Monday, July 31, 2006

Where does the time go?

Hello, Its a beautiful, not too hot day here on Westport Island. I have been painting, mowing the lawn and attending a few openings so where has the rest of the time gone? All of a sudden it will be August and the morning air is cool, the bluejays are back (from where?) the chickadees too are very noisy again in the mornings. All the colorful song birds seem to have vanished and its not even August. The golden rod is in bloom as are fields of milk weed and other weeds and road sideianna way ahead of schedule. My garden looks like the end of August not much blooming but hollyhocks and daylillies and waiting for the mums and glorioso daisies. I need an idea to paint and am wandering around the garden trying to be inspired. It's not working. I have 7 small canvasses ready to go and have not an idea or inspiration to latch on to. These need to be ready for September first and I am getting panicky. So will do what I know and drag out the quilt that was supposed to be on my bed this summer and has yet to be finished. The colors will wet my appetite and who knows maybe I can come up with an idea for the paint and canvas. Enjoy the summer, Diane

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Up Early

Hello, Its just 10am now and I have been up for hours. Must have been the crows they were especially noisy this morning and very early with their noise. That was it for me, I was ready for the day. Began with a cup of white tea and my notebook of which I mean an old fashioned loose leaf notebook not the lap top. I wrote for a long while. Lots to mull over. I went to the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine yesterday to see the Charlie Hewitt show and was bowled over. So much energy, such depth of feelings and emotions when confronting the work. Now that's a strange word to use but that's what it felt like. A confrontation. And yet I was drawn into the darkness, the range and richness of color, the ideas that informed the work. The titles were also leading you into thought patterns of what our world is now and where it had been. These were mostly new work but some had been done a some years ago. It is called a 20 year retrospective. His wide array of mediums was also exciting. I too, like a lot of different mediums and have always gotten chastised for that so it was validating and refreshing as well to see what he took on with passion, color and subject. He repeats several images that can be read from your own perspective or you can actually read the catalogue and learn where they have come from. Rooster, comma, spade, fox or wolf, fish/man, jazz trumpet, nails, rebar and on. He uses these image to break the plane of his canvasses and under the many layers some other meaning is formed. His drawings are very beautiful on white Arches paper with ink. Then a few prints hidden over in a small corridor were worth the search. Pure delight and again just a few colors, sanguine, white of the paper and black ink. One wall when you first came in was covered in 8 by 10 canvasses which formed a grid not unlike a quilt. And according to one security man was done to engage the feminine perspective. He had more to say about the whys and wherefores of hanging and curating a show. Some was interesting some not. If you live in Maine I highly recommend this show its up until October 15th. Then we are also in luck as he will have a print show at Bates this fall from October 27th thru March 18th, 2007. This will be in conjunction with the Maine Print Project which has its own web site of the same name fmi.

I have had some interesting comments lately about writing and even books using my paintings in them. For now I am rereading all my Natalie Goldberg books and highly recommend them if you have any inclination to write. I just finished The long Quiet Highway where she tells of her encounter with Zen practice and what it has meant to her as a person and a writer. Just beautifully written, Next is Wild Mind. Then I have to find a copy of Writing Down the Bones as mine has disappeared. So looks like I will keep on filling notebooks for a while but writing is important to me now. I welcome your comments!

Be creative and engage life, Diane

Friday, July 14, 2006

Up for air

Well, Its been a long week and more. As I said earlier I got nailed with that cold/flu. It is not nice zaps your energy and leaves the body listless and tired of coughing all the time. I am finally feeling better and ready to get serious about my painting. The days go by and all I have to show for the past 2 weeks is 2 paintings. My daughter was up her this past Monday and she liked both thought my brushstrokes had changed a bit and some other things she noticed. It is so nice to have a comment like that. We who work in our studios work away and never quite know what the response will be to our latest art making. Sometimes its silence which is the most difficult to take. For I never know did they not like the painting, the color the idea or were they just too shy to say anything. I suppose silence is better than what happened to me last year when I was in a blue mood and painting blue paintings. One person just told me she hated blue so could not even look at them and another asked if there had been a sale on blue paint. Its never easy being an artist. So much comes at you out of the "blue"! Could not resist. I have many conversations with fellow artists about the no comment situation and we can never figure it out. Sometimes these same people who give no comment actually buy a painting. So no comment doesn't always mean don't like it. Does anyone have any other ideas why people are so reticent to say anything when looking at someone's art.

Ok now I've got that off my chest its time to go paint. I got all the boards gessoed yesterday. These boards were cut before I went to Art Week so am thrilled to feel better and have some energy to paint. My studio/gallery is now open on the Island noon to 5 Thursday thru Sunday. May close early Sat to go to a reception in Damariscotta... Happy painting, Diane

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

More from the retreat

Hello, I'm slow getting this all down as I got nailed by a flu/cold virus that was going around at the end of the retreat. I thought I would be painting at home by now.....

One morning I was late getting to my paints and the cooks came hunting for people to help pick mussels. So off we went to gather the clam baskets and down to the shore at low tide to pick mussels. It had been a long time since I had been anywhere to do this. You pick up long strands of seaweed that is like a Mermaids hair and tucked onto the rocks and deep in crevices are these shiny black mussels. We were told to gather what did have barnacles on the backs but that was almost impossible. I had on my bright yellow garden boots and was so glad I had brought them as I could wade into the water and find the special spots where the mussels grew. Also unearthing a few rock crabs who scuttled back under the seaweed. Always a bit startling as this crustacean came up out of the dense seaweed. We quickly gathered 2 baskets full and off we went to scrape and clean the beards off the shells. By 1 o'clock we sat down to the sweetest bowls of mussels ever. Cooked in a broth of half water half wine with a stick of butter some garlic and a few onions. It was the best!!! The food all week was incredible from Salade Nicoise to the night from Morocco. We also had Mexican food, Salmon and Haddock. Lunch was just as tasty with beautiful soups and salads and good thick breads. The fruits also were not to be believed. The peaches were huge and once ripe were everyone's favorites. Weather drawing, painting them or eating them. The red peppers were also a hit as they were painted in gouache or oils before being roasted on the grill. Desert went from the popular strawberry short cake to some very innovative crisps. All this cooked on a wood stove except for grilled veggies and the fish. Astonishing.... Ok now I've made myself totally hungry and there is no Barney here cooking so I'll take myself off to the kitchen... Happy painting, Diane

Monday, July 03, 2006

Back from the island

Reentry to regular life is difficult after spending a fogbound week on an island in Penobscot Bay with 11 other artists including a harpist and a singer/songwriter and an exstrodinary chef and helper chef.... The "Big House" sheltered us all during rain, thunder, fog, and occasional glimpses of sun. The beaches and trails drew us out when the rain stopped. The many porches found easels set up, carving tools out along with sketchbooks and journals. A full week of productivity until the very last moment. The beauty and peace washed over us with the tides. We saw seals, eagles, ospreys; took outdoor showers looking into tree tops, battled very large mosqitos, drifted to sleep hearing the thump of cards from the game Oh Hell and the loud cracks as the pitch burned out of the spruce logs in the fire.

I came home with many paintings, some work, some are just in the idea stage and then I have the ones I want to make now.

More tomorrow, keep painting, Diane