Saturday, March 3, 2012

On the Road Again

Claudette Gamache, pastel painter, shares some her techniques with us during the MFA Weekend Seminar at Heartwood College of Art.
Photo by Bonnie Faulkner

It's amazing to see a pastel painting from the beginning (note red/orange base layer in previous photo) to the near finished creation. What a transformation!
Above: Pastel Landscape by Claudette Gamache.
Back in Lubec in my own studio, I have begun encaustic painting on the surface of my "chakra pods". This six-part sculpture is far from done....Check back later on for the finished work!

While packing sake sets for a gallery, Bouli thought it might good idea to pack herself in a box.

New gallery, IRONBOUND, located at 37 Bayview Street, Camden, will be carrying my pottery work. It's an amazing two-floor space and I am excited to be on board! (due to open Spring 2012)

IRONBOUND owner, Joy Armbrust, shows off her enthusiasm for power tools and the remodeling process in her new Camden gallery. I think you can tell from this picture that she exudes much optimism, gratitude and "joy" for this new adventure.

Lubec Arts Alive
A short film by noted filmmaker Jon Wing Lum
depicting a community-inspired week of art

Mural painted during Lubec Arts Alive 2009 under the direction of Natasha Mayers, located at the Lubec Historical Society. Funded in part by a grant from the Maine Humanities Council and the Maine Arts Commission. Photo by Goodman/Van Riper Photography.

Union of Maine Visual Artists and the People of Lubec

Tune in to watch it on ABC TV
Sunday, March 25th, 3:00 PM
Airing on WVII out of Bangor
Warner Brothers Channel 8, Dish or Satellite Channel 7
Viewing area Rockport to E. Millinocket / Oakland to Machias

This 36 minute film documents the one week residency of thirteen artists in Lubec, Maine to "art-up" the town. Artists including Robert Shetterly, Natasha Mayers, and Kenny Cole, Rose Marasco, and Richard Brown Lethem joined Lubec community members to create a history mural and installation art for businesses. Over thirty portraits of local personalities were created and oral histories documented.

"Lum's film is a poignant portrayal of artists, art making, and sense of place in a small town during the summer of 2009."

I missed a week of blogging and am now "on the road again" trying to sneak in an hour or so to get my thoughts down on paper. Well, not paper. Keyboard and screen more like it. The past two weeks have flown by with lots of excitement but at the same time, have offered me some peaceful and relaxing moments. I am attempting to bring more non-work time into my life. It is a challenge, but am learning that pacing the self will work best in the end. The rabbit and the hare, right?

This weekend I am enjoying two nights at the Samoset Resort in Rockland. Things are hopping here with the annual Fisherman's Forum. I am not here for the forum, but the lively energy is all around us. Last night Chris and I peeked our heads into the ballroom where an auction was in progress. Not the typical auction, mind you. Rain gear and lobster traps were the coveted items, complete with an auctioneer who boasted a thick downeast Maine accent!

This morning I delivered work to a new gallery that is opening later this spring. IRONBOUND, housed in a gorgeous brick building in downtown Camden, will be a primarily sculpture space. The owner, Joy Armbrust, is a real pleasure to work with. It is evident that she is passionate about art and her journey has been an interesting one for sure. I look forward to this new adventure and partnership.

Last weekend I was in Kennebunk for our MFA weekend seminar at Heartwood College of Art. These weekend residencies fill the soul. I am fortunate to move along in a pod with a group of other women artists/teachers who are passionate about art and the art process. The roundtable conversations are deep and inspiring, the food filling, and the hands-on workshops offer up lots of great techniques that can be transferred to both the studio and the classroom. I feel so incredibly honored to be in the midst of such strong and focused women.

This semester we had the privilege of learning under pastel painter Claudette Gamache. Her talent with pastels and her patient, nurturing, and intuitive teaching style made for a wonderful first-pastel experience for me. I love to draw and am quite comfortable with oil pastel, charcoal, pencil, and conte, but the color and soft powdery, lush, sticks of pigment were a new experience and I feel a bit more comfortable with the material than I did before the workshop. There is much more to the process than one would expect - but those steps that I had never seen demonstrated before made handling of the material a much more confident experience.

The next three months will go by quickly as I juggle a myriad of projects. I am in production for the spring season and preparing to have my pottery at three or four new venues this summer. Teaching at school gets wild in the spring, too. Projects' Night is just over two months away and there is lots to be accomplished in the classroom before the big student art show goes up. A new website is in the works, too, and requires a hefty amount of rewriting and photo shoots.

I am in the process of researching the factory industry in Lubec and find myself enthralled by all the old photos and the images of huge buildings and a bustling downtown. These factories, for the most part, do not exist anymore. Barely any evidence other than remnant foundations or photos. I am creating an installation sculpture based on the factories, planned to show in June 2012. It will be months of work for about three weeks of display, but I am excited since this will be my first installation-type piece. I have been thinking about it for the past few months and the physical part of the project is just beginning. I have easily a couple hundred hours of work ahead of me and know the clock is ticking. I still am trying to get my head around the "how-to". There is some compromise between what I would like to do and what is feasible. But, this is a beginning, and in every new process, I learn a bit more to take to the next project. I have always had some sort of connection to buildings and feel incredibly sad when I see a building heading toward its demise. I am in a way sensing the pain and loss of our community for these buildings that once existed. Not only was a means of employment and stability lost, but also a sense of identity. My installation sculpture will touch on just one tiny detail in a two-hundred year history.

Tonight we wine and dine Mom amidst birthday cheer. I am not even sure how old she is. We kind of lose track of the numbers as we get older. I am expecting lots of laughter tonight and some majorly satisfied salivary glands. Soon Chris and I trek back to Lubec to sequester ourselves into our respective creative spaces. The cats will no doubt be bent out of shape over our two night disappearance. Hopefully some tuna and catnip will remedy the situation in a timely manner.


Carol Steel said...

Wonderful. Your post is so full of enthusiam and love of art, willingness to try new ventures. Lovely, lively and fun to read. Good luck with all your work.


Thanks for finding and reading my blog, Carol. I feel very blessed to live the life that I do.