Monday, May 24, 2010

Up in the Air

Cup of the Day #25
Yellow Marsh Cup, 2010
by Gwyneth leech
Sumi ink, india ink and white-out pen
on white cardboard cup

I was sitting outside Cafe Angelique in the West Village drinking a cup of coffee and contemplating mortality. Leslie Buck the designer of the classic New York Greek coffee cup had just passed away and an article about him and his "Anthora" paper cup was in the New York times. I occasionally come across one of these cups. I have two in my studio, just to admire.

Further thoughts of mortality revolved around my project for the day - going up in a single propeller plane to fly the length of the New Jersey coast. I was thrilled at this chance to see up close some marsh lands that are inspiring my recent oil paintings which you can view by clicking here. But this is a very small plane, just two seats and no in-flight coffee or tea service. Things happen.

Tweety Hawk coming out of the hangar
Preparing to fly with Jim

In fact, the most overtly hair-raising part of the trip was the drive to the air field in Linden, New Jersey. Once I got used to the idea of how truly tiny the Tweety Hawk was, the flight was a great pleasure. Expertly piloted by my friend Jim who has made small planes his passion and his business for many years, we flew low and circled high over some of the most beautiful stretches of Marshland from Barnegat Light, all the way down to the Cape of New Jersey and up into the remoter reaches of the Delaware Bay.

Flying over Barnegat Light
in the Tweety Hawk

The only truly alarming moment came when Jim instructed me, even before we took off, on landing the plane in case of an emergency. No one is a passenger on this flight, but a co-pilot! On the flight back, nearing Linden,  he asked me if I could see the airstrip. Absolutely not! It was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Had I had to land the plane I would surely have ended up on the expressway by mistake. Good thing he knew where he was going.

I was back in the city by mid-afternoon, with only stiff limbs to complain of. I can't wait to start working with these new images in the studio.

 South Jersey Marsh
Oil on canvas, 2008
from Marsh Lines
By Gwyneth Leech
24" x 48"

1 comment:

  1. Nice! Great musing on art and life.