Thursday, June 1, 2017

Today we leave for France!

It hardly seems possible, or real, after many months of preparation and anticipation. We will arrive in Paris tomorrow morning, spend the night there, and head to Flers on Sunday where our host will meet us at the train station and bring us to our gite in Athis de L'Orne. There we will get settled in and begin the process of finishing up Jess's amazing piece, called Transatlantic, and you will begin to see images that we both will be posting here on this blog, and hers, and on instagram and facebook. What a different world than 1971-1972 when I last spent an extended time in France, as a teenager, with a host family, studying for the year in Rennes. We'll be very close to Rennes and I intend to get there to visit and see how it has changed and how it has stayed the same. Plus ca change plus c'est la meme chose, right? The land of crepes! Sweet and savory. Besides being helpful to Jessica, I have a small part to play in the overall installation and have been painting long lengths of clouds on Yupo, which is not my usual m.o. but it has been instructive and fun. We'll see how they mesh with the sculptural components that Jess has spent months carving from basswood as well as generating digitally on paper for the sculptural installation she has conceived for the residency. A bientot!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Epilogues show at Vandernoot Gallery at LUCAD

Hello friends: Jessica Straus, my longtime friend and artist buddy, and I currently have a show at the Vandernoot Gallery at Lesley University College of Art and Design (LUCAD) in Cambridge! It opened today and will be on view until the end of the day April 15 when we will be there to take it down again. Gallery hours are daily, from 9-5 on M-W-F and 9-8 on Thursdays. Also open on Saturdays and Sunday from 12-5. There's even coffee and sushi next door to the gallery! The reception is next Thursday, March 23 from 6 until 8. Forgive me if you feel you are getting bombarded with this information. Jess and I are pretty excited about this show together!

Monday, January 30, 2017

June trip to France!!

On June 1 I will be flying to France with my artist buddy Jessica Straus who has been invited to be an artist in residence in Normandy. She has asked me to give her a hand, keep her company and collaborate on her project there which will be a site specific sculpture. She has been given an old chapel for the installation and it is already well under way. My part of it, as of today anyway, will be an artist book of sorts that will make use of the walls while her piece will cover the floor with parts suspended from the ceiling. I don't want to give too much away! The town is Athis de l'Orne which is between Paris and Rennes, close to Brittany where I spent a year as a high school student. In addition to this town being in the country and looking like (online anyway) a sweet place to spend the month the directors of the residency have created a public garden over the last six or so years called Le Ciel Ouvert. You can see a great short video online on youtube (it's in French of course but you'll see a beautiful garden with numerous different "rooms." In preparation for the trip I am taking a French conversation class in Rockland, two hours each week. It is so much fun and the teacher is great. Jessica speaks French, too, and has extended family in France (her mother was French and came to America as a young newly wed) so we will visit with them as well. I hope to see some of the French family with whom I lived as a student with School Year Abroad. It will take some sleuthing to be back in touch with them. That's enough for now, I guess. I am posting an image of a current project that has nothing to do with the trip to France but everything to do with how much I enjoy making abstract collage. These were inspired by the colors of the blueberry barrens here on Appleton Ridge in the fall. Exquisite range of reds. I made a total of 52, have given some away. A bientot!

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.