Friday, October 28, 2016

Leonardo Drew lecture at Colby last night

Leonardo Drew is my current favorite living artist! His lecture last night at Colby was engaging, funny, informative. Though I knew his work he of course added to the wonderful nature of it by referring to many pieces as "monstrosities" (which they are!) and telling stories of their origin in the studio and his life as an artist. He was down to earth, friendly and not in the least arrogant, though his reknown would suggest that he could be full of himself. Instead, he is full of his art, and his rich life as an artist. I could have listened to him talk and tell stories for many hours. Bart and I were usually the first to burst out laughing before others joined in. Just ordered the book "Existed" from Amazon. Can't wait for it to arrive.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Haystack 2016

Wow, just returned from the Open Door session at Haystack, for Maine residents. What a great concept, that there is a special session for just us Mainers, particularly as this amazing place continues to grow in reputation and attendance. (You get in by lottery.) What was offered this year? Clay with Kari Radasch (Portland), writing with Jaed Coffin (Brunswick), blacksmithing with Meagan Crowley (Colorado), wood with Zeke Leonard (Syracuse), metals with Sue Amendolara (Pennsylvania), book arts with Barbara Korbell (Chicago), and lastly, the workshop I took, Constructed Surfaces (fiber) with Warren Seeling (Rockland). We were a group of 13 in Warren's workshop, with various backgrounds (visual art, writing, architecture, farming) and various reasons for being there; we didn't just gel, we congealed, and had a blast! Really fast paced, and really mind expanding. Warren was not only 100 percent engaged with the group but insightful, helpful, informative and fun. For a life long teacher to sustain this level of engagement and enthusiasm for decades (he first taught at Haystack, I think, in the 1970's and continues to teach in Philadelphia, Portland and Baltimore) really impressed me. None of us were young enough to stay up all night working, as so many Haystack attendees do, but we lived in the studio when we weren't eating or sleeping. That is the magic (no cliche) and the excitement of Haystack. I hope to return next year, and it probably won't matter what the workshop is--though I know there will be something that will intrigue me--because it is as much about what surrounds you as what is in your own head for these precious four days.

Saturday, July 9, 2016


Okay, finally a moment to write about my upcoming shows--or those already installed (or past)! First,  I curated a show at the Harlow Gallery in March and April called "Altered" which included artists Karen MacDoanld, Daniel Anselmi, Ieva Tatarsky, Jessica Straus (from Boston) and Paula Green. The show was beautiful, and well received. I had collages in a group show in May at the Jonathan Frost Gallery in Rockland and "Season Opener" at the Betts Gallery in Belfast. Currently I am in good company in a new gallery in Casco, right on busy Route 302, There will be an opening reception on July 22 from 4 until 7. The gallery is owned by Martin Friedman. My only solo show this season will be at River Arts in the West Gallery which I have again rented for a two week stretch beginning July 28 until August 12. Stop by during the open hours of the main gallery, Tuesday through Saturday 10 to 4 and Sunday 10-2. The opening will be July 29 from 5 until 8, ALL WELCOME! Later in the summer, I'll have some work in the Betts again in September, in another group show, and again at the Jonathan Frost Gallery in August (I think, I'll have to check that it is August and not September!)
 Shot of installation of Altered at the Harlow Gallery, Hallowell, Maine, March/April 2016
 Detail shot of six collages from "49"
This grouping is one piece, a grid of 49 separate collages, each 6" X 6" , called, "49"

Check out the summer issue of the Maine Arts Journal, an online publication of the Union of Maine Visual Artiists, for a number of spreads (images and artist statements) on the subject of muses by a bunch of Maine artists, including me. If I knew how to add a link here, I would!

Anyone is VERY welcome to come anytime to my studio! Just give me a shout to make sure I will be around. My cell phone number is 207 542 9607. I have hosted a number of guests already this summer, and it is fun for me to share my gardens as well as my studio and latest works in this way.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ahhhh, life.....

