Since 1968, Nantucket Looms has been proud to represent our local craftspeople. We carry the works of over seventy different artisans, including painters, potters, basket weavers, jewelry makers and wood carvers. To honor those whose unique creations reflect the natural beauty and history of our beloved island, we will highlight an artist on our website every month. This month, meet Joan Albaugh.
Joan Albaugh moved to Nantucket 20 years ago with her young son. They spent their first winter in an upside down house in Tom Nevers. Albaugh recalls the views from the living room of a sparse landscape, dotted with quieted houses, many of them shuttered for the season. She was taken by the starkness of the winter light and by the glow it cast on the shingled structures. They seemed so isolated on a textured landscape. She began to paint the houses – and her houses are what she is most known for today. “Often the late afternoon light, especially in the winter, is so strong that the details of the house, be it windows or doors, are obliterated,” said Albaugh from the lower level of her studio on Nantucket, where she still lives. “Also I think very unique to Nantucket – often, one side of the house has been recently re-shingled – which magnifies the intensity of the light.”
Albaugh’s paintings are peaceful and serene and, despite her description of them as isolated, they somehow don’t feel lonely. In a busy world so cluttered with to do lists, cell phones constantly ringing, emails nagging to be answered and – well, just too much going on – her work invites the viewer to slow the pace, to walk up to that faceless house, to decide which path to take to find the beach. Her work calls on us to be patient and introspective, to transport ourselves to the still place she has created on the canvas.
Nantucket Looms has been representing Joan Albaugh's work for more than 15 years. “It has been such a pleasure having my work there on Main Street and to be in the company of so many other wonderful artists and artisans,” said Albaugh.