Sunday, March 1, 2015

Skiing in Acadia: Photos

Do you have favorite spots to which you return
over and over, in all seasons? 
I'm back at Acadia & Eagle Lake. 
Such happiness, moving through an enchanted winter forest 
with a rhythmic kick and glide, body & soul in harmony.
While the terrain varies 
as you glide along,
...there's a stretch where softwood boughs 
create cathedral ceilings...

Art. Beauty. Air. Joy. Health. Strength. Energy. Celebration.
Renewal. Inspiration. Wonder. 
Words fail me here...
And photos can only capture one aspect of the experience.

Please, do tell, what is a place that brings you back repeatedly? 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Making More Books

 Still making books. This one is for Beth of Sew Sew Art.
She was my inspiration for learning to make stitched books (post of Jan 26). 
Since she gifted me with her handmade sketchbook, 
I made this blank book for her. 

 She had made fabric beads & generously gave me a handful.
I told her they're color therapy. (A fine thing
during blizzards when one is confined to the indoors.) 
Now I will send 3 beads back to her via this book. 

Practice makes progress! 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cross Country Skiing in Acadia ~ Photos

Cross Country Skiing on the Eagle Lake Carriage Path in Acadia National Park. 
It's been years since I was there in winter...
It is my Heaven on Earth, skiing there.
Across the Lake is Cadillac Mountain & one of the Bubbles. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Frozen Art • Photos

 Frozen, so much is frozen up here, including my urge to sketch. 
Inside that frozen globe I imagine there to be energy & life, waiting to be tapped. 
Maybe when the shell melts a little, colorful images will fly out & show themselves.
Frozen does not mean that artistic expression has to stop.
Look at the image that was released from the ice 
in this sculpture near the Camden Library.
Note the tall masts of the windjammers in the background.
They sit still in the harbor for the winter, 
still like the energy that fuels my impulse to draw.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Still Stitching Little Books

Still stitching little books...
Still incorporating my snippets of unframable art...
Still practicing patience & perseverence...

A quote from Small Victories by Anne Lamott:

"...I'm not saying that it became easy.
      Like learning the piano or Spanish or meditation, 
I had to practice & do poorly.
I had to read difficult material & then stay with it..."

"Then I had to try something else hard & worthy. 
I had to seek wisdom & teachers."

I'm not trying anything else hard & worthy at the moment.
But I am doing less poorly at this!

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Coptic Stitched Handmade Book

My new beginnings got a little waylaid by an awful cold. But inbetween down times,  I've been learning how to coptic stitch little blank books.

There are a million chances for imperfections: gluing paper onto cardboard for covers, lining up little holes for signatures & binding, the stitching itself, zut alors! I am needing faith & patience with this craft that isn't naturally easy for me. I'm learning that sometimes what I perceive as imperfections along the way are inconsequential in the end. Other times, they are, but I'm learning to accept them as part of the practice.
Part of January has been about sifting through lots of old tidbits of paintings & drawings. Tossing, filing, & re-purposing some for covers & content.
How did it begin? A generous art friend, a prolific & diverse artist who enjoys sharing her joy, gave me a handmade blank book. Click here to see her blog, "sew sew art". At the top, are categories of tutorials. One is "Making Your Own Sketchbook". She refers you to a great Youtube by a bookmaker named Sea Lemon.
Beth's concept of the handmade sketchbook is that it be a "repository", a place in which to put one's ideas, scribbles, plans, notes, inspirations...The book itself is beautiful & precious, & also a wonderful organizing tool. Hallelujah! 
Little scraps of miscellanous doodles get honored here & get the attention they deserve.
The 6 X 9 inch pages take a variety of media & they, as well as the SPIRIT of the handmade book, inspire new doodles & new play. (To the left of this page I've pasted in a greeting card whose design I found appealing & that is related to my own graphic marks.)

After my practice books, I'm ready to make a few books to give away, & to share the craft of the coptic stitched blank book with a few friends. The gift that keeps on giving! Thank you!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Beginnings

Gone is the noise & visual clutter of commercial Christmas.
It's my time for clearing, for new beginnings.
Sweeping away the old makes room for the new.
 No soothing, white January snow yet this year, 
but I see & feel fresh, unmarked whiteness everywhere.
It soothes me, calls to me, in a more peaceful way
than all those December colors.