I have written this new blog entry many times in my head, and also given it a title, each time quite different as my focus and attitude have changed. First bit of news is that I was unable to go to Doha. Huge disappointment and frustration. Our exhibit, "Welcome To The Library" was cancelled at the last minute quite unexpectedly, much to the chagrin of both Alison and myself after all the planning and anticipation. We still don't know why but think it had to do with a lack of planning ahead on the part of the Katara folks in Doha but actually we really don't know for sure. There had been a flurry of e-mails about insurance coverage just before the art transport van was to come to pick up the work at my studio. Then, following a trip to Mexico to attend a yoga retreat (the very first time I have ever done this), I got sick. Very sick. Mistaking the illness for the aftermath of being in Mexico, I did not immediately recognize the symptoms of a flare up of ulcerative colitis (I was diagnosed with this disease in 2000) and did not begin taking the medication I have for it soon enough. Every day I thought I was going to get better, and indeed I was able to get up some days and function, usually after I had not eaten anything the day before. Even drinking water gave me cramps and pain. By day 13 I was so miserable and dehydrated and weak from not having eaten for so long I finally conceded to going to the ER. I was admitted that night, with a high white blood cell count indicating infection and an obvious severe inflammation of the colon. There were no beds available at Waldo County Hospital (which really means not enough staff, plus I was considered infectious due to the recent trip to Mexico and the intestinal problems so I required isolation), nor were there any available in Rockport, or in PORTLAND! so I went to Lewiston in the middle of the night on a long, bumpy non emergency ride in an ambulance. Once there it was even more surreal, as I arrived at 2:30 am and had barely fallen asleep at 4 am when the hospitalist on duty came to ask me many questions, yawning the entire time. And for those of you who have ever spent time in a hospital, the visits from staff and doctors then continued every hour, or every few minutes, or even less for four days. You just don't get any sleep, even in a room by yourself. I was given IV fluids, IV antibiotics and IV steroids. By day 3 I was declared uninfectious and was moved to a room with an elderly roommate with dementia. I won't even begin to write about 24 hour period. Suffice it to say I begged them to let me go home and thank god they did and my dear sister Megan came to pick me up on day 4. The third day in the hospital was when Alison and I had tickets to fly to Doha. Alison went by herself and had a rather lonely but very successful week doing the workshops we had carefully planned together. Back at home I slowly and timidly began to eat again and began to think I can never ever travel again to Mexico. Or perhaps travel abroad at all. But it remains to be determined whether this major flare up had anything to do at all with the trip to Mexico. Either way, I was not going to be traveling to Doha.
I am now following a somewhat restrictive diet to make sure I don't get sick like that again, but there really isn't any real evidence that any specific diet does the trick. I am mostly inclined to follow the Paleo diet, which as a meat eater works for me (in theory anyway). But I sure do miss drinking beer, cutting way back on coffee and milk, miss eating pasta and other complex carbohydrates, grains, and the small amounts of refined sugar I didn't pay much attention to before (as in most processed foods). So far so good and I feel like myself again. More on diet and nutrition later, I am sure, though it has nothing to do with making art. Or maybe I will discover it actually does...I have now taken a short term, part time job to help address the $5,000 deductible on our our insurance policy. Do not get sick in this country! Even with lifelong, good health insurance coverage.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Not much of a writer!

Evidently I am not much of a writer. Never (hardly ever) think about putting into words on this blog stuff that is going through my head, or through my life. However, I have a few things coming up that merit mentioning, not the least of which is an upcoming return to Doha, at the end of March. This time I will be going with another artist, Alison Rector, also from this area in Maine. Alison and I know each other from crossing paths over the years in Belfast, but the reason we thought to show together is because I am still working with books in my art and she has been painting pictures of the interiors of libraries here in Maine over the last few years. Our exhibit, "Welcome To The Library" will be in Doha at a cultural center there, Katara, which is where I did a workshop and a presentation about my work when I was last there a year and a half ago. We will do more workshops this time, and stay a little longer. Alison is excited about going which is making me realize that I really am, too. Great opportunity for us. I will be sending, among other works, several more feet of "Library" to be installed to entirely cover the back wall of the room in which the rest of it is installed in Qatar, at the ambassador's residence. It will end up to be about 16 feet 8 inches of surface, from corner to corner. In addition to this great opportunity, I will be curating and installing a show here in Maine at the Harlow Gallery, in Hallowel toward the end of March. The opening of that show, "Altered", will be March 25. It will include six artists, all but one from Maine, and address the use of non traditional materials in the making of their art. More about that on the Harlow's website. I have invited artists Karen MacDonald, Daniel Anselmi, Ieva Tatasrsky, Paula Green (who died in 2010) and Jessica Straus to join me in this show that will be up through April.