As I mentioned yesterday, this shack caught her eye when we were calling a park near Boston home sweet home.
This replica of an old structure (the original burned down) is reported to be the most painted building in America. I personally love the strong colors and the many colorful lobster buoys attached to the wall in Marilyn’s vision of the shack.
How did it get the name Motif no 1 you ask. Here’s how Rockport tells the story:
How Motif No. 1 Got Its Name
“ROCKPORT’S trade mark is the dark red shack on a Bearskin Neck wharf. Motif No. 1 is recognized in far-away places, thanks not only to visitors who spread its fame, but to the innumerable paintings and prints that have carried its likeness abroad.
One story says that a Yankee traveling in South America found a picture of the house: it had been painted in Czechoslovakia. He brought it to his home in New Hampshire.
As we have noted, America’s most-painted building received its name in an impulsive exclamation by Lester Hornby. This illustrator and etcher taught in Paris in the winter; his pupils, in the French manner, drew certain standard subjects or motifs.
During his summer seasons in Rockport, Hornby noted that many pupils chose the venerable, dilapidated shed on the edge of the inner harbor. Its prominence and its simple but interesting proportions made it a natural model for sketches and paintings, good and bad. One day when a student brought for criticism a pencil drawing of the house, Hornby exclaimed, “What-Motif No 1 again!” It has been that ever since.”
—Rockport Sketch Book, by John L. Cooley
And the story continues. This particular version of the shack was seen in Massachusetts, painted in Florida and will soon be on its way to Ontario to an awaiting Art Show.
Want to see more of my favorite artists work? You can follow the Watching Paint Dry series all the way back by clicking here. When you get to the end of a page just click on older posts and it will take you back a little further. Then repeat.
If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful