Thursday, July 19, 2018

Nantucket Architecture

I explored downtown Nantucket on foot. So many homes had a Victorian flair and they all had the grey weathered shingles.

All the homes on Nantucket have the same grey wooden facades. Nantucket has fairly rigid design mandates. You cannot build as you please on Nantucket; houses must have pitched roofs, not flat ones, and they must be covered in unpainted shingles, which weather to a soft gray once they have survived their first Nantucket winter.

In 1983 a Nantucket island town meeting approved a local two percent tax on property sales to finance the purchase of open space for conservation and public use. Now roughly a third of the island is in the ''land bank,'' and officials have been quoted as saying that they hope this figure will eventually reach half the island's area.This land tax and land bank idea is helping turn the island's boom into a means of preservation rather than simply a means of development.

I hiked endlessly and there was a beautiful home to sketch one every corner. I finally decided to sketch this building because I liked the way the tree snaked skywards. A man was out painting his fence. If you paint in Nantucket it means you are rather rich because you have to repaint every year. The Nantucket winters will weather any paint. Every day was a sketch crawl of exploration. I would do 4 of 5 sketches every day as I familiarized myself with the island.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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