Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Time to Explore

I've been exploring new directions. A wise friend suggests that there are times when our art process must take us inward & must benefit from being private. In the meantime, it's nice to look back on a body of work...
 I look back to my old beloved home...
 on the edge of Casco Bay...
 And to my new home...
in such a beautiful area of the world... 
 I look back to my trips to France...Will there be another?
So where am I going with my art?
Picasso writes:
"Si l’on sait exactement ce qu’on va faire, à quoi bon le faire ?" 
My interpretation: 
"If one knows exactly what one is going to do, then why do it?" 
It's OK not to know for the moment.

Between my explorations & several projects with deadlines, it's  time for a blog pause. Have a great summer!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fast Sketches: Small Town Farmer's Market

I had a feeling the painting class that I'd been a part of for 2 days would be at the local Farmer's Market. There was the teacher, right in the middle of things, doing a brilliantly colorful demo. This market is much smaller than Portland's but it too is filled with health & joy & the arts. Again, I walked into a bit of bliss.. sights, scents, art, & more Celtic music....
...played by 3 young men on fiddle, keyboard & recorder...
Proportion & accuracy are off here, but it is for me a souvenir of a moment...
Student & assistant, Deb, from New Hampshire. One of the sweetest people I've ever met...Good energy all around! Thank you, thank you, thank you, I seem to keep saying to summer in Belfast.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Happiness: Fiddling & Sketching

The Belfast Bay Fiddlers welcome an audience to their weekly rehearsals. I thought I'd died & gone to heaven, attending for the first time. About 20 musicians played tunes like Saint Anne's Reel, Golden Slippers, Angeline the Baker, Whiskey Before Breakfast, Boys of Blue Hill & Reel de Montreal. I used to kind of play guitar & then tin whistle until a wrist injury changed things. And I used to contradance before my knees started creaking. But how I still LOVE to listen!!
Their stands were ipads on which they downloaded the tunes! The smiles on some of their faces as they played were like mirrors for my own feelings. A few of the slow waltzes made me cry. A roomful of joy, you see it, & you feel it vibrating deep in your core. Out the windows the trees were swaying to the music, & whole families of children were dancing on the lawn.
I was shy about taking out my sketchbook. Then, a regular audience member, wife of a guitarist, whipped out a Moleskine. So I whipped out my Moleskine. I almost exclaimed, "Look! We're twins!" As we shared our books we discovered that we are/were both art teachers. Then we hunkered down to sketching as the the fiddlers went on fiddlin'.
Fiddlers & sketchers, working out, practicing, immersed in traditional music...I became a part of a lucky group of people in that room that evening...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Coastal Maine Art Workshop

I just finished 2 days in a watercolor class right in my own town! Folks have come to this 5 day class (I only took it for 2) from California, New York, New Jersey Iowa, Louisiana, & elsewhere, to learn in person from Tony Van Hasselt, a teacher they knew from his technique books! Coastal Maine has so many workshops like this with visiting artists! This one was sponsored by Coastal Maine Art Workshops. What a great way to follow one's passion while vacationing. Tonight they all went to the lobster pound down the road in Lincolnville. 
After a talk in the studio, Tony gave a demonstration outdoors & then we painted. Sunny, pleasant weather was with us in a lovely public spot just on the edge of the harbor.

Painting IS different from drawing. You define objects by masses of contrasting colors & values instead of by line. There's a lot more to consider like lights & darks & patterns of colors & shapes.
Part of my pleasure, in any class, is making sketch-notes. (Here, 3 X 5" journal by Semicolon) I've been sketching a lot lately. Summer & all the festivals & events here provide me with opportunities.
Tony has a relaxed approach to painting combined with formal study. While he's painting he says things like,  "Why not try?" "I'm just going to have fun. If it works out, OK." 

Tourist to Mainer: "How do you get to Lincolnville?" 
Mainer: "My brother takes me."

Friday, July 11, 2014

Back to the Landscapes...soon...

This is an older landscape that I took to the shop on Main Street
to replace one that sold yesterday. 
Now I REALLY have to get back to the landscapes.
 In the meantime, I'm still sketchbook wandering.
Very scribbly, I must say...
Every Thursday in summer they close one of the Main streets for concerts. 
Last night it was an excellent local big band.
Young families & children were dancing in the street to the music of their parents' & grandparents' era.
I love these events that bring out the community, & perhaps
tourists & summer visitors too.
I added a little detail at home, but it's still scribbly...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

One More Abstract

I've been trying finish up my abstract wanderings
(just one more, just one more)
as I have some landscapes 
to get back to...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer Costumes

Outdoor Summer Costumes on the Maine Coast.
Sometimes you just have to accessorize!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Negative Voices Be Gone

This time lines with chopstick & India ink
over the dry painting. 

