THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF
We never could decipher Mark's signature. For years we puzzled over it, my wife and I, squinting at the penciled scrawl. But yesterday I thought I'd get my loupe and try again. Sure enough, "M Whitcombe" appeared, clear as day. 27 years after we purchased two of his mono-tinted etchings from a small gallery in SoHo, we found Mark. And then, armed with his name, after surfing the web, we found this Page. We thank you for solving a mystery of our household, and we thank you for connecting us with the man behind the work.
Owner of 2 prints
We could feel it before it reached us. We could smell it before it breathed life into our canvas and whistled in our ears. It had to be a North Wind...and it had to be just right...and it was. Only a handful of times before had we ever heard of it happening, you know. Many of us, the saltiest of the crew, had heard the myth, had, from time to time, uttered those stories to one another up on deck, when we needed a thrill. The younger lot wouldn't listen to us; they would not hear of legend. For them, our aged and weathered faces, like our tired and battered ship, somehow discredited our integrity and worth. We may have believed, but never had we EXPECTED it to come true- being able to fly...to sail among the clouds...to reach above the sun-baked rooftops of our village...to navigate the skies and not the sea...an adventure unknown.
POVERTY AND GLORY
(submitted blog entry Jan 17, 2011)
Each summer season comes and leaves again, just as it arrived, like a fleeting breeze. "Next year," I say every time and every time becomes just another excuse. She sits in the yard year to year. Though sagging in the sod, the grass growing up around her, covering her majesty, still she stands proudly, flaked just as we left her- "Old Knock About" or "Sweet Maiden" waiting for her next voyage. Either way, she's ready and waiting with the patience of a saint saying sweetly, "take me to sea, dear friend, just one more time. I promise to glide as I once did...to fly with the wind...to carry you to uncharted waters. Have no fear, my love, my old trusted friend, I will not disappoint. It is not here that I should rest, but at sea."
OLD KNOCK ABOUT
(submitted blog entry Jul 28, 2011)
...and though I continued to shell out for our rent, each dreary month (hanging on, perhaps eager to see what might happen), I just knew, all too well (somehow) that we could go at any time.
THE NEW TENANT
(submitted blog entry Oct 19, 2010)
As she passed majestically beyond our bow, we couldn't help ourselves but to bid farewell to the sandy oasis; its warm, dry breezes billowy in our sails...
SLOCUM AND THE SPHINX
(submitted blog entry Oct 26, 2010)
Nearing the final tack, the milk-white moon was our mark, and the chorus of stars our sweet serenade.
SAND BAGGER HEAVEN
(submitted blog entry Nov 13, 2010)
On the horizon, as the fog of the sound was finally giving way, it could be seen, in all of its splendor, an island- City Island, well-hidden and sacred to the sailors of New York. A secret of the boroughs, a small sliver of respite. Oh, let it be so that this great place remain unspoiled and delicately protected for eternity, void of the chaos and confusion of its nearby cities or thereby sink beneath the weighty burden of its majestic comforts and sought out uniqueness to the very bottom of the sea.
CITY ISLAND BAY
(submitted blog entry Nov 26, 2010)
The words awakened in my mind- "One man's trash is another man's treasure"- as I skirted the wake of the barge laden by such a trove that one would not believe.
(submitted blog entry Dec 1, 2010)
The creakin' sound she made at anchor, the first puff of coal powder smoke upon takin' 'er leave, the ever-peeling green, red and white paint that was slopped on fresh every other summer, on the first of June...those ashore, we could hear 'em talkin' and laughin' from time to time; they'd call 'er "rust bucket," but we'd just call 'er "home.
(submitted blog entry Dec 29, 2010)
To the ends of the earth, till the salty sea turned frozen and we crunched our way to a stand still. In the hopes that we would find something, in the hopes that we would be found, in the hopes that we would be remembered, in the hopes that we would be even missed at all. Our beautiful vessel, her back broken and splintered across the icy landscape- our tomb.
(submitted blog entry 01/06/2011)
Soft cool nights on the wake of summer, the tobacco taste on my tongue, the sting of my guitar strings, etched into my fingertips man, what a session ...what an evening.
MUSIC AT NIGHT
(submitted blog entry on 01/06/2011)
This is awesome! ...I also have many Mark Whitcombe drawings up throughout my house...and they have been equally enchanting for me.
Since I was a child, Mark's work (most especially his etchings) have captivated my attention and filled my own imagination. I remember spending countless hours, going from room to room of our house in the Bronx staring into the different dreamscapes of Mr. Whitcombe's world. I would make up my own stories about them and tell them to my younger siblings. Today, I use them to inspire creative writing among my students.
Middle School Teacher and Outdoor Educator
Having known Mark's works and collected his etchings for over 40 years, I am always in awe of his talent as an artist and a poet. He died and at his memorial service the many "Mark" stories made us smile while we were wiping tears from our eyes.
Lover of Whitcombe