By the Way

Susan Merrill makes summer last

Susan Merrill and her husband, Carl Sprague, are sitting under the grape vines on the terrace outside their old white house, with two corgis underfoot. Susan’s grandfather lived in this house; it has been in the family almost 100 years. They have spent this summer quietly here, seeing friends and family, plays and concerts while…

BTW Berkshire artists in West Stockbridge

The painter caught my eye, standing on the grass outside the old town hall. Straw hat and smock, pallette and easil — a plein air artist made of straw. On the easil, splashes of bright color announced that the Richmond-West Stockbridge Artists Guild has an exhibit running this weekend and next (Aug. 24 to 27…

BTW Cubist and Surrealist encounters at the Clark

The cloth of her shirt ripples like light on water, and above her three circles of light shine like bubbles or sun on a lens. This is a self-portrait. Dora Maar was about 28 when she made it. I can imagine her in her darkroom, shaping light and shade on a silver gelatin print. Sounds…

Turn Park sculpture reflects with humor

I was sitting on a cliff edge in a rocking chair. Bees were moving in the meadow flowers, even in a light rain, and Don Quixote with rivets in his shoulders held a daisy in his fingers. He was looking at it round-eyed. The new Turn Park Art Space in West Stockbridge is a quizzical kind of…

Melville and Hawthorne on Monument Mountain

Arrowhead, Herman Melville’s historic house in Pittsfield, will lead a marathon reading of Moby-Dick through this Sunday, and the annual hike up Monument Mountain in Great Barrington — to commemorate Herman Melville’s meeting with Nathaniel Hawthorne — will set out on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. I have walked the loop on the mountain on…