Sunday, July 5, 2015

Maine's Glendarragh Lavender Farm

I always associate lavender with France, Italy & England.
But yesterday we visited a Maine lavender farm! 
After a beautiful ride through green, green, green, 
woods, farms & fields, overlooking rivers & lakes 
the Camden Hills to the east, 
we arrived at a 26 acre farm in Appleton,
 nestled in rolling meadows & 
filled with French & English lavender, 
flower gardens, bird houses, & old oak trees, 
not to mention happy wanderers.

Glendarragh Farm is open to the public 
only 3 days a year, during the harvest. 
Young student farm workers guide you , 
explain the growing, harvesting & drying processes, 
and share some history of how the farm came to be.
The gift shop, in an old barn, allowed us to bring back home
 a little healthy, therepeutic, aromatic, cheerful Lavender, 
in my case, in the form of a bouquet.

The Glendarragh Farm Lavender shop 
on Camden's Main St. is open year round!
When the front door is open, enchanting, enticing 
fragrance wafts out the door & lures me in, to luxuriate in
the scents of dried lavender,  & lotions & balms,
made by Glendarragh's owner.  
 They are interspersed with lovely treats such as 
blue & lavender scarves, pottery, sachets, & candles... 

The Fourth of July: 
It was a, pastoral, lavender filled summer day...  

Friday, July 3, 2015

More Maine...


Another version, western Maine.
Distant views nourish my soul...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Maine, But Not the Coast

You hear a lot about the Maine Coast...
Lobsters, lighthouses, islands, & sailboats...
But Oh! The mountains & lakes
in central and western Maine~
Such immense beauty there!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Quick Sketch from a Quick Sketch

 A view from the window of the Camden Library.
A very quick sketch (above) 
from an even quicker sketchbook sketch (below). 
Above:  Staples DuraPoint pen
on Arches 140 cold press. 
While waiting for some one I was trying out
two new pens from nearby Rockport Blueprint, 
a fantastic art supply shop. 
The new pens: Gel Xtreme 
(not waterproof so I'll only use it for writing) &
Alyn TechLiner 02 which is waterproof & which I love.

Friday, June 26, 2015

More Phone Doodling


While on the phone my brain is busy, 
and it leaves me alone to play...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Why I Became an Art Teacher



"What are you making?" asked her mother, 
"other than a mess."
The child didn't answer. She put down her brush,
and she ran outside to play.

"Tell me about your painting," said her art teacher.
The child answered, 
"It's a painting." 
They laughed, together, they laughed. 
The child dipped her brush back in the paint,
and she sloshed on another line.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Boxes


Lately the sketchbook does not want to show itself. 
I love the sketches, they are my notes & observations,
but I must respect their wish for privacy.

Lately, at home, I've been sorting & organzing stuff 
into boxes. 
It's satisfying. I know what I'm doing.

Lately I've been playing with paint, 
putting it into boxes, 
observing as marks & colors do what they want.
It's satisfying. I don't know what I'm doing.

Friday, June 5, 2015

From the Sketchbook: Café-Boulangérie Québec

One of my biggest pleasures, 
during our annual May trip to Québec City,
 is to hang out in cafés.
 Le Paillard is a "café-boulangérie" in the old city,
 a gathering place for tourists. 
Often in May you see large high school groups.
Perhaps it attracts tourists & residents alike.
Sometimes I can't tell the difference.
It's large & casual, part café, part breakfast & lunch spot. 
The wonderful baked goods & espresso...
...are well worth waiting for in line.
Come to Le Paillard to converse...
to read. 
Or, 
of course... 
to sketch!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Portland (Maine) Wandering



My former city's Old Port Exchange, 
looking up Exchange Street from Fore. 
I love coming down here for coffee at 6 AM,
then wandering, 
before the crowds arrive, 
before the parking meters are operating...

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Spring Blooms


In my previous post I might have been a little harsh, 
referring to spring blossoms as "Drama Queens". 
It was my pollen filled eyes that made me do it! 
Today, with an anti allergy medicine in my system, 
I can see more clearly! 
I offer this portrait as an apology to the blooms of Spring 
that I unjustly maligned!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Everyone Loves Spring. Except...

