Why Artists Love Martha’s Vineyard

Ever wonder why a place with under 15,000 homes is so well-known? A small island off the shore of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, it draws a rather affluent crowd. That’s not to say everyone who lives or visits Martha’s Vineyard is rich. We’ve been, we’re not. But it certainly draws it’s share of celebrities.

People Are Captivated By Martha’s Vineyard

When so many celebrities like Bill Murray and Spike Lee visit one begins to wonder if it’s a chicken and the egg scenario. Is it the natural beauty that draw the celebrities, creating the mystic? Or did the celebrities draw the crowd and we followed finding the natural beauty?

To me, it’s less about the celebrities, none of which we saw on our visit. All of which we tried to avoid by going off-season. It’s about the natural beauty of Martha’s Vineyard itself.

Beauty that inspires artists to create. Because, as an artist, a piece of your surrounding always makes its way into your art.

Martha's Vineyard Fishing Boats
Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Boats

The Natural Beauty of Martha’s Vineyard Attracts Artists

Many of the islands resident are writers like David McCullough,  Judy Blume and Richard North Patterson who set Fall From Grace  on Martha’s Vineyard. Carly Simon and James Taylor undoubtably wrote songs from their Martha’s Vineyard Home. If not songs, Carly Simon has noted she wrote her memoir, “Boys in the Trees” here.

Martha's Vineyards Treeline
Martha’s Vineyards Tree line

Visual artists as well. Legendary photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt  spoke openly of the beauty at Gay Head Cliffs.

Gay Head Lighthouse Martha's Vineyard
Gay Head Lighthouse Martha’s Vineyard

At 90, Painter Ray Ellis gave an interview about his love of Martha’s Vineyard.

“There’s no place as beautiful as here,” he says. “Harbors, beaches, farmland, and light — I never run out of ideas. I see compositions every time I go out.”

Menemsha Beach Martha's Vineyard
Menemsha Beach Martha’s Vineyard

When I asked Bello, the love of my life, an Artist himself, why he loved Martha’s Vineyard so much as a photographer, a smile crossed his face. He looked past me to remember. I thought, he would say the whaling history, lighthouses, the idea of an adventure at sea. Instead he said,

“You know how I talk about texture in photography, that it’s a little like skin?  Martha’s Vineyard is beautiful because it has so much texture. So much personality.”

Martha's Vineyard Fishing Cages
Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Cages

Everywhere photographers, artists and perhaps even writers look, we see more than just a boat, a shell. We see stories and personality in everything. We can’t help it.

Martha’s Vineyard with her jagged shores and untamed fields attracts artists for her nature. I believe the artists who infuse their work with her inspiration are sharing Martha’s Vineyards charms, intentionally or not.

Menemsha Beach Martha's Vineyard
Menemsha Beach Martha’s Vineyard

See More of Martha’s Vineyards Charms

 

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