Wednesday, December 10, 2014

a river runs through it

-that is what I am calling home today.  The rain is persistent. Inside the dogs are on day two of harboring that damp doggy odor and are banned to the mud room.  Outside the chickens are warily navigating their way around puddles lest they get their claws wet.  I just fired up the heat in the studio, and in the mean time got out my winter newsletter this morning which you can take a look at here.

Friday, November 14, 2014

save the date

I am so pleased to announce that my illustrious son and personal graphics consultant has finished the layout for my 2015 Calendar!  The images are bigger this year and they are all from my 50|fifty series that I had completed this summer.  I chose 12 of my favorites!  Here's a peak at to the printers!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I'm pretty certain they are not the only ones we should know...

...but it's a solid start! 

Joan Mitchell
(image borrowed from above web site)

And Speaking of Joan Mitchell, last Summer I read this impressive book by Patricia Albers on her life and work.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

demo and tandem painting

Every time I teach a class I bring a demo panel with me.  On it I can demonstrate each of the materials and techniques that we talk about in the class.  I never have a plan about what my subject matter is, I just start loading the panel with marks and colors.  Here is one panel (16x16) in three stages from  the beginning weeks of my mixed media workshop:

 ink, spray, gouache, stencil, soft pastel, charcoal

 all of the above + acrylic, flexible modeling paste, collaged printed imagery, scraping, heavy gloss medium

all of the above + cheesecloth and fabric, water soluble colored pencils, oil stick, oil pastel

Then a surprise hour long session of co-painting with one of the participants!  Here are details of the two pieces:

Friday, November 7, 2014

back to school

I'm leading a workshop in mixed media painting this fall.  Here is a glimpse of a few of the participants works in progress.   Each week I present the class with a different material or technique to try.  So far in the first four weeks we have explored materials including inks, gouache, water soluble pencils and crayons, acrylic paints and various mediums.  Collage materials have included photos,  printed imagery and fabrics.  The class is working both representationally and abstractly.   Its a nice way to spend a Tuesday Morning!

stay tuned for gold leaf, gel transfers and working larger!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

coastal waters

just a few images from home
patterns in the water and on the sand

and something i've been working on inside
kind of a jumble right now
the working theme is "unmoored"

Friday, September 19, 2014

what I did on my summer vacation part 2

September:  ( I still consider this summer )  The installation of five of my paintings at the Sussman House at PenBay Medical center in Maine.  A trio hangs in the hallway and two individual pieces are in patient rooms.  I am proud that my work was selected to be in our community's new hospice house.

Another 5 days in Truro at Castle Hill!  This time the roads were empty for riding, the water warmer for dunking and the workshop more challenging!  My brain hurts.  But I was awed by the fact that I was able to work under the guidance of Joan Snyder, a painter I have admired since my 20's.  It was tough.  I felt intimidated by the strength and confidence of some of the painters around me and had trouble finding my (voice) mark.  And time was running out after the first day!   I worked in water based media and on paper- but soon realized that I wished I had had my oils with me too. I also wish I could go back in a week or two once I get my feet back under me.  Overall, though, it was an important week in my life.  The group and individual critiques provided me with enough insight into my practice and direction to last me a while back here at home.  I am grateful to the other participants for being part of the experience.

some struggling images:

Thank goodness at the end of each day there was this.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

what i did on my summer vacation part 1

A round up of some summer highlights.

July:  5 days in Truro at Castle Hill Center for the Arts to study with Deborah Dancy, an artist whose work I had discovered while browsing sites one day.  I was struck by both the immediacy and chance present in her work and also for her unabashed usage of the color pink.  A mixed media and meaning workshop.  Processes introduced tipped us on our sides.  A camaraderie of varied interesting participants adding vitality to the afternoons.  Each morning would begin with a hint or a lesson we should follow for the day.  Limiting marks, color choice, and imagery.  It was a week of distilling. eliminating the unnecessary, leaving behind a simple truth on paper.

Collage and mixed media experiments on paper 

August:  Some visiters, bike rides, swims and potlucks.  Held my 2nd annual open studio (previously mentioned post). Delivered #1 boy back to college, spent a night in Vermont.  Oh and the dahlias!  They are amazing this year as always.

Monday, August 11, 2014

that was fun

photo credit to my young friend Eliot Grigo

This weekend we held our second ever Pearl Street Open Studios.  We had a nice turn out of friends and supporters of the arts coming through our work spaces. So often our life's work finds us behind studio doors, listening to music or a book on tape, drinking too much coffee, and creating our work in solitude.  The opportunity to share comes in many ways.  Some of us get to show in galleries, some of us teach, some get out to lectures and other arts related events, and that all takes an effort-one that is secondary (and often intimidating) to the effort of making the work itself.  So to all of you that came to see us, to encourage us, and just to bear witness to what we do, a heart felt thanks goes out to each of you.  

