Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I have spent a lot of time this year building on my art practice to include daily sketchbook hours, and I like to believe filling a journal with drawings, musings or rants is all for the good of my art.  In one of the many creativity treatises I have been reading, I was encouraged to obsess about something I was making, and that that kind of obsession is good and will keep drawing you back to the studio.  All too often I obsess and worry about things that have no place in the studio:  my kids, vacuuming, laundry, the roof that might leak( it was fixed three years ago), the basement that might flood( it gets a little damp after a rain), my kids' school projects and sport schedules, my husband's meetings and sports schedules, the mess in the mud room, when will I have time to see my family, what to plant this spring, exercising enough, sleeping enough, am I out of coffee or chocolate and again, always, my kids.

My Dad once told me whatever it is you do in life, be the best at it. Unfortunately, sometimes I think I am just the best worrier in America...

But,  back to the work at hand. I am trying to embrace this new obsession of nests and leave some of my other 'bad' obsessions at the studio door.  Here's what I am up to; you may have seen some of these before- some journal pages, some painting, some drawing.  Yesterday in the studio I had the most profound thought (that may be a little dramatic, but it felt that way to me).  I was getting sore in the back and crampy in the wrist while working on one of the three big nest drawings I have in progress, and beginning to feel impatient with the process, when it occurred to me: It probably takes me just as long to draw a nest as it does for a bird to build one....and I don't have to use a beak to do it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Marching on

Good Monday morning on this appropriately grey damp March day.  We have become a little spoiled these past few weeks with an out of the ordinary warming trend here in Maine, the poor plants are confused- perennials are trying to green up under the leaf cover in the flower beds, crocuses are up and shining purple and yellow a full few weeks early, the weeping willows are already turning chartreuse on their tips, the sun felt so close and warm on our faces just for a brief time, and my bike tires actually hit pavement.  Its like we had a vacation from plain old mud season, but now back to reality, which isn't so bad really.  

I discovered a new walk which brought me here:

I made an art date with myself and went to Portsmouth, NH last weekend to check out the city, which is an absolute jewel. I want to go back and spend some more time exploring, but while there I did pop into two galleries which I had discovered through the internet.  Three Graces Gallery and Nahcotta.  Both are in the downtown area and had really interesting artwork on display when I was there.  Three Graces also carries all hand made, one of a kind fine crafts- jewelry, bags, ceramics, and furniture.  Nahcotta has a fun design/art book selection and beautiful design objets for your home as well.  Later I drove over to the Artstream gallery in Rochester NH, - this shop has a full on art studio and ceramic studio in their space for adult and children's classes- great business plan in a beautiful space!

Fellow Mainer Lari Washburn did a lovely post about my work in her blog last week- Thank you Lari!  There are so many good things that come from internet browsing,  I hope to actually make a studio visit to some of the artists I meet via the internet some time, but for now, from my kitchen I have the world at my fingertips... 

Monday, March 12, 2012

something old, something new

last years blooms 

this years nest
 pencil on gessoed board

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Rebecca Morris - In The Make

I may have just died and gone to heaven.  This is my favorite kind of internet discovery!  These two women, photographer Klea McKenna and writer Nikki Grattan have been collaborating to interview artists in their studio spaces.   The most recent post is about the artist Rebecca Morris - this is her studio.

photo courtesy of In the Make 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

an evolution

Do you ever have a painting that you just can't seem to resolve?  I have had this one canvas in my studio for close to a year now.  It spends a lot of time facing the wall like a naughty child.  

Every once in a while I turn it around and try to engage in a conversation.  It would be nice if I could say its like meeting up with an old friend for coffee...although I think the encounter probably feels more like bumping into an old love in the produce section (I haven't actually done that, but I imagine there would be a very awkward silence).  

There is always a little section of it that I like and cling to,  so I dive in and try to get things sorted out.  
This piece started out much darker, but it got depressing and murky for me so I put it away. 

in the beginning, a long time ago

Then I got the idea of air and flight and whitewashed it and added the birds. 

then there was light, a few months ago

Then the birds were too much/too obvious and I switched to thoughts of navigating, and now its beginning to feel like coming home.  


I know, I might have wrecked it. I often do "wreck" a painting before I "finish" it.

The poor canvas has been altered so many times, I think it is like a NY transit car in the Bronx, with layer upon layer of graffiti. I am really hoping this week will see the resolution, I will keep you posted...