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.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Exploring New Watercolors

My new watercolors are 
much more saturated than the old ones.
Still getting to know them. 
With these new paints
my small sketches are more abstract these days.
(This was a scene in shop of pretty things
here in town.)
Sadness has come into my life recently...
I release it onto paper... 
Life has it's darkness as well as lightness.
Colors change from day to day, month to month...
C'est comme ça.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

From the Familiar to the Un...

The familiar: Line sketches at the market, and taking notes.
These notes from a gallery talk at the Farnsworth.
More notes, these from attending a workshop.
 Out to dinner at Darby's: 
A surprise~ The Celtic Music jam session!
It was heaven! The lady at the bar thought so too. 
Especially when she got up & started step dancing!
 The Annual Fiber College at a campground in Searsport. 
Another surprise: 
My favorite Belfast Bay Fiddlers 
were playing on a sunny, breezy
late summer day! 
After a short watercolor workshop & some sketching,
my senses were open & ready!
This lady was spinning wool while listening.
And now the less familiar. 
Experimenting with watercolor.
Oooooh, juicy. It's not you painting,
it's you letting the watercolors express themselves,
say my teachers. But studying & notes help with that process.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

A Time to Experiment

 I started a new journal book
devoted to only experimenting with watercolor.
Using some colors I wouldn't ordinarily use.
 I've been trying some different approaches,
but sometimes, change comes hard...
and what I'm doing doesn't seem to be all that different.
And when I move into some really new territories
it may not be something I will share at first...

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Volunteer Gardener

 One of the last small pieces I did, 
just before hanging the show.
She is a local volunteer from the Belfast Garden Club
who creates & tends town gardens.
On this hot morning when I was sketchbook wandering 
she was taking a break from
her flower beds around the police station,
on a bench in front of the post office.
We had a lovely conversation which is handwritten
by fountain pen below her image.
It's not here, as I would have to get her permission,
but I will tell you that this is one very positive lady
who loves what she is doing!
She enjoys, in Barbara Cooney's words,
 "making the world a more beautiful place."
Belfast has its very own Miss Rumphius! 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Fountain Pens, Note Taking & Journals

1.    Four LAMY fountain pens. Most bought at Goulet Pens. 
       Watch their videos!! (Click on Website)
       Inside the pens: Noodler's colored inks, from
       Artist & Craftsman, Portland, & Goulet.  
       (Note taking in the journals mentioned below is all done
       in fountain pen ink.) 

3.   My Journal of Spirit & Relflections. The book handmade by a local artist 
      whose name I can't find. The reflections by moi.

4.   Show Your Work! A book by Austin Kleon..

5.   Purple Art Learning Journal (Pentallic Travelers, 4 X 6") where I am making notes 
      from  Kleon's Show Your Work & Steal This Book!

6.   Make Someone Happy: Favorite Postings (Facebook) by Elizabeth Berg 
      Sheer delight! The joys of observing everyday life!
      Compassion lives! Humor,spirit abounds!

7.   Daily Morning Pages Journal. In which nothing is too insignificant to enter.

8.   Cursive Writing & Fountain Pen Journal.  Moleskine. 
       I needed a whole book because I am so obsessed!

9.   Pink French Practice Journal.  Moleskine

10. L'abondance dans la simplicité by Sarah Ban Breathnach, translated from English. 
      From which I copy passages into the Pink French Journal

11. Red Art Learning Journal. In which I continue to make notes from books.

12. Art Project Journal, Catch-All. Most currently, ideas for my book in process, 
       Previous entries about shows, ideas, inspirations, doodles...). Leuchtturm1017.

13. The History & Uncertain Future of Handwriting by Anne Trubeck. Fascinating account     
       & thoughts on changing information & communication technologies!
       Taking notes in the Red Art Learning Journal.

14. Cursive Writing Made Easy & Fun! A Scholastic workbook from the Library.
       For grades 2-5 and me.

15. Water Paper Paint: Exploring Creativity with Watercolor & Mixed Media 
       by Heather Smith Jones. I have to return it to the library, but must make some notes 
       in the Red Art Learning Journal. 

16. Painted Paper by Elisa Golden. To return to the Library. 

17. Outdoor Watercolor Workshop & The Watercolor Fix-It Book by Tony van Hasselt
       To try some of the watercolor ideas from the book. And maybe study with him again.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Not Far From Home: The Show

Based on a local scene, down by the waterfront...
Taking liberties, playing with color more than 
making an accurate representation...
The show is up at the Library. 
"Not Far From Home: From the sketchbooks of Rita..."
I am adding more writing to the sketches these days. 
Several viewers have said, "This looks like a book!" 
That makes me happy.
The little guys. 5 X 7's
Like the ones I most often sell.
 A mess of sketchbooks in a case.
The show is not framed in fancy ways.
They are mostly rough sketches.
I enjoy it that people enjoy it. 
Sharing my fun. 
And encouraging others to 
keep sketchbooks too.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

In My Own Town: Watercolor Workshop with Tony Van Hasselt

I'm assisting in a Coastal Maine Art Workshop all week long.
Our teacher, Tony Van Hasselt does a daily demo,
then he goes around to people while they are painting,
and then he does a critique at the end of each day.

