Sunday, September 29, 2013

Vegetables for Sale

The Veggie Series remains one of the most popular that I sell.  
They're one of my favorites to play at.
Right now, they're at the shop,
Out of the Woods, Main Street, Belfast,
along with some local landscapes.
 They are mostly in a 4"X 6" format. 
Small. Just right for the kitchen. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Maine Common Ground Country Fair

 The Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association's Common Ground Country Fair. I visually feast on the colors at the Farmers' Market! The green herb above: Sweet Annie. The second you enter the gate you smell it, aaaaaahhhhh. The gardener tells me, that it's an established tradition at the Fair...

 Amazingly slow bumper to bumper cars going in & out. I wasn't sure it was worth it, though the scenery was beautiful. 
But it IS worth it to celebrate the artistry, creativity, health & natural beauty of rural America!! So many visitors means that there are a lot of people who love nature & a gentle, homemade side of American culture. 
Happy Autumn!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Frisbee by the Harbor

Drawn from my sketches & Internet photos
Yesterday, along the outer harbor, going toward town: My sketchbook & I landed on a bench to listen to a fiddler who later told me he hopes he brings folks, including boaters, a little joy along the shore. I told him he'd brought me a lot of joy! After he left I focused on the obvious boats in front of me, but eventually I tuned in to young, mostly men, tossing a frisbee behind me. Eventually I realized they weren't just tossing, they were playing a structured game, which I overheard was "Ultimate Frisbee". I recognized elements of football, but here players were also bantering, laughing & calling comments to each other. When 2 "opponents" fell trying to catch the Frisbee, I heard some one call: "And nobody's hurt! That's MY big criteria!"  

Check YouTube to see some gorgeous moves in this sport. You won't believe how far that Frisbee flies in the initial toss out!

I'd encountered Frisbees just earlier that day because I'd been searching Hula Hoops, originally made by Wham-O, the company that developed the Frisbee when the Hoop craze of the 60's died down. (Reason for searching Hoops: For another time.)  

The Sketch Process: I don't have the visual memory to catch fast action as accurately I'd like, so I used my sketches & referenced online photos to make a composite. The important thing for me, is observing motion as well as feeling it in my body, whether from life or photo. Yesterday my sketchbook & I got into that Zen place (Frederick Franck,The Zen of Seeing). Nothing else existed but the present moment, down by the water. (One thing I didn't sketch was the sweet scent of the Rugosa Roses, now full with fruit...)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Water Lights

 So, yesterday I wanted to return to the magic I had found at the outdoor chapel (previous post), & to share it with my J. It was not to be. It was a bright sunny day with a clear ocean view, but, some people were sprawled next to it, conversing LOUDLY. If I were a writer it might have been a fine opportunity for borrowing dialogue. But, all I wanted was QUIET, noting that the chapel had been designed as a place for meditation. Humph. 

So, we left, & stopped to stroll on a nearby, tree-lined, sun-dappled QUIET country lane at the Galloway farm~How pastoral, the farm, the pond, the distant hills, & of course, those cute cows. It was QUIET, except for some pretty hearty & rather enjoyable bellowing. After that, we came onto a public cove, located on a sort of outer Camden Harbor, Oh, I love it so much more than the "downtown" harbor which is quite populated, or should I say Boat-alated! What interested me in the above scene was the reflections of the boats & their masts...and of course, the tranquility. The only movement from time to time was by small families of ducks silently, smoothly cruising by. 
 My interest in reflections came from a little 2nd hand book I recently found. A former drawing teacher used to warn us, "Never use books on technique! Rely on your authentic observations & your intuition!" Mostly, I love that, but, at this stage, I might integrate a little advice from a "how-to" book while remembering NOT to rely on pat formulas over true observation & heartfelt response. Already the book helped me yesterday to NOTICE the reflections, setting the focus in my eyes to the clear lights before me.
I didn't sketch. But I looked & saw (& enjoyed peaceful QUIET...)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sketches in the Secret Garden

  A friend from back home came to visit. I thought I'd be showing her places but it was she who led me to a  garden that I'd never heard of. It's a sort of secret garden, not publicized, & not on the beaten path.

 We walked up a hill of stone steps to a hidden outdoor pavillion overlooking the sea. There we found
shelter from a misty rain.
The plants of the surrounding gardens, partly because of the rain, were stunning with their contrasting colors.
The donor & creator of this garden wrote that the pavillion is a chapel that stands for
"freedom, thought, prayer & action."

Thanks to her & to my friend for a lovely experience.

PS Can you guess what one of my favorite favorite books was growing up?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Mount Battie, Camden Hills State Park

My first time to the almost 800 foot summit of Mount Battie in Camden Hills State Park was long ago. it's still a special place. Above: Sketch from a sketch from the year 2000. Time, how she flies...

Now Mount Battie has become my neighbor whom I'm starting to visit often, dropping in to borrow a cup of Beauty, or Tranquility. The drawing doesn't do it justice, but, I'll be back to draw, or to just to sit quietly, to observe, to hike...

Borrowed image from

Of course, it's not always quiet. Recently I climbed up the tower which looks out to the western Camden Hills as well as to the Bay. But some tourists packed in with me. So I descended, not resentful (though tempting), but grateful that there are many spots in which one can find solitude on Battie. I'm grateful to share this place with the hopes that we will have it forever to enjoy.

All I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked the other way,
And saw three islands in a bay.
~Edna St. Vincent Millay

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Read, Read, Read

Flashing back to January, 2008. The old Borders Books, Music & Café. Gone now, even though, happily, some independents continue to survive. Borders was a Big Box Store, but it was great in the early days, before they decided to replace so many of the books with trinkets. Folks were actually encouraged to read in the café, although I think some took advantage, reading whole books without buying them. Depending on the day or time, it was quiet...but sometimes, Not So Much...

The books on her table: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, How to Meditate, & a book about Tea.
It was a cozy place to hang out in winter. You were never alone, surrounded by all those books.

At a children's literature conference that same year I saw a sign that said:

1. Read  2. Read 3. Read  4. Read  5. Read
6. Read    7. Read  8. Read   9. Read  10. Read