Friday, July 27, 2012

"Outside the Box" or "Shhh - It's a Secret"

North River Arts Society is holding its Outside the Box fundraiser again this summer.  Adjectives:  creative, fun, affordable, fascinating, exciting, mysterious, surprising, eclectic, diverse...                                       Background:  Artists and friends of North River Arts Society were invited to create a 8" x 8" works, in a different medium and/or style from their norm.  The works are displayed by number only (no names attached, no signatures) for a 3-week long silent auction.  Bidding on each piece (and there are hundreds of them) begins during the opening party on August 11 7-10pm and bidding continues through August 31st at noon.  The exhibit then stays up for another week with the artists' names revealed.  Prepare to be surprised.

The first year, I painted the honey bears above, which now live in New York City. As an oil painter, the medium was no different, but the subject matter was a big change, and in doing the painting I discovered my love of kitsch as subject matter. (I just looked up the definition of "kitsch" -
something of tawdry design, appearance, or content created to appeal to popular or undiscriminating taste.)  Can't say I completely agree with the definition... I firmly believe that some things are so kitschy they cross back over into beautiful and can become iconic, and it takes extraordinarily discriminating taste to see that inner beauty.  I have a number of them in my studio, but that's for another time.
The next year, I used pen & ink, watercolor, gold pen, and colored pencil to sketch the waves shown here as my entry. That piece lives in the next town over.
This year's entry is a secret until August 11th when all will be revealed (except the artist names).  All I can say is I went completely Outside the Box, and enjoyed the results so much, I'm planning to work more with this new exploration ... hmmmm.    

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monhegan Surf and a request

Monhegan Island surf painting
 During the summer, I teach a couple of weeks of Art Studios for Children at North River Arts Society in Marshfield, MA.  Last week, as the young artists were checking in, a friend dropping off her granddaughter  pulled out her ipad.  She showed me these images of my paintings, and asked when she'd see more of them.  

These are paintings from my favorite cove on the south end of Monhegan Island, and from a couple of years ago.  I do love standing on the rocks, listening, smelling, and even tasting the salt air as I paint.  I'm heading back there in August for a week.  You'll find me down past Lobster Cove tucked into the rocks painting, as requested.

Thanks for looking.
Monehegan Island painting

Artist on Monhegan

Sunday, July 15, 2012

"In the Dinghy" 9 x 12 watercolor & ink

Manana painting Monhegan

Manana is a very small, mostly uninhabited, island just west of Monhegan. Aside from providing a sheltered harbor for the larger island,  Manana also provides a gorgeous backdrop from almost every vantage point on the east side of Monhegan Island.  I enjoy painting Manana, looking at Manana as I meander through my days, and collecting paintings of Manana.  I am thrilled to have added a lovely study of Manana by Alison Hill  to my collection.  

"In the Dinghy" is a sketch of the harbor from Fish Beach.  The father and daughter made several trips from the beach to their mooring, reminding me of my days as a child in our old dinghy rowing back and forth just because I could.  Thanks for looking.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

"Harbor from the Inn" 9 x 12 watercolor & ink

Another page from my sketchbook on Monhegan last week.  Sat with my daughter and friend on the rocks above the harbor while we all painted scenes below us.  I am blessed to spend time with teens.  Fascinating creatures.

 It was a beautiful afternoon.  It was tempting to hop the 2pm ferry for the half hour tour of the island, but we were in the groove.  We waved as another friend boarded and sailed away. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Two Brothers" original oil painting 6 x 6

My entry for June's Girls Just Wanna Paint challenge.  The theme was "July". As a middle-school math teacher, I consider July true summer.  School is behind me for the year, and on the near horizon for next year.  Each summer we spend some time in Maine, where crystal air and lobster boats are emblematic of July.  Thanks for looking.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Monhegan Sketchbook 2012

Here are a few more sketches from this past week on Monhegan Island.  The top two are from different chairs on our rental's deck.  First is looking west over the Trailing Yew to the Manana and the mainland, the latter being 12 miles away.

Next is a quicker sketch from the north end of the deck looking over the village and the Island Inn out to Allen Island.  

Last are a few gestures of local gulls.  They are plentiful and vocal.  The island is so narrow, you can watch them fly from the cliffs on the east, to the village on the west in a few seconds.  I love their sounds and plaintive cries.
We treat them each Friday after our traditional lobster feast. The children (now teens) deliver the buckets back to the steps of the fish market after emptying them of lobster detritus past the jetty and giving them a quick rinse.  Gull heaven.  The island is just plain heaven to me.  Thanks for looking.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Monhegan Village 12 x 9 watercolor & ink

Just back from a week on Monhegan Island, ME.  This is our ninth or tenth year going to this vibrant locale for a week in July, then another in August.  It makes for a choppy summer, but we love it.  We spent this past week in a different house than our usual rental, and we invited friends who had never been to the island - lots of firsts.  It took me a few hours to acclimate to a new view. 

 Here is a watercolor sketch from a deck off the living room of the new house, and a photo of the same scene from a slightly different angle. I loved the long view over the village, and the jumble of rooftops stretching from below into the distance. More sketches to come. Happy to be home, and happy to be going back later this summer.