Friday, December 14, 2018

Farnsworth. Bell Ringers And A Crankie

Festive Holiday doings during the Farnsworth Art Museum's
seasonal Share the Wonder events.
First, a concert by the Penobscot Ringers,a handbell ensemble. 
It was music of the angels & had
a number of us in the audience crying for the beauty of it all!
Such beauty in the midst of some real ugliness in the world.
 After the concert, a lecture by Annie Bailey,
creator of a rotating storytelling mural for the Museum's 
front window. It tells about Maine heroine,
Abbie Burgess, a 16 year old who tended 
The Matinicus Rock Light & took care of her family
during a raging storm in 1856.
Her father, the lighthouse keeper, had gone to the mainland
for supplies, but could not get back for 4 weeks!

Bailey said she chose Abbie as a symbol
of focus of in a time of chaos.  
Something that is needed in these times too.     

(This photo of 1 scene doesn't show the mural's true size
& the window picked up reflections. But...)
The scroll's height is 4 ft. & one full rotation is 60 ft. 
The scroll, called a "Crankie", moves between 2 spools 
by way of a bicycle chain mechanism created by Andrew White. 
Bailey collaborated with a number of people 
to make this project work, & she has studied the Crankies 
of the 19th century.
There was, as with all original projects, 
trial & failure before final successes.

(I'm hoping the mural will stay up beyond its Jan. close date.) 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Indiana's Love Sculpture at the Farnsworth

I naturally chose the Farnsworth Art Museum when
The Sketch Group asked me to organize an excursion.
Pencil only allowed. We sat on stools lent by the museum.
I've always loved Robert Indiana's Love Sculpture.
But sitting down to draw it made it so much more interesting!

When Indiana got tired of the frenzy of the NY art scene,
he retreated to Maine, to an island near Rockland.
So the museum has a strong connection 
to Indiana & his art. 
It's a dream subject for drawing with a focus on 
 proportion, value & negative space, 
the beauty of letters, words & type. 
The meaning seems simple, but for Indiana it
was an expression of more complex ideas.
Eventually the LOVE image became a burden to Indiana.
"A mix between graphic design & high art,"
 said graphic artist Milton Glaser. 
But it was criticized because of its commercial appeal. 
Indiana didn't obtain a copyright, 
hence, many people have plagerized & altered it. 
But, his authentic versions are all over the world,
including Rockland, Philadelphia, Washington DC, &, Indiana. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Tiny Bucket & My Obsession with Aqua

 A friend gave me one of her hand dyed & sewn 
Tiny Buckets. She's selling them & LOTS of other
Beautiful items. Click here to see them!
Beth's Tiny Buckets are adorable inside & out.
She knew just what colors I love.
Sea greens. 
Sometimes our Maine ocean shows them beautifully.
(Other times there are all kinds of 
turquoise blues, grays, even violets...)
I have a lot of teals/aquas/turquoises.
The first item in my collection was a gift from my parents.
 Clothes, accessories, bags, pouches, 
gloves, earrings, scarves, my painted designs~~ 
& even fountain pens...
...and fountain pen ink!!
The Goulet Pen Company has tons & tons of pens 
in all colors, & a good share of the blue-greens.
They have over 600 inks with swatches galore!
You don't even have to buy whole bottles,
they sell samples in Tiny Bottles! 

Do you have a favorite Color that you collect or 
perhaps are obsessed with?

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Good Bye to Autumn Colors

This little sketch isn't really about today.
Pumpkins are now covered in snow, 
& green appears on evergreen trees 
rather than in downtown window displays.
But it's one I reworked recently.

The oranges, warm browns & golds that you see on 
all those Thanksgiving cards have been replaced 
by blues, grays, cool browns: & lots of white! 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Meditative Color Play, Continued...

Still playing with watercolor with attention & focus...
(previous post). A form of prayer & meditation. 

"L'attention, à son plus haut degré, est la même chose que la prière."  ~Simon Weil 
 "But what are you going to DO with them?"
"Well, I could cut them out & make cards..."
 "...and handmade books..."
"And then I could let them go..."

