Monday, June 20, 2011

As the World Turns

Adding first layer of color to the Globe

Adding the camouflage pattern to the "globe"

Size does...and doesn't....matter

It is difficult to type with a kitten laying on the keyboard; she seems to think that anything that moves (including a virtual mouse cursor) is fair game. Bouli mania has taken over in our house. She is adjusting to her new role here very well and it becomes more clear with each passing day that she will be the feline in charge. Bello is a bit disgruntled but he is starting to come around. The hissing and growling is lessening. Last night, Bello returned to the bed and even purred a bit. It isn't so much that he suddenly likes the new tiny critter on four furry, and very fast, paws, but more so that he is realizing that she is here to stay. I fell bad for Bello. I really do. Bouli has endless amounts of energy and chases Bello, pouncing at him, almost constantly. She wants a playmate and he wants to be left alone. He has already entered his senior years at ten, and his fifteen pound body isn't quite as agile as Bouli's less than two pound frame. I think that eventually the two of them will be fine together. It's the transition time that is a bit trying.

School let out for summer as of last Friday and it seems my inner solstice clock has already kicked-in. I woke this morning at 3:00 a.m. to see the light serenely emerge over the bay. On a school night, this gets me a bit worried and wearied, but in summer I take advantage of early wakes and get to work. It's perfect for things like blogging and sketching ideas.

My mother has been visiting for the past few days and has been wonderful with entertaining Bouli while I attempt to complete a sculpture. I am working on a "globe" for the Skowhegan show "Worlds: Seen and Foreseen" and need to finish that up within a couple days. I am applying encaustic paints and so far am liking it. I really liked the globe appearance when it was just a simple blue and white, but as the image develops with varied layers, I am liking that as well. The artistic process is interesting in that an artist can choose to stop at any point in a piece and call it done. The "viewer" would not know the difference. I was tempted to stop at the blue and white version, however, ultimately decided to not give in to early-onset infatuation and began applying the next layer of color. It is a battle of aesthetic choice versus conceptual vision. If you are in the Skowhegan area in July, check out the display by varied artists in downtown business windows.

The new summer schedule is no less hectic than any other time of the year, but it does offer up some variety in the usual routine. Friday night mom and I ventured over Eastport way to Leslie Bowman's opening at Cat Bird Seat Gallery. After, we headed back to Lubec for dinner. It is wonderful to have lived in Lubec long enough now to see the renaissance that is taking place - with new restaurants, shops, and galleries. Ten years ago when Chris and I arrived, it felt like a sleepy little town. The past two summers there has been an explosion of things creative, from live music to arts events. Lubec Arts Alive (July 5-8) is now in it's third season as Lubec prepares a huge celebration in honor of it's bicentennial. When here, folks stay at one of the many historical B&B's, eat delicious concoctions from one of the restaurants (from "breakfast all day" diners to upscale gourmet establishments), shop for unique items made locally and regionally, and gorge on the most delicious Peruvian chocolates you'll ever devour. And, kudos to Debra Ayala-Kasunic, owner of Northern Tides Art and Gift Gallery, Lubec, Maine, who won the Maine 2011 Downtown Achievement, Community Spirit – Individual of the Year Award for her extraordinary contributions to Lubec and the downtown community! (see excerpt from press release below).

If you venture just slightly out of Lubec up route 1 you'll find the amazing Tide Mill Organic Farm or venture across the bridge in Lubec to visit Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt's summer home on Campobello Island. Don't forget your passport! Remember, Lubec is right on the border of New Brunswick, Canada. Have you ever been on a ferry? They make for a beautiful and relaxing summer's day excursion and you may even spot a whale or two. Or, you could just hang out dowtown Lubec and watch the whales from one of the restaurants on-the-water decks or hike the cliffs at the famous red and white West Quoddy lighthouse and possibly spot a whale or two our there. If you are an avid birder, Lubec is home to some of the most rare and unique birds, not to mention it is a mecca for eagles.

If you haven't already made plans to visit Lubec this summer - what are you waiting for?! And make sure you stop by my place, Cobscook Pottery and Fiber Arts, when you are here! When you're done, book a massage or crystal bowl session at Twilight Therapeutics with the most excellent and healing microbiotic-goddess massage therapist you'll ever meet!

