canvassing Long Island, searching for a studio.  I knew that I could ply the art scenes of Manhattan, slipping into the salmon stream of the Long Island Expressway, trying to wedge myself into the grid somewhere.  I knew I could wear black rimmed glasses and black turtlenecks and hang out in Brooklyn, trying to look twentyfirstcentury.  But, I read about Winslow Homer, disappearing to coastal Maine, with an occasional foray into New York City.  I read about Sorolla, painting for months on the beaches of obscure Valencia, then returning to Madrid.  I read about Poussin, disappearing to Rome, when France was the only place for any serious artist.  I just wanted to be in peace and quiet, near my home in Islip.  I wanted to focus, and to be near my wife and sons.  And then, my father in law generously rented the front of his warehouse to me.  He enabled the opening the ceiling of the warehouse, to allow a twelve by fifteen foot skylight to be placed.  Here, I have the most beautiful light that I’ve ever seen, in a studio.  And now, there’s a full roster of classes, and a couple dozen canvases waiting.  And I’ve gladly welcomed the first bout of insomnia I’ve ever experienced, owing to the excitement and expectation coursing through me.

My new studio, at the Ulster Linen Building, importers of fine Belgian, Irish, and Czech linen,

Oh, When I am safe in my sylvan home,

I tread on the pride of Greece and Rome;

And when I am stretched beneath the pines

Where the evening star so holy shines,

I laugh at the lore and the pride of man,

At the sophist schools, and the learned clan;

For what are they all in their high conceit,

When man in the bush with God may meet.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson


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