Monday, September 22, 2014

Maine's Common Ground Country Fair

8 X 10 " Scene from the Fair

Every September The Common Ground Fair, in Unity Maine celebrates rural life, organic & local food production, traditional farm & forest practices, most if not all of them hand, bicycle & horse powered, alternative energy developments, social & politcal action forums, folk arts, folk music, children's crafts, & more... It's a celebration of health, happiness, & living in harmony on this earth. The Fair is a magnificent, collaborative masterpiece organized by The Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association. 

I wanted to take you along with me by posting my many photos, but I am truly overwhelmed with the amount of wonderful things that I saw & smelled & heard & tasted & learned. When I lived in Maine's biggest city I started to forget about this state's alternative rural culture. During these last 3 days I saw that new generations are carrying it on!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Accordion Book with Watercolor Circles

Several years ago I cut up a painting that I didn't like into circles & 
attached them to an accordion folded paper strip
with adhesive & embroidery floss. 
 Flip the pages &  the arrangements change.
Is it a book or a toy?
When I taught, I often used the brainstorming game with young children, 
holding up a simple shape, asking: "What is it?" 
The diverse number of responses always amazed me!

So: "What is it?" 
A balloon train? 
A fruit parade?
A broken beaded necklace? 
Planets at a party?
Other ideas?  

The end. 
Or maybe not the end...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Morning Sketch Meditations: Changes

 Morning Meditation means loading my backpack 
with my drawing tools & wandering with my sketchbook.
(This one is new, a tiny, 51/2 X 31/2" Paperblanks.)
Oh! The gifts of stopping to see! A sailboat, 
so slightly turning to & fro in the morning breeze...
Slight movement, but with the early morning light, 
shadows & reflections, & my tranquil frame of mind, 
I  experience them as great, miraculous changes.
My little boat is now big 
in relation to a shore bird neighbor!
 Early morning by the harbor means greeting others who are also welcoming the new day. 
They are mostly walkers & I love sharing their fresh energy. 
Morning seems to open us to health & happiness.
 Drawing/meditation can happen any time during the day.
Here,  Moose Point State Park, a pause after walking the
sweet shore & woods trail loop on a late afternoon. 
No fantastic mountain summits, just quiet serenity at ground level.
Drawing/meditation frees me up from preconceived ideas.
I returned another morning to the harbor thinking I'd be looking at more boats. 
But what immediately caught my eye was a lily plant full of seed pods. 
They are little sculptures that I often overlook in relation to their springtime blossom counterparts. 
Stalks were in different stages of aging & dying, from full green pods to withered, shriveled, brown ones. 
One lily even had all this as well as her vivid yellow blossoms! 
The change of seasons & life were displayed by
a single lily plant!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Zen of Mother & Child at the Lake

Oh, the pleasure, & perhaps luxury, of the young mom & her child, together in a sort of Zen reverie at the lake. They sat on their towel, they explored holes in the sand. They met a dog & some older children. They picked up stones & twigs & a few toys. They chatted now & again in a mother-child language.  They dipped their feet in the water. They did all this slowly & sometimes they were just still, seemingly doing nothing. They appeared to be in an unhurried trance, the mom following the pace of her child. 

There are many families in which the parents work all hours, where the children rush all day from activity to scheduled activity. There are others where the adults have little time or interest in their kids. Honestly, it warmed my heart to watch these two, so slow, so engaged with one another & with their surroundings. It was a little bit of Zen Magic which seemed to be filled with a lot of Love.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Shakespeare & Company Revisited

 A new version (9 X 12") of a drawing that I'd made several years ago. It was a pleasure to "re-visit" this book store in Paris where I had had an enchanted experience. To see the original drawing, story & photos, click Here. Most of my France & Paris drawings have now sold. To see ones I've posted on this blog, click on "France" in Labels. When you reach the bottom of the posts, click on "older posts" for more.

I told a friend that most of my French images are gone.
"I guess it means you have to go back to create more," she said.
For now, it's not possible, but I will continue to dream & draw...

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Morning Meditation Sketch: Cormorant

Yesterday I attended a lecture at a Rockland gallery by painter & teacher, Bjorn Runquist. He reminded me why it is that I sketch. I stop, I observe, I get to know something, I stay with it, I am present, I am engaged in a moment of life...

Runquist showed a series of small sunrise paintings that were for him morning meditations, his way of greeting the world each morning for a year. 

So this morning, first thing, I found myself on a bench by the harbor of my little town, enjoying once again the pleasure, the process, the meditation of drawing, of sketching, for no one or no reason except to pass a little time in a little piece of the world. Un petit coin de paradis...

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Dock in the Lake

So much depends upon 
a wooden dock
floating in the lake...
(especially if you haven't been swimming in years!)

(ode to Love That Dog by Sharon Creech &
"The Red Wheelbarrow" by William Carlos Williams)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Friend's Farm Garden

Here, one of those first drafts that didn't need a 2nd. I worked out a few details on scratch paper & then, with ink & chopstick, spontaneously sketched images on a 9 X 12" watercolor sheet, from photos I had taken on a friend's farm back in mid-July. I'm sure her garden is very different today, & I hope to make another pilgrimage to her & to her garden soon. It's always filling to my soul, even without actually eating some of her organic, delicious produce!

It's September 1st & changes are accelerating in the rural landscape. Each day there is something new to observe. I must remember this. 

More on that "Draft Process" (previous post): The "Evil Twin Critic" verses "The Wise Editor." The country landscape was a response to "The Wise Editor". I liked reflecting & putting into practice what I've been learning. Perhaps one of the drawings was not "better" than the other, but one felt more expressive of my response to what I had seen & felt.

Happy September First & all that that means to you!