Deer Isle Artists Association Holiday Pop-Up Market

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I’ll have cards and small prints available for sale at the Deer Isle Artists Association Holiday Pop-Up Market on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Winter Sunset

All cards will be 5″ by 7″ and prints will be in 8″ by 10″ mats. Cards are $5 each, while prints will be $18. Proceeds benefit the Deer Isle Artists Association.

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Blue Christmas

The blue Christmas tree above was actually right next to DIAA last year. Wonder if it will be back.

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Christmas Cat

This is Brownie, who was actually pondering an Angry Bird cat toy. I turned it into a Christmas ornament. And I turned Brownie from naughty into nice.

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Cynthia’s Barn

Cynthia’s Barn actually started out as an Instagram post last winter. I am not a plein air snob and often use photos for inspiration.

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On the Hard

I’ve actually painted this image several times. I could do a whole series on Deer Isle boats up on the hard.  But I should probably call this “On the Cold and White Stuff.”

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Skater

We sent this out as our Christmas card last year. It’s an image of a skater I made up from a bunch of photos I took on my lunch hour at the skating rink in front of the National Archives in Washington, D.C. a couple of years ago.  I was probably having a bad day at work. So many of them were.

Winter Sunset is an image of Stonington Harbor from Hagen Dock.  I can walk there from my house. I figure I’m pretty lucky to live here.

So come visit the DIAA gallery on Saturday.  There will also be work by Peter Beerits, Rory Beerits, Cynthia Bourque Simonds, Dorothy Doubleday, Mary Eaton, Judith Felch, Susan Finsen, Cathy Hart, Jill Kofton, Diane Maguire Horton, David McBeth, Kaitlyn Metcalf, Carolyn Raedle, Scott Thurston, Maura Tilloston, Francoise Gervais, Gertrude Tarr, Oscar Turner, Linda Wells and Pat White.

We’ll also have holiday treats available, and Candy Eaton is opening the Periwinkle that day right across the street.

12 by 12

Leslie Landrigan will participate in the popular 12 by 12 show, open to all Deer Isle Artist Association members. All work is 12 inches by 12 inches (or 12 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches) and sells for $144.

The 12 by 12 is the biggest show of the year and starts on July 21, 2017. It runs for two weeks. An artists reception will be held at the gallery on Sunday, July 23, at 5 pm.

Brooksville Farmers Market. Watercolor on 140-lb. paper. 12″ by 12″. $144.

Leslie’s prints will also be available in the art rack during the 12 by 12 show.

The Floating World

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Memorial Day is the official start of summer in Downeast Maine, though that doesn’t mean it’s warm. It was so cold on Friday the Stonington Farmers Market opened with only seven shivering vendors, including me with a fresh batch of frozen seafood pies.

Kim Kral and Bob Gillmor pitch a tent at the Stonington Farmers Market on Saturday.

Wind is the real enemy of the farmers market. Richard Lymburner, who sells plants early and garlic late, lost his tent in a cold blast. Sunset Acres (meat, cheese and greens) didn’t bother to put up a tent, nor did I; I shared with Bob Gillmor, aka Spoon Bob for the wooden spoons he makes. Even with rocks weighting down his tent we had to hang on to it when the wind gusted.

Still, the summer people came and bought a few things. You can tell they’re here because some of them walk down the middle of the street, gazing rapturously at the beauty of coastal Maine. That ticks off the sternmen, who drive even more aggressively than usual on the roads.

Sternmen are young men who make a lot of money working on fishing boats. They’re paid with a portion of the haul. Stonington is the biggest lobster port in Maine; last year, $65.3 million worth of lobster was yanked out of the sea. That’s $343,000 per boat.

The sternmen drive their skiffs the way they drive on the roads. I love to watch them zip across the harbor, leaving a long white wake. One cloudless blue day I noticed one orange skiff breezing into Fish Pier. Since I’m a sucker for blue and orange, I took some pictures and then made a painting.

Driving Home

I called it Driving Home and posted it on Facebook. That prompted a response from my sister who lives in San Francisco:

I’m wanting more orange in the back. Love the reflection of the boat and the wake.

So I replied:

Thanks PK. You raise an interesting point about the orange. I was thinking of a burst of orange against the blue but I could have put some orange elsewhere, perhaps as dots or mixed with blue to make shadows. If I’d put orange in the back it would have brought the background forward and flattened the picture, though I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. The Japanese, you know.

