Monday, June 15, 2015

"A New England Summer"

    I am pleased to have my work included in the upcoming exhibition entitled "A New England Summer" at Patricia Hutton Galleries in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. The opening reception will be on Saturday 20 June 2015 from 5:00 until 8:00pm. I hope to see you there!

    Here's what Patricia Hutton posts on her Facebook page: "For many years Bradley Hendershot has spent his summers on Monhegan Island. Like the legendary artists who proceeded him, he records the history of the village... dwellings and the rugged natural beauty of this remote island off the coast of Maine. Come meet Brad at our opening reception and learn the intriguing story behind this dry brush painting entitled "Island Rental." Join us at an Opening Reception for "A New England Summer" on June 20, 5 -8 pm."

    ISLAND RENTAL
    Drybrush, 17 x 28-1/2 inches
    signed lower right

    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. I decided to do this drybrush of the front fa├žade as it was before repairs, and for some reason I’ve placed a placard above the door with my initials, “BJH”, carved into it. This must’ve been some sort of sign, as several weeks later, I decided to move from my Monhegan home of a dozen years and rent the right-hand half of this house, now called the John Sterling Harbor House, beginning in Summer of 2008. My front door was none other than the door over which I placed the initialed placard! I have since moved again, and now share a studio/gallery on Fish Beach Road with artist Katharine Krieg.

    “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.”
    Shirley Jackson
    The Haunting of Hill House

    Here is another Monhegan Island painting that will be included in the exhibition:

    FOG WALK
    watercolour, 18 x 29-1/4
    signed lower right

    John Sterling’s Cistern House, also known as Uncle Henry’s, was built on Monhegan Island around 1815. Originally known as the Cistern House, as it protected a water supply, it became known as Uncle Henry’s in the 1930’s 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. The painting depicts Uncle Henry’s in the fog, as a woman walks down Wharf Hill on her way to greet the morning boat from the mainland. An American flag on the upper deck gently waves in the breeze.

    All for now,
    Until next time,
    Brad

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