Tuesday, December 1, 2015

daily rituals

I picked up this book at the library last week and have been scanning through the daily practices of other artists.  It is out of curiosity that I wonder how do other people do it? What keeps them attentive to their art and how do they maintain a presence in the studio despite the general concerns of life. Some are quite humorous, others more mundane, and many are fueled by caffeine, alcohol and pharmaceuticals. As a woman and a mother, I have often put other's needs before mine, and my work has waited patiently for me. I know I shouldn't presume that it will always be there for me for it too needs tending, so I hope that by listening sticking to my own (healthy version) routine, my work will once again thrive as much as my children. 

morning coffee
feed the animals
sitting in silence (aka meditation)
walk or hike
more coffee
my journal
my painting

These are things that are happening everyday right now.  At different times of the year, there are variations, but this really would be my perfect day.  December 1 marks the time when the kids are back at school till winter break,  the garden is put to bed, the leaves have been raked and there is nothing left to do but dig in to this quiet window of time and make work. My work. ( oh, and also prepare for Christmas ;) )

Some pages from my journal this week.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Holiday Show at Bett's Gallery

A few small works have made their way up to Belfast for the Holiday Galleria at Bett's Gallery- part of The Belfast Framer.  All my pieces are oil on panel, 6x6" and priced to sell!  Enjoy the kick off to the Holiday Season!!

 Ghost Hull

 Sea Change


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Color Theory: things I learned from other painters

I had a friend in graduate school, Bob, whom I had met in 1988 at the Vermont Studio Center (it was still known as the "Vermont Studio School" back then). I was living in DC at the time and interning at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and spinning my wheels making art on the side, raising a puppy and sinking into my first heavily languid Washington summer.  A co-worker friend and MFA student Nica (who later went on to become a writer), brought me to a visiting artist lecture at American University and there it was that I became reacquainted with my long lost friend Bob! It had been a few years.  They convinced me to apply to the program and the following fall, there I was.  Bob was fun to go with to look at art. First of all he would surreptitiously try to touch the impasto paint on so many works of art. Who could blame him- paint is seductive and it begs to be touched, just not while the guards are looking. But back in the studio during our group crits Bob would unabashedly touch the paint on our often wet canvases, sheepishly wipe his colored finger on his pants, and proceed to remark on composition, color and form. 

I can still hear Bob's comments in my head:

"Its how the paint gets on the canvas."
"Neutral color, neutral color, pure color."

Fast forward to this fall, I am revisiting color theory up here in Maine, working with a local painter, Kris Engmann.  I am starting over, from the beginning with lots of homework, painting my own color wheel, doing value studies and asking myself, what is the light condition in this painting.  It is throwing a wrench into my studio practice.  But I think things will settle out. They better because I am on deadline to finish up some pieces by the end of the year.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September Re-Cap

I am claiming summer to be officially over here today. A heavy soaking rain is upon us at last. A good day to catch up on things indoors.  I was lucky to enjoy seeing my work in two separate galleries this summer. The first was a group reunion show of former Ã…arhus members held at Bett's Gallery in Belfast where I showed six smaller works on paper done over the past year.  A group of my larger oil paintings went up to Blue Hill Maine to hang at the Cynthia Winings Gallery.  Most of the pieces I sent up there were done in a frenzied but joyful period of focus (I just love when that happens) in the 8 weeks leading up to the show.  
Here are a few of my faves:

I was so pleased to see both exhibits and hope that those who got to see them enjoyed the work too-here are a couple of installation views- the show remains up through Columbus Day Weekend.

After sending both child #1 AND child #2 both (eeep!) off to college this fall, I had a mini adventure on Star Island in the beginning of September.  My friend Jen joined me on a three day workshop with the artist Kim Bernard, where we worked on things like presentation skills, resume building, portfolios and artist statements.  It was good preparation for the coming fall. Star Island is a magical place halted in time and if you get a chance to attend a retreat or workshop out there I wholly recommend it- and schedule and extra day for yourself! 

