Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Taking Sketch Notes at the Common Ground Fair

In 2014 & 2015 I did photo blog posts of the Common Ground Fair, one of my all time favorite events.
 But this year I quick sketched, & truly Sketchbook Wandered. 
It's probably what I love doing best, even though it is, well, sketchy.
We arrived early. Even waiting in the line outside the gate was enjoyable.
 The book is small, the lines are fast. I quickly add color later,
but I write/jot down some color names while sketching.
Recently, while seeing seeing some very refined & illustrative sketchbook journaling, 
I'd started to question & wonder about my process. 
But Saturday I came back to myself, doing what is most natural to me. 
This note-taking is my best way to put me in touch with my experience.
Seasonal still lifes are everywhere, 
especially at the Farmer's Market stalls.
One of the highpoints was The Gawler Family Band (Google them!). Oh, the JOY that they radiate!

There were 6 of them this year, the Mama & the Papa, the 3 musical daughters & the musical son in law.
 And we got to join them in sing alongs, musical folk tradition at it's best. 

Later on some of the family would be leading a work song workshop 
while shucking garlic.
For the first time I got to see the Vegetable Parade, a tradition since 1990!! 
People of all ages wearing exquisite hand sewn vegetable costumes! 
It's the best parade I've ever seen!! 
Sometimes just a quick second is all it takes to capture some of the magic, in this case "garlic braids". 

There is so much more to show & tell, but for now I'll say,
What a way to celebrate together & to greet Harvest Time & Autumn!!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

On the Edge of the Town & the Sea

The sweet Gazebo down by The Harbor Walk in Belfast.
(it's my impression, not realistic...)
I sketched near "The Boathouse", (Steamboat Landing) yesterday, mid-day. 
This public park is the site of Harbor Fest, Weiner Fest, the Celtic Celebration,
 Extreme Frisbee (previous post), Arts in the Park, Summer Evening Concerts & more. 
But on this day there weren't many people & the boats in the harbor were resting quietly. 
It was calm except for an enthusiastic group from New York who kept cheering 
other people from New York who kept arriving at the Boathouse.
I think they were building something in the Boathouse garage 
while they laughed & shared stories, 
including stories about the old days in NYC.

As I left I thanked "my bench",  this public bench,
 at the edge of this public park,
at the edge of the river & bay, on the edge of the town.
On the edge of the town, which is my town, Belfast, Maine.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The French Breakfast at The Language Exchange

My old school in my old city,
 The Language Exchange in Portland
 just celebrated 20 years of the weekly French Breakfast,
 Le petit déjeuner (no English allowed!). 
I was so sad that I couldn't be there for the party,
but I sent a birthday card.
My first petit déjeuner, 15 years ago, 
marked the debut, the beginning, 
of a new era in my adult life: 
My French studies.  
Today, they are still such an important part of my life!
Merci, Valérie, et Bon anniversaire!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Sweet Home Belfast Farmer's Market

At the Belfast Farmer's Market, as summer begins greeting autumn.

I arrived early & while watching vendors set up 
a woman near me said she arrives early each week
 in order to get in line to buy her elderly dad 
his favorite loaf of bread, before it runs out,
from Plymouth Pond Farm & Bakery. 
Eventually I also joined the line & while waiting
I started the above sketch.

I hung out at the market for about 4 hours. 
In between sketches I chatted 
with various friends & acquaintances 
at "my" centrally located picnic table.

Toward noon there were very few baked goods left 
at Plymouth Pond Bakery (sketch above).

Belfast Farmer's Market:
less quantity, 
less variety, 
less stimulation,
less noise 
fewer crowds

than at my old 
Portland Farmer's Market.

more greetings,
more space,
more tranquility.

colorful, homegrown
produce & products
& vendors who smile as they
talk about their process & products
& as they exchange money
with people like me who also smile
& fill straw & cloth bags.

There was a time when I lived here 
but longed to be there.
But recently I have come Home 
to my small Belfast town,
including its Farmer's Market.

To market, to market, 
(not buying a pig)
Home again, home again
Jiggedy Jig.