I was drawn to this place from my first step inside. Even though the couple we bought it from had spent 2 years turning Tom Clark’s studio into an apartment, and carpets hung over doorways to keep the drafts out of the dingy, cut-up space, I could feel Tom’s presence. Some of his old glass paint jars, easels and frames were still kicking around, but there was little indication of his work remaining. We heard stories about the wild parties he had here, which usually involved a pig on a spit, skinny dipping and lots of booze, but except for the charcoal sketch of the nude lady (who now greets us in our garage) we had missing pieces of the story. What were his paintings like? Where could we find them?
In 1999 we did a complete overhaul of the studio. We put radiant heat in the floor, removed walls, creating one big open space, and installed new lighting. During deconstruction, Bart was up in the crawl space over the studio when he came upon a piece of rolled up canvas. He brought it out into the light and we unrolled it to discover an original H. Thomas Clark painting. It was in rough shape so I tucked it away, vowing to have it framed some day.
Well, today I picked it up from the framer. David Putnam was a friend of Tom’s and framed many of his works when Tom lived here and when he moved to Wales and continued to sell his work here in New England. David told me more stories about Tom (and his parties) and advised me on a frame that would have suited Tom. He also cleaned and refinished the painting. I’m sure Tom would be pleased. Now I need to find just the right place to hang it so it can remind me of the flamboyant artist who lived here before me.
Almost every day I think about how I need to work and live so Tom will approve. Paint from my heart and play a little too, but most of all appreciate everything about this beautiful place!