January Cove has all the characteristics one admires in Sisson’s coastal work, particularly his method of using layered, broad brushstrokes punctuated by a meticulous delineation of forms to create brilliantly surreal beachscapes. The melding of the cool tones of the sky and water with the warmer passages of sand and rock immediately draws the viewer in, while the windblown clouds offer a stimulating pictorial element. A pair of dories frozen in the icy harbor and a cluster of buildings in the distance are the only evidence of humankind in this ode to the glories of Maine’s rugged beauty.
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Sisson’s body of work encompasses the many places that inspired him throughout his long and distinguished career. From the tidal pools and rugged coastline of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, where he first moved in 1951, to the earthy red mesas and endless skies of the Southwest that captivated him beginning in 1979 until his passing in August of 2015, the artist’s landscapes are distinctive for their sense of breadth and clarity of detail.
Sisson was the recipient of countless accolades, including awards from the Allied Artists in 1955 and the Silvermine Guild in 1956, as well as the popular prize at the Boston Arts Festival in 1956 and 1964, and his work was acquired by both private collectors and museums during his lifetime. Today examples can be found in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Worcester Art Museum, and the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine, among other institutions.
Private collection, Duxbury, Massachusetts, for decades
(verso of board in black marker) JANUARY COVE / by / LAURENCE SISSON