Thursday, March 7, 2013

Back to the Drawing Table

 Sunday, March 10, 2013
Women's Art: A Conversation with Elizabeth Ostrander and Shanna Wheelock
3:00 the Eastport Arts Center
36 Washington Street, Eastport, Maine
Click here for Shanna Wheelock's website.
Click here Elizabeth Ostrander's website
Click here for the Eastport Art Center website.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Machias Women's Forum
5:30-8:00 p.m.
Helen's Restaurant, Machias, ME
Presenters: Shanna Wheelock, Elizabeth Ostrander, and Sherry Ashby Cunningham
Topic: How Spirituality informs and inspires our artwork
Save the date and check back for more info.
Been drawing images of "Factory C" 
(Shanna Wheelock, Lubec, Maine)
Factory C
(Lubec, Maine)
Interior View of "Factory C"
(Shanna Wheelock, Lubec, Maine)

Photo of "Factory C"
(Lubec, Maine)

Back in early college years my ceramics professor told me that being able to draw is a critical skill, even for a potter. Though I enjoyed drawing I fumbled around quite a bit. The fine arts program leaned on the heavy side of drawing credits and for that I am thankful. From those years I developed a love of figure drawing and conte. Drawing for me, though, is one of those things that gets put to the side when there are dozens of mugs or a sculpture needing to be done. I do genuinely love to draw, and just as with weaving or clay work, I can get lost for hours in shading and line.
Soon after I visited the ruins at Factory C, I knew that I wanted to draw the images that were burned so deeply in my mind. What I didn't account for was that it had been at least three years since I had picked up a drawing tool to do a serious drawing.
I was a bit apprehensive as my logical self laid out ideas for matching paper sizes and a grouping of drawings all executed in one material. I soon realized that I was far more rusty with my drawing skills than previously thought. A few rough starts in pencil then grumblings with shading and tendencies toward detail even thought the material was not well suited for that, I forged onward. A mix of pleasure and pain, if you will. I eventually got into my groove and reminded myself that I don't need to have it all figured out before the first line is even drawn.
Four drawings later, I am starting to find my zone and zero in on what I'd like to do. The first few drawings are like getting back to the wheel after a few months away. At first it feels awkward but eventually the hands remember the right pressure and speed. Drawing is meditative in the same was as clay or fiber, and messy in its own right.
I plan to use the drawings as a means to an end. They will be studied, dissected, enlarged, then transferred in some fashion. Right now I just catch glimpses of a plan in mind's eye. As with most of my projects, I don't know the end result until I know the end.
Drawing can be addictive but right now I have quite a few things to juggle so that obsession will have to be squeezed into allotted blocks of time over the next few weeks. I just spent the past two weeks fully immersed in the factory study from clay work to drawing, ruin site visits, time at the library, and online research. I took a small hiatus from the bulk of meetings that I normally attend and other semi-social functions for that focus, but the roster is once again full and I am at that moment in the calendar year where I take a deep breath, hold up my feet, and move full steam ahead. The next few months until January 2014 are blocked with commissions, vending, stocking shops, speaking engagements, workshops, MFA classes, farmer's market, and community work with Lubec Arts Alive and (newly added) committee work for the Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium project.  (YES! It looks like Lubec, in most high probability, will be one of the 2014 sites! I'll post updates as I know them.)
Happy Birthday Mom!
We just returned from the Samoset where we celebrated my mom's 70th birthday with a lovely evening out on the town. The visit was too short but ended on a fun note with mom and Chris singing all kinds of songs from the 50's. Let's just say that Elvis was one of the faves and when the first line of Hound Dog began the two of them were twisting across the room while belting out the lyrics. It sure was a sight! I hope that I am this energetic and free-spirited at seventy. Crossing my fingers those genes are well ingrained. Thanks, Mom, for forty three years of unconditional love and nurturing, and thank you for being such a wonderful guide and supporter of my artist self.
In the downeast area this coming weekend?
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Women's Art: A Conversation with Elizabeth Ostrander and Shanna Wheelock
3:00 the Eastport Arts Center

While I was in Rockland and tooling around the streets, I came upon this lovely mermaid resting contently in a window box along Main Street. This is the work of Elizabeth Ostrander, an Eastport artist with whom I will share the stage this coming Sunday as we present a talk at the Eastport Arts Center.


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