That inspired another suggestion:

What if you put a bit more brown on the roof to ground the background a bit. I don’t know about art, so I’m not sure f it would flatten out the picture. But I do feel that the top left is floating away a bit. I like the pier too!!

So I went to the Deer Isle Artists Association, where the painting hangs next to one by my friend Carolyn Walton. I decided the roof was floating away. But I also decided it didn’t matter.

 

Eight of my paintings are now hanging at the DIAA gallery on Main Street in Deer Isle Village. They’ll be there until June 8 as part of the Make A Detour show. My notecards and postcards are there too. Stop by this Thursday morning (June 1) or Saturday afternoon (June 3) and say hi. I’ll be there peddling art.

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Make a Detour

The two-week  “Make a Detour” exhibit starts on Friday, May 26, 2017 at the Deer Isle Artists Association, 15 Main St., Deer Isle, Maine.  Leslie Landrigan will present new watercolor paintings. Also showing will be Woodley Osborne, Chris Raphael, Robert W. Starkey, Carolyn Walton, Chuck Collison, Daniel Hodermarsky and
Katama Murray.

An artists’ reception will be held at 5 pm on Sunday, May 28.

For further information, call 207-348-2330.

New England Watercolor Society Regional Juried Exhibition

Boys of Summer. Watercolor on 300-lb. paper. 9″ by 12″. $600.

The painting above, ‘Boys of Summer,’ will be on display at the New England Watercolor Society Regional Juried Exhibition at the Newport Art Museum.

The show runs from May 20 to July 9. The opening and awards ceremony on Thursday, June 8th, 5-7pm.

I haven’t entered many juried shows, so it was exciting to receive the email from NEWS Vice President Wendy Hale:

Congratulations!  Your painting, “Boys of Summer” has been selected for inclusion in the 2017 New England Watercolor Society Regional Juried Exhibition at the Newport Art Museum.  You should be very proud to be part of this competitive show.  Our juror, Kathleen Conover, had the unenviable task of selecting 60 paintings from a pool of 530 entries.  In her words, “I could put together three good shows from the NEWS entries”.

‘Boys of Summer’ is one of my favorite paintings. I created it from a series of photos I took of boys playing at Town Beach in Sandwich, Mass. I was experimenting with gouache at the time, and found by mixing white gouache with watercolor I could achieve the luminosity of the inner tubes I was going for.

The Newport Art Museum is located at 76 Bellevue Ave. in Newport. The 105-year-old museum has a gallery in the John N.A. Griswold House, built by Richard Morris Hunt for Grisworld. It’s considered one of the premier stick-style buildings in the United States and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Griswold was a China trader who died in the house in 1909.

The New England Watercolor Society, originally the Boston Watercolor Society, held its first show in 1885. Childe Hassam was a charter member — and a frequent visitor to Florence Griswold’s art colony in Old Lyme, Conn. John Singer Sargent was an honorary member. So was Andrew Wyeth. Nice to be in such good company!

 

 

The Jordan Pond House Gives Me Fits

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Jordan Pond Intruder, Watercolor on 140-lb. paper. 9″ by 12″.

The Jordan Pond House in Acadia National Park was originally a restaurant built in the 1870s next to (surprise!) Jordan Pond, a deep, clear lake formed by a glacier. At one end are two mountains called ‘The Bubbles.’

Jordan Pond, looking toward The Bubbles.

In the 1890s, the Jordan Pond House hosted high-society events for the wealthy summer people of Bar Harbor. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., bought it and gave it to the National Park Service in 1946. That was the year before the Year Maine Burned.

In 1947, 200 wildfires in two October weeks wiped out nine Maine towns, left 2,500 homeless, consumed 2,000 acres in Acadia National Park and burned many of the seasonal estates and grand hotels  in Bar Harbor.

Jordan Pond House

The Jordan Pond House survived that fire, but not another one in 1979. It was rebuilt with a large gift shop. Today it serves tea and popovers on the veranda overlooking the pond, along with locally sourced Maine cuisine.  I’m told the food is a cut well above the usual Aramark park fare.

What I love about the Jordan Pond House is the way people cluster under the entryway, which is covered with some sort of vine. I’m guessing wistaria but it could be something else.

