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Remembering David Sandtorv

David passed away quietly in December of 2021, on Christmas weekend, alone in his snow-covered apartment in West Kennebunk.  We knew so little. He had a career as a Metallurgist at the Navy Shipyard. In retirement, David served others. He volunteered at Habitat for Humanity, washed dishes at Bon Appetit, did bookkeeping for his church (COTC), and ushered there on Sundays.  


I had heard he painted, but it was only after his death that these paintings came into view. Many are landscapes of Wyoming. I wonder if he was interested in Wyoming for its rich natural resources of metals or just its vast open spaces and beauty.


Sandtorv, a Dutch name, would explain his interest in the Dutch masters. He copied several master paintings, an exercise often done to learn.  A print of Dutch Master Vermeer's painting  "The Concert" was found among David's paintings. He must have admired it. He also painted "after Van Gogh."


David showed interest in some local architectural structures you might recognize in some of his landscapes. He had his own distinct style of detail and calm; the brushwork almost looked like pointillism, and many of the compositions were very calm.  I imagine there was great peace for him in the process of painting. 


He brought many gifts to us while he was here, but these paintings were left as gifts in his wake.  Who knew the extent of his abilities? I said hello to him every week at church but extracted so little. As he rests in peace, may he feel the light of appreciation around him through these paintings.


If you were not able to see the paintings at the open studio, we hope you will enjoy seeing them here.  I've enjoyed spending time with them and getting to know David better than before through his work. May the gifts keep giving!  If you missed the showing but are interested in purchasing any of the remaining paintings, or if you'd like to make a donation in his name, you can be in touch with Church on the Cape

Article and photos by Annie Hidell


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