When I'm experimenting with materials, sometimes negative voices bully me. "What are you doing? (in a snarly, snide voice) What good is it? "You shouldn't be doing this, you know it's worthless.They want to shut down the whole operation. Having read The Artist's Way, I've been aware that these guys visit other artists too. I'm hearing them more clearly than ever before for what they are, &.....

I don't think they're very nice.

These days, along with my brushes & pens I have tools that send them away, 
allowing pleasure & enjoyment back in.

  Art process, for me, is about much more than technique...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sailing on Penobscot Bay

During the 1st part of a Senior College classteacher-sailor, Peter Reilly presented history, ecology, economics, & geography of Penobscot Bay,& a lot of information that sailors need. I sketched, & madly took notes.
 The second part was a sail on the Amity, 
a Friendship sloop, built in 1901. 
The young captain, Peter's son Patrick, 
grew up sailing on Mount Desert Island. 
Patrick has many sailing adventures, 
including a recent solo trip across the Atlantic.
Peter assisted his son at times, 
but he also chatted with us guests

as they enjoyed the views

 and the cool sea breeze, so pleasant 
after the heat & humidity on shore.
Such beautiful designs, components & craftsmanship
 on this Friendship sloop.
So different from electronic technology.
You pass a variety of boats going out of Belfast Harbor.
They told us that this odd conglomeration of a vessel is part of a mussel farm operaton on Isleboro. 
It looked to me like a rig out of Dr. Seuss! 
 The Tugboats of Belfast, Maine. 
They do a lot of work in different places, but this is their home when they're not working. 
To see a great video about them, click here.
Thanks to Peter & Patrick Reilly & Senior College of Belfast
for a great experience!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Color Spree

Going on a Color Spree.
Railroad Tracks, 
Foot Prints,
Drum Beats, 
Polka Dots,
Birds in line.
Summer Roads,
Summer Sun, 
Summer Sea, 
Fog and Mist,
Pure Glee.

Going on a Color Spree.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Glazing Bands of Watercolor

Still playing, this time with "glazing".
Paint bands of color, let them dry.
Paint new bands of color, let them dry.
Paint newer bands of color, let them dry.
Keep going until it feels done.
(Not sure this one is.)

Sometimes let wet bands of color 
run into other wet bands of color.
Have your paper taped down to a board.
Paint holding the board with one hand & brush with the other,
tilting the board to let the paint roll around.
With each new layer, your colors become so vivid. 
And that makes it worth the wait!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Painted Paper Building Blocks: The Series

The painted paper building blocks are forming a series, 
as Barbara (Folkways Notebook) mentioned in her comment
on the previous post.

The 4th image no longer exists because it was too chaotic for me, 
even though the text inserted into it is about BALANCE. 
It morphed into the first two.

This is most definitely a natural form of art for children, 
as Monique (La Table de Nana) commented.
 I used to do it with 1st & 2nd grade art students.
I guess I'm going back in time. It's good fun.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Paint, Scissors & Glue

It's like playing with building blocks...
Except your blocks are made with paper, paint, scissors, glue.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Library Sketches on a Perfect Summer Day

Sketches direct from my watercolor sketchbook. 
It was another beautiful sunny-breezy day out, 
but there we were, indoors, in the quiet Reading Room 
of the Camden Public Library. 
ANY day of the year is a good day for the library in my book!
And some people have their work to do, no matter the weather...
Here's the thing about using water in the library: 
You have to be very, very careful, especially when there are big majestic oak tables.
(Bring lots of paper towels & baggies.)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lupines Close Up

Two close-up studies of lupines.
They're spectacular from afar, 
but up close, the blossoms are splendid! 

They'll be gone soon, having an average 2 week blossoming.

A tip for gardeners: apparently they don't like soil that is too rich. 
And who knew that they are not a native wildflower...

Barbara Cooney was quoted in the latest Downeast Magazine,  
saying that they were not always so numerous in Maine. 

Maybe it was indeed the lupine lady who brought us this pleasure.