This past Wednesday, Alex and I attended the opening for A Meticulous Ferment at the ICA on Congress Street in Portland. The two artists, Beth Lipman and Kirsten Hassenfeld, collaborated on this most remarkable show. Ms. Lipman works in glass and Ms. Hassenfeld in paper, although the paper for this show is rolled and painted to look very much like Delft or milk or other types of decorative glass. "The Bride" by Ms. Lipman, pictured on the show's brochure, was the show's centerpiece and we spent quite a bit of time taking it in and enjoying it. "White Treen" by Ms. Hassenfeld was a galaxy of her faux glass suspended from the ceiling, looking cosmic and elegant at the same time. It was our favorite of the show and if we had a huge room and a ton of money, we would have taken it home. We are hoping it finds a permanent public location. We think this show is a beauty, so if one were to need a reason to go to Portland, this would qualify. The show runs through August 15.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I've finished another 10X10 painting (on the left) - "View from West Branch" - in preparation for the 10X10 show later this year for Arts Are Elementary. Then I switched gears to cutting a block and printing it (on the right). I think it turned out pretty good - "Harbormaster's Workshop." It will be an edition of 25. Now on to cutting mats and framing for the prints.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Wednesday turned out to be another beautiful day on the Midcoast. Alex and I headed up to Rockport to check out the juried Biennial show at the CMCA gallery that had just re-opened. Three separate art reviews - Keyes, Isaacson, Kany - in the Portland Sunday paper had mentioned the CMCA re-opening and Biennial, so off we went. The Biennial was well juried and a very solid show. It was hard to pick favorites. I was taken with Ken Sahr's Seal Harbor paintings. Alex enjoyed Cassie Jones's large installation of drawings on mylar (in contrast to Daniel Kany's discussion of the same work). Different strokes, different folks. We then went out to Owls Head and did some walking. The lighthouse there is in rehab (see snap above). On the way home, we hit Moody's Diner for the first time. Alex had Strawberry Rhubarb and I had Blueberry pie - I can't remember a better pie. Moody's slogan is "Pie fixes everything." Maybe it does.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
What a beautiful day here on the Midcoast. Alex says it's the payoff for making it through winter here in Maine. I cut studio time short to go up to Bath Maine with Alex. We walked around town, up to the town park where I snapped the duck taking a shower, into a couple antique shops, along the Kennebec River and then into the Kennebec Tavern for haddock sitting riverside in the shade with a breeze. We discovered the Kennebec Tavern's haddock reuben sandwich, yum yum yum. We then did a little exploration at the Butler Head Nature Preserve off North Bath Road and topped the day off with small ice cream cones at the Dairy Frost stand next to Fat Boy. Their chocolate dip is real chocolate dip. Alex dropped me back to the studio where I snapped the picture of the Lobster Buoys that are just finished and went to work on the next painting. Just a beautiful day.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
World Cup 2010 has started. The game of soccer as presented at the World Cup level is a trance-like experience. The constant drone of the bee-swarm horns. The chess of the most talented players in the world exploiting the geometries and Newtonian mechanics on the field. The color and frenzy and sing-song of the fans. The English as-spoken-elsewhere-in-the-world of the British and African announcers on ESPN. The artistry of a well-passed goal and the over-acting of these same artists when fouled. I can't stop watching.
On another note, I encountered a different type of soccer at the Bowdoin field house a couple months ago. It was the collegiate robotics soccer tournament. The robots were programmed to make their own decisions - no remote control involved. It was not the fastest of games. There were no tools of destruction. But it had its own charm. Clearly the most important thing the robots needed to know was how to stand back up after they had fallen down.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
These paintings of the Portland Head Light are done. Alex and I think they have a "steampunk" look to them, kind of industrial pre-electronic. I am unclear whether to separate them or package them as a diptych, side-by-side single work. If side-by-side, what comes first the sea gull or no sea gull?
Friday, June 4, 2010
Alex and I took a day trip yesterday up to Sumner, Maine to visit our friends, Ed and Dorothy. It was misty, drizzly day but since we hadn't been to that part of Maine before, it was still an adventure and a good time. As we toured Ed and Dorothy's stomping grounds, I remarked that it would be nice to come back and plein air paint when the weather was clearer and the mountains were visible. "Oh, you paint," Ed said, "Would you like to meet an artist friend of ours, Joel Babb?" "Well, yes, if it's not an imposition." One phone call later, we were visiting with Joel Babb and his dog, Ruskin, in his studio. Joel had recently come back from Italy and graciously chatted through some of the paintings he had done there as pre-work for a planned, larger scale work. The precision, clarity and balance in his work are wonderful. Click here for much more info on Joel Babb's work.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Last Thursday at the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell, Ed McCartan spoke joyfully and reflectively about his art and the art-making process. His "East meets West" painting is shown here. Ed is a proponent of injecting both the sacred and the playful into art. He referred to the "sacred fool" in all of us. It's OK to try, to re-work and to make mistakes. Earlier this year, I took a Saturday morning workshop at Ed McCartan's studio in Fort Andross. We stepped through his process of creating images - setting a boundary, playing within the boundary with color, form, wash, texture, then setting other boundaries within, and playing some more - sometimes inter-connecting or wiping out or covering over prior images. The time flew by. As a change-up to my structured representational work, I find myself doing Ed McCartan exercises - with a smile. It's OK to play.