Quick-y-very-quick-sketch.
Young leaves are filling in fast. 
They are even more yellow-chartreuse-y 
than I painted them.

This phase of spring brings a myriad of colors.
But one has to stop & really look 
to catch what's happening. 
It's easy to only see the Drama-Queen Blossoms.

Everyone seems to love spring.
But I'm not a fan
except for the pleasant air & temperatures.  
The pollen burns my eyes.
The tree skeletons & unfettered views of the water
are disappearing quickly now.
But they will return.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

9 Bikes, 9 Bike Memories

9 Bikes, 9 Bike Memories

1. That first magical moment, was I six years old? when the bike, the ground & little me, minus training wheels, were in perfect harmony as my father, who was running alongside, let go of the bike. I flew away & left him in the background, cheering. 

2. My father singing "And you'll look sweet, upon the seat, of a bicycle built for two" along with the radio.

3. Riding as late as possible into the evening, after the other kids were in for dinner. It was adventure & independence, the setting was all of 2 suburban blocks.

4. Riding bikes from 7 to 9 in the morning on the Atlantic City boardwalk with my mother, before the walkers, shoppers & beach-goers were out.

5. Riding in Acadia National Park, up challenging hills, up above the blue ocean, below mountains, through spruce woods, past lakes.

6. My longest trip which for me took a lot of strength & courage:  Portland to Kennebunkport, 35 miles, in the midst of peaceful farmland & rolling meadows. 

7. Falling on one of the childhood neighborhood evening rides, all alone, scraped knee, walking my bike back home in tears.

8. Falling twice as an adult, scraped knees & almost tears. 

9. At age 13, trying to draw my bicycle for my art class sketchbook with tears of frustration. Learning about the pleasure that comes with persistence.

I would love to hear your bicycle stories!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Footbridges


 Today I heard some one speak of something 
having been a "bridge to a new life." My first bridge was "the white bridge", 
a wooden footbridge that crossed a little creek in a little woods between us & the elementary school. 

I was showing someone a map of Paris yesterday & found myself saying, 
"You must cross the footbridges over the Seine!"

I loved walking all over Amsterdam, crossing the many footbridges over the canals. 
Perhaps they added to the flowing feeling I had in that city.

In a year I hope to cross the bridges of Paris again, 
& maybe go back to Amsterdam 
But for now, I think of bridges that I've crossed, 
including bridges to joy, health, & fulfillment.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Flowers for Easter: Photos

 Happy Easter, Joyeuses Pâques, Wesołych Świąt Wielkanocnych.

I had thought, how nice it would be to buy a few flowers
to mark this day. 
But at the grocery store I couldn't feel any spirit in
the mass quantities on display.

Meanwhile, a friend received a super abundant bouquet, brimming with color & love. 
She decided to share it with friends by making mini bouquets, 
delivering them by car, a veritable Flowers on Wheels.
Mine was minimal & elegant, 
matching my current need for lightness, airiness, & simplicity.   
      (I'm still working hard at clearing out possessions.)

How lovely, these stems, full of Easter floral tradition,
expressing a spirit of caring & the return of earth's colors.

(Outdoors, there's still a lot of snow on the ground,
& gray atmosphere,
but I did see some crocuses yesterday.)

 Happy Easter, Joyeuses Pâques, Wesołych Świąt Wielkanocnych. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dream Beach

One recent morning I had been transported by a vivid, happy dream to a beach with azure-teal-aqua waves. 
I didn't have my bathing suit with me, so couldn't go in, but from the beach, just by watching (!) I  was ecstatically diving, floating & jumping those waves, just as I used to do on summer vacations at the Jersey shore. 
Maine's coast has few public sandy beaches, & it was still all gray & wintry here, so I was aware that this dream beach was a vacation spot in the south. While I'm glad to be here to welcome the spring, how fun it was to take a virtual vacation! 

That VERY EVENING, coincidentally?, I received a photo of a sandy beach from a friend who actually is down south! These sketches are a mix of her photo & my dream.