Happy New Year, Dear Friends.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Peace Squadron of Angels

Off they go, those aforementioned Angels, no two exactly alike, no two to the same mailbox. 
(Though they are from the same clan!) 
For now, they are a Squadron except their mission is Peace, not war.
The Angel Precision Flying Team, Whooooshhhh, 
flying to wish you a Happy Solstice on this day & this night!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Late Holiday Angels

The Late Holiday Angels 
will be delivering Greetings, each in her own envelope.

Sometimes they wander, they dawdle, they play.
They have so much work to do before their trip!
But they promise, they will arrive in mailboxes, 
as soon as they can.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Books & Librairies

Books & Librairies: If one is lucky, the love begins early.
Books & Librairies: If one is lucky, the love lasts forever.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Accordion Pocket Cards for Children (& adults)

Next week we're offering a Holiday Story Time & Craft Party
for our library families. One of the crafts will be, what I call, "Accordion Pocket Cards." Lots of possibilities: 
Pop on little cut-out pictures with 3-D sticky tabs, or slide them into the pockets so that they  can be taken out & played with & re-arranged. Other treasures & gifts can be put in the pockets too. 
Here I used pen & beeswax crayons on bristol board.

When I taught art I loved trying out ideas for lessons. If I had models to show, I kept them simple, thinking about what would be possible for various ages to create in a limited amount of time. 
Children so often changed my ideas & added their own. 

I can't wait to create my own Accordion Pocket Cards to send this year, but they will probably be a bit more refined. Something tells me watercolors will be involved.

I got the idea from More Making Books By Hand by Peter & Donna Thomas,
 a great inspiration for creating miniature books & structures. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Accordion Landscapes

What to do with all those bits & pieces of drawings that one doesn't want to keep, but doesn't want to toss?
Cut or tear them up, create a collage! In this case, glue them into an accordion card structure...
I learned this from Mary, a gifted teacher, watercolor artist, & very kind woman, whom I miss. She was the one who started our Art Group in Portland. They still meet (I moved away), & call themselves "Mary's Artists. Mary herself lost her eyesight as she aged & had to stop going. 
She continued to paint, though, as her sight waned,mostly in monochrome or with 2 colors. 
We are given gifts for a limited time in this life. I'm grateful for that time, and for the gift of having known Mary. 

Happy Day of Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Musical Sketching

Not much time for drawing lately. 
But once a week I do some of my favorite type of sketching.
Our local Fiddlers rehearse weekly, at least 20 fiddlers, guitarists, penny whistlers, pianists, 
Bodrahn drummers...playing mostly Celtic dance music...
They invite listeners.
I happily accept. 
My eyes, ears, hand, body & soul are happy dance partners. 

Music flows through me together with the enjoyment 
of the movement & composition of the musicians.
Multi-sensory JOY!
I warm up drawing solo musicians & then it's on to composites, 
just as a single melody is enriched by group harmonies & variations. 
For a previous post about sketching at the Fiddlers,
click HERE.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Memory Sketches: Morning October Walk

Several weeks ago,I had the brillant idea of going for a walk rather than staying stuck in a stressed mood, indoors.  As soon as I stepped out the front door the change, in the morning scenery as well as in my soul, was as intense as if I'd traveled to another country! I took no sketchbook, no camera, & I walked & gazed slowly, taking comfort in sunlit October trees.

I made memory sketches when I returned.  Even though I resisted (drawing from memory feels so insecure), it was pleasant. I felt as if I were still out there. And my memory of that morning is still vivid as I contemplate the sketches today. We had a Northeaster storm (big, heavy, windy snow) on Sunday, & a lot of the leaves I saw are gone, & a lot of limbs & even some trunks are broken. Images pass quickly in autumn, though not usually as fast as they are doing this year.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Maine Tiny Autumn Series

3 3/4" X 4 1/2 ", watercolor on hot press paper with Prismacolor

Tiny landscape on paper scrap, 
part of the ongoing Maine landscape series...
A little reality, a little improvisation, 
done just for the fun of drawing & painting & Feeling
places that I love, in seasons that I love.

When does a series become plain repetition? 
I think it has a life of its own.
By continuing to draw my little autumn vignettes, 
I get to extend my immerson into places that make me happy.
When it starts becoming rote repetition & a process
in which my soul is not present, then a voice says,
 "It's time to explore something else, my friend."
But for now, it's time for autumn on the coast of Maine.