I like the way the vines filter the light, the way the entryway frames human figures. But I’ve never been able to take anything resembling a decent picture of them, no matter how fast I am with the smart phone. So I had to make this painting up pretty much from memory with a few reference photos.

I had a terrible time with this painting. It took me three tries to get the vines right, the flowers gave me fits and the background didn’t work. I left it on the dining room table for two weeks before realizing I needed to lighten the background. Then it took another day to realize it needed something in the middle. I put in the dog, though I don’t think they’re allowed in Acadia.  Hence the title, Intruder at the Jordan Pond House.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Boys on Beaches

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boys on beaches
Rock Throwing at Sandy Neck, Watercolor and Gouache on 140 lb. paper, 9″ by 12″, $300.

Boys on beaches having fun are irresistible subjects for me. Boys on beaches wearing red are even more so.

I love paintings that show a person’s mood or emotion in an identifiable setting. Boys on beaches are almost always having a blast, and their body language shows it. They’re as joyful as — well, Louis Armstrong playing Potato Head Blues.

But I digress.

Friends ask why I do representational art. The great Edward Hopper explains why:

The inner life of a human being is a vast and varied realm and does not concern itself alone with stimulating arrangements of color, form and design.

He also explains, sort of, why the color red on a Cape Cod beach is so vibrant:

…there’s a beautiful light there — very luminous–perhaps because it’s so far out to sea; an island almost.

The painting above is taken from an image of my nephew Scotty throwing a rock at Sandy Neck Beach in Barnstable, Mass. He was 10 years old and visiting his grandparents in nearby Sandwich during Easter vacation. Scotty and his older brother and sister were getting restless, so Grandma and I took them to the beach. That’s the power plant and the Sagamore Bridge in the background.

It took me a year to get around to it, but I finally finished Scotty this week.

boys on beaches

I’ve done several other paintings of boys on beaches. One, Boys of Summer, was just accepted into the New England Watercolor Society Regional Juried Exhibition. (Very exciting.) They’re walking on the boardwalk on Town Neck Beach in Sandwich.

Another of my favorites was also set at Town Neck Beach:

boys on beaches
Cape Cod Potato Chips. Watercolor on 140-lb. paper. 12″ by 14″. $600.

I painted the last two paintings five or six years ago. The boys are probably in their late teens by now. I hope they’re still able to cut loose at the beach.

 

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Oscar and I Hold a Closing Opening Party

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Our Closing Opening started with the salmon. My sister Christen, who lives in the Pacific Northwest, sent Dan and me a honking big smoked salmon for Christmas. We didn’t think we could eat it all before it went bad.

So one day Oscar Turner and I were toiling away at the Deer Isle Artists Association gallery when Hub White stopped by. We joked about how many artists have drawn or painted the Church of the Morning After. We should have an exhibit here and invite the musicians to play at the reception, we joked.

Hell, Oscar and I should have our own closing opening on our last day, we said. We could serve that salmon.

So Oscar and I asked Cindy Bourque-Simonds if we could have a party. We promised up and down to clean the gallery and to get it ready for the ART matters 2 session the next day. Cindy said yes. She’d even bring brownies.

On our last day as artists in residence, Oscar and I cleaned after I finished my painting of Mom and the champion yellow birch. We left our paintings up on the wall.

Most if not all the work Oscar and I finished by our closing opening.

We took some of our stuff home and packed some of it away in the closet. So sad to end our artist-in-residency.

Still, there’d be a party.

We had sent out invitations.

We counted plastic glasses, napkins, paper plates and plastic cutlery hidden away in the DIAA cupboard. Oscar and Diana brought tablecloths, flowers, wine and more hors d’oeuvres.

Dan made little lobster pizzas (we’re hoping to introduce them in grocery stores this summer). I made salmon hors d’oeuvres. Lots of them.

In the end Oscar and I were grateful and happy so many people came out on such a wintry night. Though sometimes I think Deer Isle year-rounders in winter will go anywhere that’s warm, light and contains another mammal or two.

You can go to a party on Deer Isle and not one person will ask you where you work — unlike, say, Washington, D.C. Of course everyone already knows what everyone else does here. Don’t have an affair unless you want everyone to know about it.

Our guests included artists– Buzz Masters, Sarah Doremus, Peter Beerits; Rebecca Daugherty, Deborah Lothrop (aka Blossom’s mom), Maureen Farr, Judy Rader, Katy Helman and Cindy Bourque-Simonds – as well as a surveyor, three innkeepers, a jam-maker, a physiologist, teachers, a salesman, a Maine guide and novelist.