 Because I run around tending to details some of the time,
I don't get the painting time the others do.
But at least on the first day I made 2 quick sketches.

I'm lucky: 
My town attracts artists & classes of this sort.
The very gracious students this time are from: 
Florida, Colorado, Minnesota, Maine, 
New Jersey, New York, Virginia, 
Massachusetts, & South Carolina!

I must say it is more than luck.
I worked hard to move here. 
I chose this town carefully.
It was hard to move. 
Hard to leave a longtime hometown
that I dearly loved. 
But, it's been so worth it and
it's fun to share it 
with artistic visitors from far away.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Boxes: My Key to Organization

The workshop that keeps on giving,
That was Beth's. I continue to play.
I notice my ongoing fascination with squares.
Squares. BOXES. Order. Symmetry. 
Containment which allows for freedom & chaos.
Ohhhh. I get it!

I learned about creative surface design,
but I also learned about how to organize materials
because Beth had 
So So Many!  
(Click on Sew Sew Art , 
Beth's website.)
I've been learning that my creative spirit can't flow without 
organizing my materials!

 That generous Beth lent me her BOX of metallic threads.
Sparkly. Shimmery. Oooooh! Thank you, generous Beth!
The BOX for raw material for my August Art Show.
 The BOX for hand sewing & little papers,
for book covers, for little collages. 
For now it has to wait for me in its BOX 
because I need to be into the Art Show BOX.
 Another BOX of Bookmaking stuff. 
Beth's Beads. Waxed threads. Buttons!
A BOX of travel journals from France voyages.
Also waiting for me.
Rita's saved BOXES, 
thrown in a corner of the spare room.
You never know when you'll need another BOX!

I'm remembering one of the first magical 
BOXES in my life:
Jenny's Mom's BOX of old clothes in the basement,
put there so we could play Dress-Up 
when we were wee kids!!
Thank you Jenny's Mom! 

How do YOU organize your materials?

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Beth's Maine Coast Surface Design Class-2

Beth's Midsummer Surface Design Workshop.
I got to go for 2 days this time! 
(see previous posts.)
 I made a little book for Beth last year,
inspired by all of the wonderful design work
that I always see in her studio when I visit her.
Now, not just a visit, but an official class!
We made cover designs using plastic credit type cards
swooshing around paint on large sheets of paper.
 I also printed with the edges. 
On top of that I "pounced" and swirled circles
with a small round sponge gizmo.
Another student had discovered the swirling technique.
 Some of us "copied". 
I found myself cutting out circles,
& then began cutting them into spirals. 
It gave me a delicious bunch of small
snail-fiddlehead-brussel sprout-y creatures. 
I pasted them down & hung metallic thread.
How fun! The process was doing its own thing.
All I had to do was to let it!
We used our covers for coptic stitched journals.
I experimented on my top cover,
sort of ruining it (no photo of that!), 
so eventually I pasted a collage design over it. 
It's called Rita's Book of Progress & Imperfection
One of the biggest things that happened
at this workshop is that my perfectionism,
the crippling kind, began to be lifted. 
Beth models & teaches that: 
"You try things,
if something doesn't work, no problem. 
You just keep trying things, & having fun!"
 With a 1 1/2 " hole punch 
I've been continuing to punch circles
from my sheets of painted paper. 

These are on watercolored squares that I'd had made.
They remind me of one of those color theory exercises
that you see in books on painting.
I'd seen Beth's hand-dyed cloth beads several years ago,
& in fact she'd gifted me with some.
I finally got to make my own!!! Total joy!
Above, the cover of a small accordion book.
 Embellishing one of Beth's tags. 
I made the bead,
The rest was from 
her big box of printed papers & ribbons.
"Cloth Paper Scissors", there's a magazine by that name. 

I haven't found the magazine yet, but Marcella,
Beth's assistant shared some wonderful books. 

Austin Kleon in Steal Like an Artist says that
side projects 
inbetween work on your major project
are valuable. 
"Productive Procrastination".
"Just play. That's where the magic happens."

Now, I'm back working on my exhibit at the library.
I'll be showing sketches that were all done
"Not Far From Home" .
Which happens to be the name of the show.