Monday, July 28, 2014

small wonders

number 45 in the 50|fifty series

Friday, July 25, 2014

a surprise


This is what happened in the studio yesterday.  It is somewhat of a departure from my usual work.  I returned from a week long workshop on the cape last week ( more about that in another post ) with my brain feeling a little upside down and backwards.  It had been a long time since I have had that much input and concentrated time to focus on just my painting.  Getting back to the 'real world" was, I have to admit, a little intimidating.  My studio feels oddly quiet and empty this week, but I think I just had one of those 'dance like no one's watching' moments and I like it!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

open studio next month

In a few short weeks I will be hosting my annual open studio event.  In the mean time my studio is a mess of half completed projects, piles and unfinished paintings.  My neighbor and painter friend Mike Rich will be showing his encaustic paintings across the street in his studio and my dearest friend Julia Dickenson will be bringing her jewelry to show in my space.  Photographer Tilman Crane is another neighbor who will open his doors that same weekend as well.  We have a pretty creative neighborhood.  I have a lot to do to prepare, including getting rid of the growing pile of yard sale/dump items in my carriage house so you can actually get to the door of my studio.... I love how a looming deadline can kick things into high gear.  

Monday, July 7, 2014

what happens when time flies...

...other aspects of life get attended to

you plant the garden and eat strawberries
you paint the kitchen
you ride 50 miles to celebrate the start of the next half century
you turn fifty amongst your dearest friends
you start a new series of 50 small paintings
you are compelled to stitch things together
you walk the dogs early along the docks
you relish the company of your first summer houseguests
you get new some new chicks to raise
you welcome home your eldest after his first year of college
you cringe when your daughter goes off on her first road trip
you find yourself pacing in the studio
you plan the next open studio and classes for fall
you promise yourself to start blogging again soon

...and here I am

Friday, April 18, 2014

spring thaw, ice out

At last the ice has left our yard and there are familiar spots of purple appearing through the mud.  
I think I am done with this one for now....

spring thaw
oil on canvas, 38x38"

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

april showers bring flooded basements!

Oh the rain!

But there are a few other things happening in the great indoors this month.  I love the first page of a new sketchbook- it always holds the promise of a new chapter of productivity in the studio!  My first page has a quote that inspired me,  "to be surprised after a day of anxious painting is a joy".  Forgive me as I have forgotten the source!

The days here have been filled with rain and sloppy mud, a bit of warmer mornings, boiling sap, chopping ice, teaching classes, studio time, sewing and french lessons! ( I am visiting Paris soon!).  Below are some images of a larger piece that is still evolving.  It is feeling a bit more like a landscape than most of my usual compositions.  I think I am just embracing the ever present color white this spring.

Monday, March 31, 2014

marching on

Close your eyes and listen.  
Spring in Maine sounds better than it looks.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

International Women's Day

Many months back I came across a trailer for the film, Lost in Living. Today, the film is being streamed live in honor of International Women's Day.  If you are a mom and an artist, writer, or maker you may find some solace in knowing that you are not alone.  Celebrate your creative self and click on the link to watch the entire film today.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

seeing red

Looking up in winter is one of the few places to experience vibrant color outdoors.  Some mornings are rewarded with the most intense red in the sky.  Just five minutes after I took this photo, the sky reverted to a grey which persisted throughout the day.  It was worth that early morning wake up from the dogs.

Hibernating away over the last couple of weeks in the snowy confines of Maine, I have pulled out my sewing machine and needles and thread for a bit of handwork.  Sometimes coffee and piecework next to a fire or in front of a movie seem to be a better option than sitting on a hard stool surrounded by the smell of oil paints in a chilly studio. 

A dress made from a red chambray, knocked off from one in a fancier fabric that I'd purchased last year.  It was the first time that I'd ever copied a dress, and happily it worked out just right!  I made the dress on the machine, but hand stitched the neckline and key hole at back.

This is an old treasure that I found in a thrift store years ago.  It has served as inspiration for many a sewing project.

A throw-sized blanket pieced with old cashmere sweaters and backed with a beautiful voile print.  Entirely hand sewn.  L doesn't understand not using the machine to sew, but I find there is something very meditative about making every stitch by hand.  Perfect for staying warm during the 'arctic vortex'!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

some new work

both oil on panel, 18x18"
still pondering over titles

Monday, February 24, 2014

caught in the middle

the middle of winter
the middle of painting a hallway
the middle of teaching a class
the middle of writing a proposal
the middle of making a dress
the middle of painting a series of squares
the middle of not buttoning my jeans
and ah, the middle of my life

I am really hoping to be finishing some of these things soon, but not the life, not yet!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

sharing my work in 2014

Like some of you I'd love to see my artwork on a gallery wall, in someone's home or perhaps even favorably reviewed in a major publication.  I am grateful for the accomplishments that I have achieved to date, but its not over yet.  (why do we always want more?) There is longevity in my family gene pool and I plan to make good use of the years ahead!

In the meantime, while I await fame and fortune, I wanted to share more of my work with more people.  So this year I am giving away 52 small works of art.  One for every week of the year 2014.  These are all small postcard-ish sized paintings done on paper by me.  Each one is an original.  Here's the fun part.  I keep a few of these in my bag with me wherever I go and leave them in places I've traveled or visited- I don't get out of Maine too frequently, but I do have a year and a couple of big trips in the planning stages….  

Maybe you will find one tucked away at your neighborhood coffee shop, art supply store, gallery, library or community bulletin board, and if you do, please come back here and let me know!

Friday, January 3, 2014

congratulations, Nancy!

Your calendar is on its way!  
Thank you to the others who commented on my blog, all my best to you in the New Year!

Here in Maine we are waiting out another big chill and snows.  I was hoping to dig my way to the studio today, but have just come in numb from digging my way to check on my chickens (they are fine despite the -7 temperature outside).  So for now I will build a bigger fire and get out some knitting…