Here in New England: Brendan Loughlin
Brendan is in his apartment at the south edge of the green. Canvases, some complete, others in progress, poke out from everywhere. He allows himself just a few square feet of kitchen space; everything else is for painting. I haven’t held a brush for nearly half a century, yet here I am. Brendan gives me a jar of B-I-N. He hands me pastels and small tubes of tints. I abhor my firsttentative attempt. I’m self-conscious. I paint over it with the white B-I-N, and my crude strokes vanish. I start again. This, I see, is Brendan’s finest gift to Guilford. So many people who own his paintings, who study with him, knew him when he lived on sardines from the food bank, when he curled up in his daughter’s car on frosty nights, when he was everyone’s eccentric local artist. He shows them every day that you can make your life a breathing canvas, and sometimes if the will is strong, you can wake up one day, paint a sunflower bursting with hope, and start over.
Many Guilford-area galleries show Brendan Loughlin’s work. His studio at 79 Whitfield Street is usually open, as well. “Just come in and holler,” he says. This winter, Pastac will reach a national audience: Pastac kits will be marketed by Sheffield Bronze (sheffieldbronze.com), and T.J. Maxx stores nationwide will feature a limited collection of Brendan’s art through January.