On Day Three, Two Deer Isle Artists in Residence

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Oscar lays out his things and starts work on a sketch of the guys jamming at the Church of the Morning After.  It’s not much more than a fish shack. Everyone is welcome to listen or play there on Sunday mornings at 7.

I show Oscar the pastel I’ve done of the outside of Church. He shows me a watercolor sketch he did.

“It’s the best thing on the island,” he says, meaning the Church. He tells me he wants to do a new painting in color. It’s the most ambitious thing he’s done so far, I think. I work on a new painting of Cadillac Mountain.

We take a break at lunch and walk to 44 North for coffee. Rufus recognizes me. “I met you before,” he says. “Last summer. You do the web work for the Farmer’s Market.” We chat. Oscar orders some Sumatra coffee and explains he wants it ground fine, not too fine. Rufus says he wants to have sketching sessions in the summer at the 44 North shop in Stonington. Maybe Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. “Oscar would love that,” I said. “He can walk to it.”

As we come back from 44 North, Oscar points to a house. He’s trying to tell me something but I don’t understand. Later I do. He was pointing to the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts building on Rte. 15. “That’s where Stu Kestenbaum works,” he says.

“He’s a nice guy,” I say. “I play pickleball with him.”

Oscar tells me he went to one of Stu’s poetry readings. Stu is the poet laureate of Maine. Oscar sat up front, loved Stu’s poetry. Afterward he talked to Stu. “I can’t talk. I get frustrated,” he says.

Oscar can’t always say what we wants to say since he had a stroke. But he usually gets across his meaning. Besides, a lot of idle chit chat is overrated.

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