Stabbert, Richard. “Provincetown Memories: Paintings and Words” Firehouse Publishing, 2013.
Life and Work
Richard Stabbert is a self-taught painter. In this book he documents the people in his life, both past and present, referencing them, the objects around him, and his love of the beach. He ties everything together by his paintings which are spare and somewhat graphic. He embraces the simplicity of his style and approaches his work with passion and enthusiasm. Through his words and works we see his self-discovery and passion. He writes of young love, “from first flirt to first love, and everything in-between, most often centered here, in the artist colony of Provincetown, Massachusetts”. The book is available in two editions—one with full color illustrations and the reader’s edition in which the illustrations are in black and white. This is an intimate view into the artist’s world and experience of love and beauty. We are taken on a journey and see the fragility of love and longing in an effort to make the moment last forever.
There is beauty and grace here in this little book and we get it both with the written work and the wonderful art. Stabbert’s use of light brings his figures, the ocean and the surrounding atmosphere to life whether he has painted male nudes or the influence of the sun. While his paintings are flat and just in one plane, his ability to paint two or more figures with other objects keeps the work simple but very pleasing to they eye. It is similar to when a child paints “images as much out of love as out of imitation of reality”.
We sense his love for Provincetown, Massachusetts, a very special place where many have tried to capture the spirit whether in words, photos or art and this is difficult to do because the light there is elusive. He is able to capture P’town “as it is today: sun-drenched blue, gold and green days and the deep satisfaction of quiet time with new friends in a special place”. There is a charm to this collection of stories with paintings and after the hard winter we had this year, I longed for the summer I saw and read about here.