Thursday, July 23, 2015

The French Series

Based on a book shop in Arles

I will be visiting some old French study group friends 
who asked me to bring some of my pictures 
of France, the ones I used to sell. 
The trouble is: Most of them have sold.
I'm trying to create more, but it's not the same.
I haven't been to France in 3 years!
And perhaps my way of drawing is changing.

Here are a few of the old ones:

 Based on a street scene in Paris.
Artist's collection.
La maison aux volets bleus, Venasque

 Two hilltop villages in Provence



On the way back I'm going to drop off some
Maine landscapes to a shop in Damariscotta.
So, I figure, first, I'll show them to my friends.
Perhaps I can interest them in images of my current love: 
Rural Maine.

I guess, wherever my spirit is, 
that is where my drawing takes me.
For now, it's right here.

Monday, July 20, 2015

From the Sketchbook: MFA, Boston

Going to Boston means going sketching. 
Above, the MFA permanent Impressionist Gallery, 
a place  of familiarity & comfort for me,
 a place that on this day was not crowded.
The crowds were at a temporary show of Leonardo drawings.

Leonardo said that recording observations
with your own eyes was more important
than any established philosophy or religious principles.

Leonardo's concept of beauty was found in the 
"study of the living" in all its complexity.

"Drawing was an essential part of artistic practice during the Renaissance." 
"Drawing became the artistic equivalent of writing poetry 
or thoughts in a journal."   

 Unlike some European art museums which I've visited, 
the MFA is filled with loud, LOUD adult VOICES, 
sometimes talking about the art, oftentimes, not. 

In Blockbuster shows, it is often difficult to get near the works,
 especially when they are small.
So inbetween reading & seeing what I could of the drawings, 
I guess I stepped back & recorded my observations of
 "the living."

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Backroads of Maine. Haystacks

Looking East to the Camden hills from route 52.
For me, it's one of the most beautiful backroads in Maine.
It's all the more beautiful in early evening light after
an afternoon of kayaking on a very blue Lake Megunticook.

In my childhood I dreamed of living on a farm.
Haystacks were a symbol of that life. 
Those haystacks were cone shaped in the fairy tales, 
formed by hand instead of rolled.

In childhood I always colored the grass a flat green color.
It is interesting to me how differntly colored it really is! 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

On the Road in Maine

This summer,
I've been traveling some Maine backroads. 
Augusta, Camden, Appleton, Rockport.
Portland, Freeport, Union, Searsport.
And Twice to Quebec City...

"Life is a journey, not a destination," 
said Ralph Waldo Emmerson. 

But on these trips, 
the journeys & the destinations
are equally pleasant parts 
of my summer life.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Blue Greens!

It was like going swimming
into my favorite colors...
This is the Before version
of the above collage...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Summer Colorplay

A little collage to wish you all
a most playful summer!

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


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. 
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...