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

More Watercolor Wandering

 I continue to explore my new watercolor tubes. 
I focus on not judging what I see happening 
but on watching closely how the water & paints react.
It's like watching raindrops on the windshield,
slow, careful observation of a drop as it morphs & changes.
I ponder: 
What is the difference between being influenced by 
& learning from an artist~ & copying them?
Artist Mattina Blue, in a brief workshop, had a big influence 
on my waterpaint experimenting
To see her work, click HERE.
 I loved her designs & motifs, 
but I knew I didn't want to copy them.  
What I got from her was a spirit of allowing the water 
to carry the paint,
of allowing the colors to respond to one another.
(Fun when working on a slanted surface.)

Mattina told me to work in series, 
each painting leading to the next.
What will be discovered along the way?
I think it is enjoying the evolution, 
rather than just a brief dabble of something new.
A spirit of "More will be revealed."
Motifs & designs emerge by themselves. 
All of us have our own.

One of mine: Light peeking from behind darker lines, 
In this season I see it in sun on thinning colored leaves,
behind dark branches & twigs.
These "plaids" have other meanings for me too,
which come to me after I'm done painting. 
They are grids, they are boxes, 
& even when I don't know what they mean,
they are pleasing to draw.

While painting (I try) to think of nothing 
but what I'm observing,
& this meditative focus calms me, fills me with serenity.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Common Ground Fair 2018

The Common Ground Fair: 
Delights every year as if for the 1st time!
Put on by Maine Organic Farmers & Growers Association.

Waiting to get in at the gate when you arrive early!

The Fiddler's Showcase, put on by Maine Fiddle Camp,
included various traditional instruments & even a clogger.
Different ages & levels perform. They must wait their turn.
Storytellers Showcase. And a tent across the way.

The Veggie Parade!

 You can bring your own, 
but there is a tent full of costumes made
by a woman who lives on the coast.
 The Farmer's Market, a variety of stands!
Lots of vegetables, dried flowers...
Natural soaps, tonics, honey... 
The scents, the sights!!

The tastes!
Unlike most places, 
here I have healthy, delicious choices!
 The handmade crafts to buy! Pottery, clothes, bags, 
caps, jewelry, wooden furniture...
Anne Brooks woven woolen scarves, my favorites!
Not your traditional horse show.
Riders were putting large workhorses 
through their paces.
The animals!
The Fair celebrates bicycle power, wind power,
& human hula power.
 One of the pleasures, walking over a half mile through 
cultivated woods to get to & from the Fair.
(Though hay wagons are there for those who need a ride.)

It's pretty & artistic, yes, but it is also a place 
where people of good health, good will, of cooperative spirit
and kindness come together to celebrate
traditional arts & local enterprises. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Back to Acadia, Autumn, 2018

Excursion to Acadia with an art friend. 
I got to add another panel to my Moleskine accordion book.

The 1st panel created in June, 2016 
The one before yesterday's: Last May.

To see some past posts re. Acadia, click HERE. And here.
From the path down to the (large) Pond, 
from the Jordan Pond House,
where lunches, popovers & views are divine. 
The left shore. Some years ago I hiked the trail 
around the entire lake.

The shore nearby, the carmines & corals 
are waving, Look at us!
Rather than hike we walked gently along carriage paths.
Design, color, dancing lights & shadows, 
translucence, luminescence, 
sparkling, shimmering, glittering leaves!
In the woods a stream that flows into into Jordan Pond...
...My friend, who takes gorgeous photos, 
captured my physical surroundings: a dark shady pocket 
in the midst of sunny, brilliant color.
What she didn't know is that she had also captured a mood.
I was remembering happy times spent with a childhood friend 
with whom I used to play in our woods by the creek.
I was grieving, because
I learned of my childhood friend's death last week.

Eagle Lake, how different 
from our explorations around Jordan Pond.
Places, flora, time of day, weather, mountains, bodies of water, 
changing light, so many varied images... 
I said to my friend, 
"Sometimes the beauty seems unbearable in its immensity."

A National Park like this, open to the public, 
is one of America's treasures.
It's an enchanting glimpse of Mother Earth 
for us town & city folks.
  On the way home, a Maine Blueberry field, at sunset...
That was yesterday...
Autumn is passing through Coastal Maine.