I really do love living in this community. It is, as Chris's grandfather often said to us "the perfect place for an artist and a writer." There is inspiration around every corner and tucked in every nook and cranny.

Press Release:
Owner of Northern Tides Art and Gift Gallery Wins Maine 2011 Downtown Achievement, Community Spirit Award

Skowhegan, M.E. – June 10th, 2011: Roxanne Eflin, Senior Program Director of the Maine Downtown Center/Maine Development Foundation, announced today that Debra Ayala-Kasunic, owner of Northern Tides Art and Gift Gallery, Lubec, Maine, won the Maine 2011 Downtown Achievement, Community Spirit – Individual of the Year Award for her extraordinary contributions to Lubec and the downtown community.

In the Strand Theater in downtown Skowhegan, community leaders, Maine Downtown Center/Maine Development Foundation staff and volunteers, and other business owners gathered after a two day conference devoted to historical preservation and revitalization of our downtown business centers, came to cheer for their hometown nominees for the Maine Downtown Achievement Awards. Debra Ayala-Kasunic of Northern Tides Art and Gift Gallery received the only Maine Downtown Achievement award within the coastal counties of Washington and Hancock for her promotion of the Town of Lubec.

According to the nomination application, Debra Ayala-Kasunic, an active member of the Lubec Comprehensive Planning Committee (appointed position), Cobscook Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Lion’s Club member, Board of Trustees for Lubec Memorial Library, and APPLE, visualized Northern Tides Art and Gift Gallery when she purchased a 100 year old, distressed building and began the first Lubec Downtown retail building renovation project in June of 2006. New to retail sales, the area, and using her own funds, Debra developed and implemented Northern Tides’ various micro-business plans: to represent local artists, to manage renovation and restoration, and to develop an art and environment community analysis of Lubec, dedicated to ensure that tourists, visitors, and local residents might be offered a true Down East, Lubec, one-of-kind experience.

After one full year of restorations to the first floor, operating under the goal of maintaining the historic integrity of the building, Debra opened Northern Tides’ door June 1st, 2007 with approximately 25 artists representing 125 products. Building restorations included, but were not limited to: the original tin ceilings, foundation, original store front display windows, walls, and kitchen and bath area, all completed employing a symphony of graceful New England colors in an effort to help restore the Lubec waterfront to its original beauty.

When asked about her award, Debra says: “The award came as a complete shock to me. I had no idea that I had even been nominated for a State award. I am still amazed, but tremendously grateful.” Debra comments on her restoration project, “I never could have completed this project without the expertise of the local carpenters, electricians, roofers, and especially the guys from the Lubec Hardware Store. Most importantly, my husband Jerry invested countless hours of personal time and resources to support what at times seemed like a crazy endeavor. But, since I undertook this project in 2006, it has been gratifying to see the gradual development of a revitalized business community: the opening of several new restaurants, inns, gift shops, an active Community Garden Club, and, I believe, an increased sense of pride of place.”

Celebrating its 5th year in business, Northern Tides now represents over 80 Maine and Canadian Maritime artist, artisans, and authors, ensuring a renewed experience for frequent visitors to both the Gallery and online. But with each year, Debra looks to the future revitalization of Lubec and the continued growth of her own micro-business.

In announcing the awards, Roxanne Eflin, Maine Downtown Center/Maine Development Foundation, thanked each nominee and award winner for their outstanding achievements and encouraged everyone to continue their vital work to increase visibility, enhance cultural and eco-tourism, expand employment opportunities, and to make each town and city their own unique, beautiful environment for all to enjoy.


Owl Who Laughs said...

The encaustic globe is profound with symbolism. It is (dare I say it ...) an earth-shaking piece.

For once, Bouli has been upstaged--by your incredible art.


Anonymous said...

Shanna... Bouli is adorable! And are those beautiful blue eyes I have spyed? I love her name, it seems fitting! I am sure Grammie had FUN babysitting with her new Grandkitten! Nice reminder about the need for a Passport to get over to Campobello Island. I read that to my Passport issuing husband and he gave me a big smile! Pam C. NH


Oh Chris - I still think Bouli gets more attention than the sculpture!


Yes, Pam - blue eyes - and when she looks at me I just melt - even when she's biting my fingers and toes and tormenting Bello.

Mom forgot to bring her passport!