I miss Maine. I miss it not only because I miss summer, with fireflies, watermelon and fresh corn on the cob, heirloom tomatoes and the smell of basil at the farmers market, and being so so so hot and sweaty that the greatest pleasure comes from immersing in an ice cold body of water. But I miss Maine, too, because it’s where my son and his girlfriend live. So when Hunterdon County artist Jerry Cable sent an image of a sunset on Monhegan Island to announce his new show, it made me feel warm inside, as if I were eating some of the zucchini Justin and Manon had pickled from their garden.
“Island Magic” is on view at Mr. Cable’s studio in Stockton, NJ. His summer studio is located on Monhegan Island, Maine, 12 miles off the Maine coast.
Monhegan Island and the rocky coast of Maine have been beckoning to artists for decades. At the turn
of the century American impressionists like Edward Redfield and Robert Henri were lured to this tiny
island. Today it remains an active art colony and summer home to many well known artists including
Everywhere there are vestiges of the island’s seafaring legacy. Wooden lobster traps, old
buoys, and even a ship wreck continue to capture the attention of artists.
I have to admit, Monhegan Island doesn’t call to me the way it does to Mr. Cable. When I’ve gone there, by ferry in summer, all the tourists get off the boat the same time I do and swarm the island. The painter with an easel becomes a specimen, and all of us tourists whip out our cameras. I can only imagine how unhappy that must make the artists feel. I usually stop in to visit former Princeton-area artist Joanne Scott, with whom I studied eons ago. In fact I first learned of the island from her.
Mr. Cable, who paints warm scenes of architectural splendor, such as the Hopewell Train Station, when in New Jersey, describes Monhegan as “simply magical.” His summer studio sits directly above the wharf.
“From my studio window I love to watch the changing nuances of light and ebbing tides,” writes Mr. Cable. “Even on a cloudy or foggy day it’s still wonderful… Although I’m more of an architectural painter I was drawn to the harbor and the shimmering water this summer.”
This summer also marked the artist’s third solo exhibition on the mainland at the Ocean House Gallery in Port Clyde.