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Provincetown Memories: Paintings and Words by Richard Stabbert Paperback – November 20, 2013
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Richard Stabbery is a self-taught painter, but that most certainly does not mean that he is unschooled in the sense of how light brings the figure and the ocean and the surrounding atmosphere to life. Often times be bifurcates his mostly nudes male figures with lines that define the sun’s influence on skin: at other times he uses the same observation to delineate the difference of which side of the body the sun holds in focus – shadow being subtly created by adjusting the intensity of the pigment. His paintings are flat, in one plane, and even when he paints two or more figures with boats or piers or colored towels, this technique of not trying for 3-dimensional expression somehow enhances the innocence, not unlike the immeasurable beauty of when a child paints images as much out of love as out of imitation of reality.
His provence is Provincetown on Cape Cod, Massachusetts – a special dream zone where many writers and poets and painters have attempted to capture the elusive quality of light. And not only does he paint this special place, but he also writes about the loves that can be either seasonal, or last in the heart forever. This is a collection of gay reveries and Stabbert’s gentle approach to words of fascination, flirtation, passion and memory matches the manner in which he makes this special place visible. Once the viewer has experienced this young painter’s palette and manner of addressing his subjects of young often-nude men, the quality of light of Cape Cod will imprint on the mind like the fascination of discovery of light, life, and love experienced for the first time. This is gentle work for the spirit and a very special book for so many reasons. Grady Harp, December 13