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59 While the ocean itself is timeless, beach towns are not. Having witnessed many changes through decades of annual visits, Meade seizes each oppor-tunity to encapsulate a moment in time. One 1990 painting of a row of Wrightsville Beach cottages captures an era past. Meade remembers seeing a particular white bungalow while walking down the beach and knowing he needed to paint that house. When he and his wife visited the same spot the following year, it was gone. Its absence created a lasting sense of nostalgia for a simpler place and time that Meade is thankful to have preserved in his memory and on canvas. Whether walking the beach, work-ing in his flower garden or visiting the mountains, Meade is constantly viewing his world through an artist’s eye, think-ing how what he sees at that moment would translate into a painting, and putting that information in his memory bank. Meade uses photography, too, to capture images that become the founda-tion, but not the final composition, of his paintings. He could use details from as many as 50 photos in one piece. He often uses cut flowers from his garden as a muse for his work. “Gardening is a big part of my life,” Meade says. During the spring and summer, he spends most mornings working in his flower garden, then paints in the afternoons. “I like to paint when I have two to three hours open in front of me,” Meade says. He never paints for longer than that. The concentration required by the cre-ative process exhausts him and the work suffers. The emotional investment can be draining as well. “I might think I’m making brilliant strokes,” Meade says of work done in time beyond his personal threshold, “but in the His Brother’s Boat, 20 x 16 inches, oil on canvas. Riverwalk, 16 x 20 inches, oil on canvas. morning, they don’t look so good.” www.wrightsvillebeachmagazine.com WBM


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