Ed Epstein is a portrait artist of some renown in these parts. But painting has comprised only a fraction of Ed’s artistic life. As a kid in the fifties he hitch hiked across the country with only a banjo and a few bucks. He fell in love with the Bach cello suites and spent the next twenty years mastering the cello so he could play them. Ed has designed and built woodstoves, houses, and when his son showed interest in fishing, Ed built a boat so they could get out to that stand of reeds…where the bass are. Ed Epstein’s whole life has been an art project.
In this hour, we talk about the mysterious process of portrait painting…it’s difficulties and occasional satisfactions. But mostly in this hour, we talk about boats. Building them, sailing them for years, and what became of Ed’s beloved thirty foot schooner, Ruby.
The beautiful photograph of Ed Epstein was taken by photographer Andrew Kline. More of his work can be seen here.
More of Ed Epstein’s work can be seen here.
Music this hour: The Cello Suites, by J.S. Bach, performed by Jan Vogler.
Unedited audio from the interview
There is a whole section of our interview that is not in this show, but well worth listening to, particularly if you’re interested in folk music. In it, Ed talks about his first forays out of New York City, and hitchhiking across the country in the early fifties with his banjo and I realized if I want my kid to have any sort of musical interests, my kid needs that, to see a few real live music legends himself, in person. Here it is: