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 Nicholas Read  (20/21st century)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts      Known for: painting-animal, people and houses, commercial art, photography

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Weeks Bridge, Harvard, Charles River
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Nicholas Read is a contemporary artist working in Cambridge MA. He paints landscapes, still life, coastal and marine scenes and animal and human portraits in an impressionist and realist style. Much of his work is through commissions.

Read is a member of the Copley Society in Boston, the Rockport Art Association and the Marblehead Arts Association. He is noted for his works especially of Boston, Cambridge, England, Marblehead and North Shore of Massachusetts and Monhegan Island.

Artist Statement:

I consider the decision to become a serious painter my most significant artistic accomplishment. It came late, when I was 45.

I started my adult life in 1974 with a BFA from UNC Chapel Hill. I painted here and there through the years of graduate and law school that followed, but once I started a legal career and a family painting took a back seat until 1995, when I made a commitment to start again and to show my work on a regular basis.

One of the hazards (or pleasures) of being an outdoor painter is that you become a curiosity for the casual passerby. Sometimes she or he is interested in looking at what I am doing, and I am quite ready to encourage the person to take a look, stepping back so they can see what it is that I am seeing. There is always a moment of awkwardness when someone is interested, and I can always tell when he or she is weighing the pros and cons of whether or not to “bother” me. Quite natural, and courteous too.

There is another type of passerby: the photographer. These are not so much interested in my painting, but in me as a quaint oddity which they can own if they have an image to take away with them. These ask, “Do you mind if I take your picture?” I offer no objection provided they send me a copy. Some do, some don’t. I makes me glad that I can be something of interest in a sightseer’s portfolio of experiences.

As I have done for the past 5 years, last July I spent 10 days painting on Monhegan Island, a square mile rock about 10 miles off the coast of Maine. When I am on Monhegan, I choose a theme. This year was no different. The idea is to explore one thing, and to develop facility and see changes in my understanding and handling of a single subject. 

This year it was boats—dinghies, skiffs, kayaks, lobster boats, dories—which you can see in the “Boats” album.

Last year it was trees. There is an album for “Trees” too."

Robert Savage of the Wellesley Collection
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