Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Wow? What just happened?

My submissions for this year's Project Postcard event at the Woodson Art Museum.

It's a cloudy and cool-ish day here in midcoast Maine, with a few rain showers moving through. Sure, we're still having days of heat and humidity, but yesterday when I drove to town I noticed two large maple trees with a distinctly orange tinge to their outermost leaves.

Summer is winding down.

While I know some people try to avoid thoughts of summer's end, this year I feel inclined to embrace it. I gave myself a rather ridiculous schedule these last three months and by golly I'm tired.

There's still plenty to do... and I'm even starting to put things into place in my 2020 schedule already... but the pace seems more reasonable. I should probably emphasize the word seems, since I know looks can be deceiving.

But I've managed to squeak out some hours in the studio the last couple of weeks. Both projects were "secrets," however, so I don't have much to show at the moment. The photo here is a distorted view of my linocut submissions for this year's Project Postcard event at the opening of Birds in Art at the Woodson Art Museum.

Birds in Art artists donate small (4x6 inch) artworks which are installed in a secret location. Patrons pay $50 for the opportunity to spend one minute (!!) in the company of the many lovely (and anonymous) pieces and to choose one to take home. The museum uses the Project Postcard funds to purchase works from the exhibition for its permanent collection... a win-win-win for museum, artists, and collectors.

In addition to small print projects I have finally managed to ship the last of my works to major fall exhibitions, so whew! I can check that off the to-do list, also.

So what's next? Oooooh! A big, not-so-secret project! I've been asked to be the poster artist for the 2020 World Migratory Bird Day events! It's an exciting opportunity, although a little bit daunting due to the short production timeline. But I had my first design conference with the organizer yesterday, and I'll be jumping in to some rough sketches the rest of this week.

And of course I've got linos on my mind... I'd like to get some smaller works going before the end of the year... although right now my brain seems stuck in ideas that demand a larger scale. Hopefully my creativity will start cooperating in more practical ways soon.

So stay with me as I switch gears and head back into the studio season. Make sure your wood pile is well-stacked and your tea supplies ready to go before the cold arrives! We've got some linos to make...

Monday, July 22, 2019

The Summer Sessions....

After a solid month of workshop facilitation I finally see light at the end of the one-thing-after-another tunnel. I've got two more short workshops coming up in the next week, but then, whew! I'll have some time back at home and in the studio, catching up with framing and shipping and getting ready to start some new linos.

The past few weeks have been great, though... a lot of time outside in the field! Right on the heels of my exhibition opening at the Museum of American Bird Art I had a grand group of field sketchers at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland.

Farnsworth Field Sketchers in a friend's garden.

We enjoyed a busy week visiting the beach, the farmers market, and the garden of a friend who lives just a couple of blocks from the museum. We also spent a little time indoors working on drawing and watercolor skills.

Watercolor skill-building at the Farnsworth Art Museum

A few days after that class finished I was off to my annual gig at Hog Island Audubon Camp. "Back in the old days" when I lived in Colorado, coming to camp involved a couple days of travel on either end. Now I live 20 minutes from the camp's mainland dock! I'm still not sure if that's good or bad.

The Arts & Birding team: me, Jean Mackay, Derrick Jackson, Drew Fulton

My first week on the island was for the Arts & Birding session, which I co-facilitate with the fabulous Jean Mackay. If you don't know Jean's work, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

The photography section of our week is led by filmmaker Drew Fulton (he who made the short film about my work in the previous post) and photographer/journalist Derrick Z. Jackson.

Evening salon at Hog Island

One of the highlights of the Arts & Birding week is the evening salon. Every night, just before dinner, anyone who wants to share puts out sketchbooks or laptops with slideshows running, and lively conversation ensues. It's a lovely way to come together and see what everyone has been up to during the day.

My second week on Hog Island was for the high-energy Educators' Week. About 50 educators serving the spectrum of learners from PreK to college, schools to nature centers, came together to share ideas and experiences for outdoor education.

Sketching in the gardens at Hog Island

Of course I always make sure there are opportunities for field sketching at camp! We also make journals, and this year I even managed to squeeze a quick printmaking session onto the already-packed schedule.

And in an amusing twist, a few of the new printmakers decide their prints could translate well as temporary tattoos...

I came home this weekend, did the laundry, paid some bills, answered some email, and now I'm ready to pack a bag again! I'm headed back down to Massachusetts for another quick little workshop at the Museum of American Bird Art, and I'm looking forward to catching up with folks in the Boston area. Then it's back to Maine for a printmaking class at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens... at which point it will already be August! Stay tuned.