Current and Upcoming Exhibitions

Upcoming:

Man-Made: A State of Nature, Greenhut Galleries, Portland, Maine, February 7 - March 2, 2019

Twenty-three artists and the Anthropocene. I’ll install a selection of the Walking in Time Geologics paintings, about which I wrote: The hidden geology beneath our feet is a reminder that what lies on the surface evolved without our intervention and will continue to evolve when we are gone.

 

 

Walking in Time, detail, oil on canvas

Walking in Time, detail, oil on canvas

My YIMBY Project: Habitat and Painting Practice

Here in Lincolnville, the back field’s been mowed and the front meadows await their turn, awash in goldenrod and asters. It’s a visual confusion of color and texture that provides habitat and opportunity for new paintings.

back-field.JPG

I'm not much of a gardener in the traditional sense, so this time of year, the meadows and stream banks between my house and the road are overrun with fading goldenrod and still-blooming asters. It's a visual confusion of color and texture that provides food and shelter for many small mammals, birds, and butterflies, both local and migratory. I'll leave the center meadows unmowed for a while longer. But the back field's been bush-hogged, and it's possible to walk to the far property line to check out the low bush blueberry patch and bayberry shrubs that grow there.

As I walk, I daydream. I envision a path around the perimeter, with stopping points. Just behind the house, two boulders sit one on top of the other. They came out of the rain garden when it was dug. The blueberry patch near the back west corner of my property is a secluded place that exudes a particular energy. Along the northwest line, a single tamarack rises against the sky. Returning in the opposite direction to the front meadows, the habitat changes. Pine, spruce and cedar are followed by red oak, already massive, and red maples resprout from trees long gone. Across the orchard, and on up toward the lower southwest side below a seasonal waterfall, a grey dogwood has tripled in size over the years I've been here.

A few years ago, when I was developing materials for a class in drawing the landscape, Kristen Lindquist was kind enough to offer her impressions of this place.  She wrote that it is "a natural oasis humming with life and beauty—beyond dragonflies poised on pondside cattails, the perfection of floating water lilies, goldfinch’s chatter, vireo’s endless warbling, waving constellations of Queen Anne’s Lace, scent of sun-soaked sweet fern, and that distant glimpse of the sea— [we] fully understand the underlying structure, geology, and essential personality of a place. By opening our creative selves to connect, through images and words, with the larger, unified world around us, we can inhabit our dual roles as both creators and caretakers."

So here's my plan. As I maintain this habitat for wildlife, I want to make it easier for visitors to enjoy walking. I want to provide a Maine version of Japanese forest-bathing.

For as much as this landscape gives me, in subject matter and inspiration for paintings, I will give back to it, preserving it as habitat and ensuring that the annual succession from swelling buds and March mud, to fall bay and winterberry, to Christmas balsam and spruce, continue on.

This blog was originally published in my newsletter. More text and images here.

Archived Newsletters February 2018 - February 2017

 

 Spring, Chocolate Soufflés and Studio Visits. Carol Eisenberg's images of my studio caused one musician friend to comment that the studio walls are full of counterpoint with "the myriad lifelike effect that counterpoint actually reaches for. Or comes out of." I like that. Read more.

Sliding into the New Year, and a look back at 2017 — 2017 was a year of exploration. New territory, new mediums, new answers to old questions. Here are my reviews and previews - an exhibition at the University of Louisville, a museum acquisition, brand new paintings and more. Read more.

Artist Plus Residency Equals Change — This one was written as I was on the way to Santa Fe, and now that I’m back home, I can report that the time I spent there was mind-blowing. I’m starting a new group of paintings based on that experience, and will share them on social media and in future newsletters as they progress. Read more.

The Importance of a Mentor is my tribute to a teacher who was one of the best. I'd known Red Garner since, as he liked to say, I was "a bump on the horizon." Read more.

A Painting Start to Finish - Painting can seem a big mystery to painters and non-painters alike, so I thought I'd share a little of how I approach my practice. Every day, before I head into the studio, I go outside for a walk to see what's changed, and who's newly arrived in the neighborhood. Read more.

Earth Day: Is There Something We Can Do? - As Earth Day approaches, I'm remembering that a few years back, I was invited to participate in an exhibition called Turning in Your Hand: The Blue Marble Project.Each artist who participated was given the gift of a blue marble and asked to respond by creating a piece that reflects our place on the planet we call home. As I thought about what it means to live mindfully on the earth, I began a daily ritual of working with my blue marble. Each day I erased an old charcoal drawing. . . .Read more.

Painting: An Act of Reciprocity - Not long ago a good friend recommended I read Robin Wall Kimmerer's Braiding Sweetgrass. Kimmerer, trained as a botanist, is a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and understands the natural world as a living presence. For her, writing is an act of reciprocity and a way to give back.I feel the same way about painting. Read more.

The Latest Erratics - Happy Spring 2017, the Year of the Rooster! You may ask what that has to do with glacial erratics, and I answer that the rooster celebrates another event in the cycle of my Erratics installations, articulated sculptures that refer to geological history. The first was twenty years ago, all the way back in 1997, at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport. There have been five sightings since then, the two most recent at Beech Hill in Rockport in 2015 and in Farmington in 2016. So the glacier is picking up speed. Read more.