Creative Life


Creative Life airs every second Monday at 8:40am and 5:45pm.

Our series Creative Life offers an audio tour of arts, culture, and inspiration on the Cape and Islands. Our region is rich with creative diversity, and so are the stories we tell.

Creative Life is edited by Jay Allison.

Creative Life is made possible by The Circle of Ten, ten local businesses and organizations committed to local programming on WCAI.

A Revealing Look at the Figure Model

Nov 9, 2015
Andrew Norton

Any given week, the Cape plays host to a surprising number of figure-drawing classes. Each one of these classes needs models. Nude models. Buck Deitz is one of them and countless artists have sketched or painted his likeness around Cape Cod. Reporter Andrew Norton takes a revealing look into the mind of a figure model.

Hatchel and Strand

Alexandra La Paglia collects antiques—specifically, she loves 19th century farm handtools. But she doesn't just leave them lying on the shelf. She takes them apart and rebuilds them into lamps. They're abstract, nostalgic pieces of art. But La Paglia says she never would have followed her creative passion without the support of the Nantucket community.

Earth Housing: an Idea 40 Years Ahead of Its Time

Oct 13, 2015
Kolin Pope

If you looked down on the Cape Cod mall from the sky, you’d see a huge black roof surrounded by hundreds of parked cars. If the late architect Malcolm Wells had his way, all of that would be invisible. Malcolm was an underground architect, and on the leading edge of thinking about passive building design, sustainability, and ecological impact. His buildings aren’t simply covered with green roofs, they’re buried on all sides, or nestled into the sides of hills like Hobbit Holes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Justine Thieriot

Sanette Groenewald knew she wanted to be a chef from age six. She grew up on a farm in South Africa and spent her childhood foraging around her backyard for things to cook up. When she was old enough, she decided to come to Cape Cod and try to make money from her passion. But when she arrived she discovered that her adventurous, African-inspired style was too “out there” to suit local tastes.

Painting with Memory... and Pushing Back Against the Dark

Sep 14, 2015
Photo by Catarina Martins

Shirley Nisbet is a painter in Falmouth who grew up in England during World War II. She paints large paintings filled with bright colors influenced by her memories. Even though she has some painful memories, she prefers to leave those out of her paintings. 

Captain Mike Orbe sells more oversized fish each year than many fisherman will catch in a lifetime. But his fish won't be winding up on the dinner table. Mike’s fish are wooden carvings, ranging between two and eight feet long. His most popular carving? The white sperm whale. 

A Long Held Dream Flourishes at the Piano Keyboard

Aug 17, 2015

Both Kathy Gruel and Karen O’Conner always wanted to play the piano, but it took them a long time to find their way to the piano bench. They each had their own fears and insecurities that kept them from trying. And so, for many years, their dream of playing the piano was buried beneath everyday life. But now that they have finally started, they never want to stop.

Kat Sampson

When Richard Bertman went to California to pursue a degree in architecture, he left with a serious hobby after taking an elective course in welding.

“I started to make this thing, and I didn’t like it,” Bertman said. “When it was completed, I threw it in the trash. I was walking around the campus and someone said, ‘Hey, I saw your piece in the museum.' The professor had taken it out of the trash and put it in the museum. And I thought to myself, ‘Well, maybe I have some abilities here, and I should continue.’ But I really love to do it.”

Photo by Davis Land

Lobster traps become lamps, boat hulls become wall sculptures and portholes become ice buckets. All that happens in a 30 by 50 foot space with 40 foot ceilings in South Chatham. Scott Feen founded his company, the "Atlantic Workshop: Repurposing Redefined" five years ago and thinks that he's made 5000 pieces so far.  

Drumming Out PTSD

Jul 6, 2015
Jonathan Earle

Dave Brown, a Vietnam War veteran, lived with undiagnosed PTSD for decades. Instead of getting help, he dealt with the lingering stress of combat by staying really, really busy – working multiple jobs, raising a family, and mastering hobby after hobby. Most of those hobbies came and went, except one – drumming.