David Little's Connection to the Cranberry Isles

I started painting on Cranberry Island in September of 1980. I remember it was very cold and I wore gloves and a wool cap. That year my uncle, the artist William Kienbusch, passed away in NY leaving his summer place on Cranberry to my brother Carl and me.

Over the ensuing years I have spent many weeks in summer and fall exploring and painting Cranberry Island and the views from it, and have many fond memories of dinners and art conversations with the older generation of artists that summered there. Removed from the distractions of job and the fast pace of Portland, I could settle in to the quirky rhythms of island life. Focus on the light and moods of intimate offshore views, mountains, ocean, roses, using the time and tide charts to plot my adventures.

Cranberry has always held for me those secret places of beauty wherein I can grow and if necessary, fail with excitement. Whether bicycling to the end of the island to paint on Crow Island or working in the studio on an oil pastel the connection is there- to this place, this island in time and spirit. The Cranberry Isles are special places - I am grateful for my uncle's enduring gift.

David Little

“David Little, a Portland resident, who summers on Great Cranberry, works in an enduring Maine tradition with considerable skill. His paintings of the coast are filled with atmosphere - literally. It is possible to feel the quality of air on the particular day on which they were painted. The fog of one is thick and wet. In another the warm dry air opens up the contours of the vista. In another, aptly called “Rain and Cold”, he absolutely captures the solemn mood of the chill and the wind as it tosses the trees and the underbrush…

Little's signature is his quiet romance with subtle color. He is at his best when he gives it free reign, allowing his brush to dance frantically across the canvas. It is interesting to see how he manages to indulge this love affair with paint and yet maintain control over his composition.”

Nicols Fox, Bar Harbor Times, August 1991


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