Dreams of Wellfleet Harbor, Oil
Dreams of Wellfleet Harbor, Oil

Living the Dream
In Praise of Simplicity: An Artist and Her RV

by Linda Turoczi

My first memories of Cape Cod are of sitting on a stone wall along Old King's Highway in Yarmouthport, eating peppermint stick ice cream cones from Hallet's Soda Fountain.

We had arrived at my friend's grandmother's house for summer vacation, lemonade, beaches, the music fair, and sheer delight. It was then that I fell in love with this magical place called Cape Cod.

To return thirty years later to a different Cape town, Wellfleet, but with the same friend, was very special. We had young boys and responsibilities, but still found time to drive by the old house and the wall. It no longer belonged to her grandmother but memories were still there.

We visited Hallet's and took our children for ice cream. It was that summer that I knew I would return to the Cape to paint, to give my son the same joy and freedom I had experienced as a child.

My husband immediately bonded with the Cape. It was a good thing, because for the next twenty years I refused to go anywhere else for my summer vacation. We rented houses in every corner of Wellfleet.

Commercial Street Porch, oil
Commercial Street Porch, oil

I painted wherever I happened to be: near ponds, in David's garden, on the streets of Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown. I was sad to leave each time and always worried that I would not be able to return.

Winters in Pennsylvania were long. I would paint oceans, but not many Pennsylvania landscapes. My fellow artists from Cape Cod would call and keep my dream alive all winter.

Over the years, I found many artists to paint with me en plein air. The vacations flew by. I studied with my good friend and mentor Joan Hopkins Coughlin, of the Golden Cod Gallery in Wellfleet. Joan and I became fast friends in the late 1980's when I first walked into The Golden Cod. As each subsequent summer ended, she would always say to me, "Don't worry. You will be back soon and someday you will have a place."

My love of painting in Wellfleet and the Outer Cape grew. I would paint ponds, old houses and gardens. One particular house was the vacant Pallante House in Wellfleet, which sits near the Wellfleet Historical Society and over the years has become more and more run down. I am drawn to houses.

I remember having a show in Pennsylvania at a beautiful mansion of a retirement home. I filled the rooms with ocean paintings, Cape Cod gardens, landscapes and houses.

Pennsylvanians didn't recognize the places I painted and kept asking, "Where is that?" Finally, a woman came up to me and said, "I know this place. I am from Orleans. I've photographed that place!"

House on Hill, Provincetown, acrylic
House on Hill, Provincetown, acrylic

I kept painting scenes from my summer vacations on the Cape. People were delighted with the blues, greens and lavenders of my paintings. I realized then that my entire framework was from time spent in Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown. My pallet was formed there, on Cape Cod. I find it difficult to paint Pennsylvania landscapes with the dark greens, browns and ochres.

The years passed and I returned with my family to the Cape each summer to paint. We'd travel by car, by plane, but never long enough and always with the fear of not returning. I felt it was so important for the development of my art, my son, and my life to come back. It was necessary.

Before I left Wellfleet in the summer of 2009, a close artist and friend from Truro said, "You have been coming here so long, why don't you just buy an RV and leave it here?" It was such a foreign idea, that I dismissed it immediately. But I went home and the realization hit me that I'd been visiting the Cape for 22 years, and would never afford my beach house.

I picked up the phone and called the North Truro campground, Adventurebound. "Do you have any RV's for sale?"

The man replied, "As matter of fact, mine is on the market."

I quickly sent a friend to check it out and send photos. She said, "If you don't buy it, I will!"

"Why not?" I thought, and purchased it sight unseen.

Well, I must tell you, my RV in the pines on a hill in North Truro is a slice of pure paradise. It is an artist's refuge, despite having to learn the mechanics of maintaining an RV. My art buddies helped me get organized… and now they all want to move in!

I walk to the ocean down a magical path through the pines and in 12 minutes, I'm at Coast Guard Beach. I've seen three rainbows fall into the ocean there, all at once.

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Coast Guard Dune
Coast Guard Dune

I can hop on the bus with my paints and be in Provincetown or Wellfleet painting in one of my favorite places in no time at all. I feel at home as a person and artist. My artist friends are there to paint, share life stories, painting methods and just be.

I discovered that I didn't need the comforts of my farmhouse in Pennsylvania to create, just my brushes, canvases and paints… and my RV of course.

Being there is much less cluttered. How easy it is to call another artist, set the meeting spot and paint! Of course, there is always a new magnificent light that illuminates the landscapes. It makes me feel the same as I did fifty years ago, eating that dripping peppermint stick ice cream cone from Hallet's, sitting on the wall without any worries.

Linda Turoczi spends her summers painting on Cape Cod. Her teachers have included Joan Hopkins of The Golden Cod Gallery in Wellfleet, Charles Sovek, Jon Redmond, and Rob Longley of The Cape School of Art.

She exhibits regularly with The Truro Group, and credits Castle Hill Art Association and Provincetown Art Association with playing large roles in her artistic development.

Her resume includes many exhibitions and juried shows in Pennsylvania. She was previously represented by Gorgeous Little Things in Provincetown.

Linda also writes and illustrates fantasy stories, including My Grandmother was a Mermaid, based on memories of her Pennsylvania grandmother.

To view Linda's works, visit http://fineartamerica.com/art/all/linda+turoczi/all

To inquire about purchasing paintings and books email Linda at lturoczi@comcast.net


Written and Illustated
by Linda Turoczi