Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Time to Explore

I've been exploring new directions. A wise friend suggests that there are times when our art process must take us inward & must benefit from being private. In the meantime, it's nice to look back on a body of work...
 I look back to my old beloved home...
 on the edge of Casco Bay...
 And to my new home...
in such a beautiful area of the world... 
 I look back to my trips to France...Will there be another?
So where am I going with my art?
Picasso writes:
"Si l’on sait exactement ce qu’on va faire, à quoi bon le faire ?" 
My interpretation: 
"If one knows exactly what one is going to do, then why do it?" 
It's OK not to know for the moment.

Between my explorations & several projects with deadlines, it's  time for a blog pause. Have a great summer!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fast Sketches: Small Town Farmer's Market

I had a feeling the painting class that I'd been a part of for 2 days would be at the local Farmer's Market. There was the teacher, right in the middle of things, doing a brilliantly colorful demo. This market is much smaller than Portland's but it too is filled with health & joy & the arts. Again, I walked into a bit of bliss.. sights, scents, art, & more Celtic music....
...played by 3 young men on fiddle, keyboard & recorder...
Proportion & accuracy are off here, but it is for me a souvenir of a moment...
Student & assistant, Deb, from New Hampshire. One of the sweetest people I've ever met...Good energy all around! Thank you, thank you, thank you, I seem to keep saying to summer in Belfast.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Happiness: Fiddling & Sketching

The Belfast Bay Fiddlers welcome an audience to their weekly rehearsals. I thought I'd died & gone to heaven, attending for the first time. About 20 musicians played tunes like Saint Anne's Reel, Golden Slippers, Angeline the Baker, Whiskey Before Breakfast, Boys of Blue Hill & Reel de Montreal. I used to kind of play guitar & then tin whistle until a wrist injury changed things. And I used to contradance before my knees started creaking. But how I still LOVE to listen!!
Their stands were ipads on which they downloaded the tunes! The smiles on some of their faces as they played were like mirrors for my own feelings. A few of the slow waltzes made me cry. A roomful of joy, you see it, & you feel it vibrating deep in your core. Out the windows the trees were swaying to the music, & whole families of children were dancing on the lawn.
I was shy about taking out my sketchbook. Then, a regular audience member, wife of a guitarist, whipped out a Moleskine. So I whipped out my Moleskine. I almost exclaimed, "Look! We're twins!" As we shared our books we discovered that we are/were both art teachers. Then we hunkered down to sketching as the the fiddlers went on fiddlin'.
Fiddlers & sketchers, working out, practicing, immersed in traditional music...I became a part of a lucky group of people in that room that evening...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Coastal Maine Art Workshop

I just finished 2 days in a watercolor class right in my own town! Folks have come to this 5 day class (I only took it for 2) from California, New York, New Jersey Iowa, Louisiana, & elsewhere, to learn in person from Tony Van Hasselt, a teacher they knew from his technique books! Coastal Maine has so many workshops like this with visiting artists! This one was sponsored by Coastal Maine Art Workshops. What a great way to follow one's passion while vacationing. Tonight they all went to the lobster pound down the road in Lincolnville. 
After a talk in the studio, Tony gave a demonstration outdoors & then we painted. Sunny, pleasant weather was with us in a lovely public spot just on the edge of the harbor.

Painting IS different from drawing. You define objects by masses of contrasting colors & values instead of by line. There's a lot more to consider like lights & darks & patterns of colors & shapes.
Part of my pleasure, in any class, is making sketch-notes. (Here, 3 X 5" journal by Semicolon) I've been sketching a lot lately. Summer & all the festivals & events here provide me with opportunities.
Tony has a relaxed approach to painting combined with formal study. While he's painting he says things like,  "Why not try?" "I'm just going to have fun. If it works out, OK." 

Tourist to Mainer: "How do you get to Lincolnville?" 
Mainer: "My brother takes me."

Friday, July 11, 2014

Back to the Landscapes...soon...

This is an older landscape that I took to the shop on Main Street
to replace one that sold yesterday. 
Now I REALLY have to get back to the landscapes.
 In the meantime, I'm still sketchbook wandering.
Very scribbly, I must say...
Every Thursday in summer they close one of the Main streets for concerts. 
Last night it was an excellent local big band.
Young families & children were dancing in the street to the music of their parents' & grandparents' era.
I love these events that bring out the community, & perhaps
tourists & summer visitors too.
I added a little detail at home, but it's still scribbly...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

One More Abstract

I've been trying finish up my abstract wanderings
(just one more, just one more)
as I have some landscapes 
to get back to...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sailing on Penobscot Bay

During the 1st part of a Senior College classteacher-sailor, Peter Reilly presented history, ecology, economics, & geography of Penobscot Bay,& a lot of information that sailors need. I sketched, & madly took notes.
 The second part was a sail on the Amity, 
a Friendship sloop, built in 1901. 
The young captain, Peter's son Patrick, 
grew up sailing on Mount Desert Island. 
Patrick has many sailing adventures, 
including a recent solo trip across the Atlantic.
Peter assisted his son at times, 
but he also chatted with us guests

as they enjoyed the views

 and the cool sea breeze, so pleasant 
after the heat & humidity on shore.
Such beautiful designs, components & craftsmanship
 on this Friendship sloop.
So different from electronic technology.
You pass a variety of boats going out of Belfast Harbor.
They told us that this odd conglomeration of a vessel is part of a mussel farm operaton on Isleboro. 
It looked to me like a rig out of Dr. Seuss! 
 The Tugboats of Belfast, Maine. 
They do a lot of work in different places, but this is their home when they're not working. 
To see a great video about them, click here.
Thanks to Peter & Patrick Reilly & Senior College of Belfast
for a great experience!