Spoonmaker Bob Gillmor came all the way from Blue Hill. Leave it to Bob to tell us about Gallery Punch. It’s a concoction of vodka, whiskey, champagne and something else designed to get art patrons drunk so they’ll buy expensive paintings.

No Gallery Punch. Just wine, beer, seafood and chocolate.

We weren’t selling our paintings, but perhaps we would have if we’d known about Gallery Punch.

Diane Horton took our photo. With a real camera, too.

Oscar had a blast. “What a great night,” he said.

Plus the salmon was all eaten.

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Getting Phyllis Just Right

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Sometimes paintings magically work the first time I put them down.  More often I have to try and try again. In the case of Phyllis, I painted about a dozen versions before I got it right.

Phyllis started out as an image of a kid walking on Cadillac Mountain. I painted it at home, before my artist-in-residency at the Deer Isle Artists Association gallery.

Walking Cadillac Mountain

I liked it well enough, but it wasn’t quite what I was getting at. The vegetation seemed a little overworked, the figure was a little stiff, the feeling it elicited wasn’t exactly awe at Cadillac’s majesty and all that.

I tried painting three adults at the edge of the painting.

Three on a Mountain

Nope, that didn’t do it for me either. I liked the image of the woman, but again the vegetation looked overworked.

So I shifted gears and painted a panoramic view of Frenchman Bay from Cadillac Mountain. All of these paintings were adapted from a couple dozen photos I took with my cell phone.

Cadillac Mountain Panorama

I was pleasantly surprised by the way the painting glowed (thank you, quinacridone gold).

I decided to leave it alone and go back to my images of people on Cadillac Mountain. I set my timer on my cell phone and finished in 30 minutes.

Phyllis on Cadillac Mountain

Cindy Bourque-Simonds, who manages the DIAA’s exhibits, dropped in with her dog. “Who’s that?” she asked, pointing to the woman I’d made up on the top of the mountain.

“Phyllis,” I said.

Phyllis looked cartoony and the mountain looked too pink in some places, too muddy in others. I tried again.

Phyllis Again

Better.

Then I thought I’d combine the Cadillac Mountain Panorama with Phyllis.

Version No. 1:

Phyllis on Cadillac Mountain

Version No. 2. I didn’t even finish Phyllis. I knew what I had to do.

Cadillac Mountain, Unfinished Phyllis

Final Version. Finally.

Cadillac Mountain, Finally Phyllis

 

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Rules for Survival in Washington, D.C.

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In one way or another, I’ve been working for two years on this painting of an interior courtyard at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

By Day Nineteen at the DIAA Gallery I finally finished it. I may do it over, but, like my lobster trap painting, the details are so exhausting I probably don’t have it in me.

Courtyard at the National Gallery of Art

The painting is based on a bunch of photos I took while wandering the National Gallery of Art during my lunch hour. My office was 10 minutes away from the NGA, and I often took solace there during the winter of 2014-15. My boss was abusing me at work, and he had ordered my colleagues not to talk to me. I was just trying to survive until I could sell my house and move to Maine.

The image of the shadowy guard in the background is what the painting is about. He reminds me of me back then, a marginalized presence looking at an aspiration (even if the aspiration was to kill a goose rather than sell a house).

Judith Felch, the DIAA’s treasurer, came in to the gallery one day while Oscar and I were painting, and she mentioned she was taking her grandchildren to Washington, D.C. Judith graciously listened as I rattled off my rules for survival for tourists with children in Washington, D.C.

Go to the museums early. The American History and Air and Space museums turn into mayhem in the afternoon.

Prepare for security. You can enter few public buildings in Washington without going through a metal detector. And don’t be alarmed by the paramilitary surrounding the Capitol.  They probably won’t shoot you.

Have a plan for a place to rest. The National Mall is not friendly to pedestrians, so break up your day with a meal or a snack. The café at the Sculpture Garden, the courtyard at the National Portrait Gallery/Museum of American Art are good places for lunch. The Botanical Garden is a good place to rest after the Air and Space Museum.

(Here, by the way, is what the National Gallery is featuring:

…and Babe Ruth.

Go to the Waterfall Café in the National Gallery of Art and have some gelato.

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