Close Ups

Derelict boat on the beach in Wellfleet harbor, Cape Cod.

Backyard in Barnstable, Cape Cod.

Wellfleet joins Barnstable.

Text Box: Wellfleet Boat on the Beach

We’ve rented vacation places all over. We’ve spent weeks in houses in France, England, Spain, Portugal, Florida, and Massachusetts. The place we always go back to is a group of cottages in Wellfleet on Cape Cod. We first rented in this group in about 1975. We’ve never owned any property but our children think of Wellfleet as “our” place. 

One of the things I love about this area is the amount of derelict boats weathering on the shore. We first came across old wooden boats which had been run aground and left to the elements in the shallows just off a rental we had in Brittany on the coast of France. We called these the “danger boats” because of the signs. They had been fishing boats run aground by the Germans during the occupation of France in World War II. I drew all three.

I’ve been drawing the wooden hulks around Wellfleet for over thirty years so I’ve got a few studies over time. Some wrecks that were totally recognizable at first are now gone or just one piece of wood sticking up out of the ground.

The derelict in this drawing is still there and looks pretty much the same. Some of the planks are gone but it’s still recognizable. I always wonder how the pieces came to be arranged like they are. I’ve also drawn it from the side but this angle is the most dramatic.

I think I was so pleased with the drawing and the depth that I decided not to mess with it by doing any more. The actual background is quite like the one in the joined drawing but the opposite shore is much closer and Wellfleet Town Pier is just to the right.

The background drawing was done in the town of Barnstable which is on a line with Hyannis on The Cape. Hyannis is on the ocean while Barnstable is on Cape Cod Bay. The rental was really odd. From the street you felt like you were in any suburban subdivision with kind of nondescript houses lining the street very close to one another. When you went around to the back, however, you were on vacation on the Bay. The house had a spiral staircase so Amy got the bedroom at the top of the stairs.

Adam was almost 5 and loved playing on the little beach behind the house. This is a drawing of that beach. I’ve always liked most of it, especially the opposite shore and clouds but not the fence so much, I don’t know why.

In any case I think the drawings complement one another and work well together

All material copyright 2016 Neil Borrell

Text Box: Email