Now after a brief hiatus I am heading back into the studio to make some new work for an upcoming show at the AVA gallery in Lebanon, NH.  This show will be particularly fun to prepare for as I have my own space in the AVA and can decide what to hang where.  I used to live right around the corner from there so it feels a little like going back home. I'll be working on an artist's talk for that one- more on the preparations later.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

and the fog rolled in

Personally, I love the fog, it takes me back to my very early childhood, having spent many a day stuck on a boat with my family  waiting for the fog to lift.  

While we sat on our mooring, my brother and I would pretend to be puppies on the foredeck, or get into mischief like making “peanut butter” out of cocktail peanuts and the last stick of  butter.  My nine year old self was certain this was how it was made. While we waited, my mother would try to keep us occupied and quiet so my Dad could listen to the NOAA forecast in hopes of leaving the harbor.  She came up with all sorts of crafty things to keep us occupied.  One year she made me an actual corn husk doll and I spent the remainder of the trip fashioning clothes out of our limited supply of paper towels and learning to tie knots with my Dad so I could make belts for the doll.  Another time she gave us the used tin foil and made a whole forest of little animals to play with.  When I think back on those days I definitely remember bowing over the rail and feeling seasick, but I also remember discovering ways to make things with whatever was at hand.  I think that is why now all these years later I still enjoy making things and playing with whatever new materials I can get my hands on.

oil on panel with...glitter 24x24"

I hope you are all getting to tap into that playful side of yourselves this summer. Whether it be in the studio, or kitchen or garden or beach, find something new to mess around with!

Oh, and one more thing! You can receive more updates and images from the studio if you connect with my  newish Facebook page here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

lighten up

This morning I changed the background on the blog and it feels like I've lifted the curtain off of winter for good. I like the bright white background and think it reflects the ease of my summer days dividing time between family, friends, studio and garden- oh and biking and reading and swimming and yoga.... Summer here in Maine is so brief yet so full that you just don't want to waste a minute. Here are a few scenes from around the homestead this past month.

Monday, July 6, 2015

what's new

Well, there's lots to talk about.  July kicked of with a little birthday, HBD 18th to my bestie daughter, a little sun, a little rain, a little visit from Boston pals, plus a little fireworks, eating, hiking and swimming.  Now, Monday morning I am back at it.  For the upcoming show in August at The Cynthia Winings Gallery up in Blue Hill, Maine, I think I've got another one ready to go. 

red lines 16x16, oil on panel

I also was just offered a solo show in January of 2016!  Its a ways off but still exciting news to share. It will be at the AVA Gallery in Lebanon, NH.  

And lastly I am thinking of more ways to connect with the arts community both near and far.  I will be launching a Facebook page to keep folks up to date on studio visit days, mini workshops and other arts events I find interesting in my neck of the woods.  Stay tuned for a link!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

journal pages and a quote

I save quotes and phrases. I came across this quote I had tucked away a while back. It seemed to reappear at just the right time.  Attributed to the artist Kiki Smith, this I believe.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

shipwrecks and doubt

I've been working towards a body of work for an upcoming show late this summer in Blue Hill at the Cynthia Winings Gallery. Its a 'be careful what you wish for' moment, because after I had a lovely visit with Cynthia in my studio earlier this spring, I then had to get down to the business of making some paintings.  Back in April I had just started working on this new series of paintings.  They are taken from phrases and imagery in novels I have read all pertaining to the sea, floating, casting nets, night skies, becoming unmoored and drowning (metaphorically of course). 

I like the way this one is coming along, it could be done? 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

another day in June

a wet day in June
stranded in the studio
chasing an idea that has been percolating for months
beginning with one novel: We the Drowned
and ending with another: Moby Dick
in between there were a lot of experiments
false starts and drawings
of waves and nets and shipwrecks
of night skies and cast lines
of floating and being swept to shore
works in progress
its all paint and pencil
brush and line and color