Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Dangerous Intimacy A Documentary Filming at The Lobster Pot and Redding Environs

There is so much interest in Mark Twain and so little known about his last years, that it is wonderful that recently  numerous books have been published about Mark Twain last years.  Also, with his last volume of his autobiography coming out in 2015...this will really focus and Mark Twain's time in Redding Ct, his last home, his relationships and his important last writings.

Twain loved Redding and built a Florentine Style mansion called Stormfield, on the acreage that once was my property, (aka The Lobster Pot). Mark Twain gave the old salt box, which he called The Lobster Pot, to Isabel Lyon, a woman that was his (controversial) companion for the years after Livy's,( Mark Twain's wife's), death. If you look on some of the other posts in this blog you will find a lot of information and pictures of Isabel Lyon, (my oil portrait of Isabel is shown below).

Below are photos of the filming of the Documentary  "Dangerous Intimacy"  produced by Richard Altomonte, based on the book by Karen Lystra. The full length Documentary film can be purchased at

Much of the Documentary was filmed at The Lobster Pot, also at the Mark Twain Library, New Pond Farm and Cindy and Brian Meehl's home in Redding, Ct. (which was also  part of the original Stormfield property). Cindy was very gracious to lend two of her precious horses for the filming, Red and Lilly. Cindy has a role in the film as Jean Clemen's riding companion when Jean had the train accident. Also, my sister, Deborah, plays Katie Leary, the Clemen's long time maid. There is a scene in the Doc. in the Lobster Pot sunken garden where Jean attacks Katy. 

In the Documentary I portray Jean Clemens..she is about 29 years old...obviously no close ups.....


  To see a 2 minute clip of this Documentary go to:

In these scenes at The Lobster Pot:  Top row we see Jean Clemens attacking Katy Leary in the sunken garden and Jean's fateful ride with her companion where Jean's horse is killed by a train and Jean breaks her leg.

In these scenes starting at top: Jean is at the Sanitarium missing her father and sister Clara, in center pictures Jean is having an epileptic fit, and bottom pictures Jean and Katy are setting up for the attack scene. (that's me and my sister in my sunken garden...what fun we had that day)

Jeans snow scene ride

Isabel Lyon, oil on linen 30 x 24,  Collection of the artist


This Documentary can be purchased thru Amazon

Please view other posts to find out more about Isabel Lyon  and The Lobster Pot

To see more art work by the artist and learn about The Lobster Pot visit:


Monday, September 29, 2014

The Lobster Pot Gardens, the Color of Fall

The Topiary Garden from the Studio Balcony

Woodland Anemone

Preying Mantis looking for next victum

The Topiary Turkey

Twain's Love Birds Fountain n the walled Rose Garden


Cappy Patrolling

Fall Crocuses

To visit the Lobster Pot Studio and see the artwork of Susan Boone Durkee go to:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My Jim Thorpe Portrait and the Pro Football Hall of Fame

How exciting..My portrait of Jim Thorpe, The Greatest Athlete of the 20th Century, is now in the collection of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Jim Thorpe would be so very pleased to know that his portrait will hang at the Hall of Fame. Jim was truly an icon and an incredibly gifted athlete in every sport. He played for the Canton Bulldogs and was first president of the NFL (first known as American Professional Football Association).  In 2011, my portrait of Jim Thorpe, won the Founders Award at the National Art Museum of Sport. I am very honored to have my portrait of Jim at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.The portrait now hangs proudly just outside the Hall of Fame Inductee Room.

Jim Thorpe's portrait outside the Hall of Fame Room

"Jim Thorpe, The Greatest Athlete of the 20th Century"  

In this  award winning portrait I have placed  some of the sports he excelled at around his portrait and have added his Native American name, Wa-tho-huck, meaning Bright Path

Jim Thorpe's presence is everywhere at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

Here in this photo is Jim greeting all that enter.

Standing with Jason Aikens, the Collections Curator with the portrait of Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe's uniform and championship silver bowl

Jim Thorpe's Football sweater

This sculpture of Jim Thorpe is in the center and heart  of the  Pro Football Hall of Fame

Jim Thorpe's Hall head sculpture in the inductee Hall of Fame Room

Jim Thorpe's Olympic jacket

The Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton Ohio

To see more artwork by portrait artist Susan Boone Durkee please go to her website:

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ridgefield Magazine, Picture Perfect, My Diplomatic Adventure

In July, Alison Pratt visited the Studio and The Lobster Pot to interview me, for the premier Ridgefield Magazine. She did a great job on the article about my portraiture and the visit of Mrs.Ban Soon-taek, wife of the Secretary General of the United Nations.
The article came out in the September/October Issue. Many thanks to  the delightful Alison for doing such a fine job and  the kind Geoffrey Morris, the Editor in Chief and Publisher, of this dynamic magazine, for including my story.

Here is the article:


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mrs. Ban Soon-taek's Portrait, a true honor and a pleasure



In March, I was invited  to an elegant dinner party in Redding, Ct. During the dinner, I had a conversation with Mieko Ikegame, a retired United Nations official, about the tradition of creating a Official portrait of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

 I was shown a photo of Mrs. Ban Soon-taek, wife of Ban Ki-moon, the  current Secretary-General of the United Nations, and was inspired. I was inspired by Mrs. Ban's grace, serenity and kindness of visage. After researching more about Mrs. Ban, I learned how she has devoted her attention to women's and children's health, including autism, the elimination of violence against women, and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS.

From that inspiration, I created a 18 x 14 oil on linen portrait.


On July 9th, I was able to present the unfinished portrait to Mrs. Ban. It was an great honor to have her visit the Studio to  provide me with the extra details needed to finish the portrait.  

On her visit to The Lobster Pot, Mrs. Ban  was accompanied by the wife of the Korean Ambassador to the United Nations, the wife of the Korean Consular General to the United Nations and the former United Nations official, had brought us together.

Mrs. Ban and I in the studio in front of her unfinished portrait


The ladies toured the formal gardens of The Lobster Pot and visited the studio and gallery and saw Mrs. Ban's  unfinished portrait.


On August 14th, I was invited to a special luncheon in my honor and Mieko Ikegame's, at Mrs. Ban's residence in New York City. It was one of the most beautiful and heart warming afternoons I have ever experienced. What an honor for me! 

Certainly a day that will stay with me for the rest of my life! 



Mrs. Ban Soon-taek,   oil on linen, 18 x 14