Engagement of Poetry at DIAA

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I didn’t expect to be in the Deer Isle Artists Association  latest exhibit, Engagement of Poetry, but someone dropped out. So when asked if I’d participate, of course I said yes.

Since I’ve had such a busy summer, I only had time to submit three watercolors. I ended up with three very different ones.

Engagement of Poetry

The first, Brooksville Morning, came about because I go to the Brooksville Farmers Market every Tuesday to sell prints, cards and original artwork. I drive past this farm to get there, and I love how it looks in the fog. (There’s been a lot of fog this summer.)

We had to come up with statements about what inspired our work for the Exhibit of Poetry show. Here’s what I wrote for Brooksville Morning:

Fog reveals the loveliness of the earth on a summer morning.

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Brooksville Morning, watercolor. Shown at ‘Engagement of Poetry’ exhibit.

The second painting, Dories, came about because I love these old boats. They’re tied up on a rocky little beach in Stonington.

Back in the day, farmers built dories like this in summer and used them to fish for lobster in the summer. Today, their owner uses them to seine for bait.

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Dories, watercolor. Shown in Engagement of Poetry at DIAA.

Here’s what I wrote for Engagement of Poetry:

The wisdom of old boats, the enchantment of the sea.

That ‘enchantment’ business may sound sappy, but it’s true. Stonington has for a long time had some of the best sailors and fishermen in the world, and it isn’t because they hate the sea.

Finally, here’s an image that started out as a sketch for another painting.  I made it up; it has part Stonington, part Cape Rosier in Brooksville and part Eggemoggin Reach in Deer Isle.

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Clouds, watercolor. Shown in Engagement of Poetry.

Above the limpid sea, clouds are never still.

So come on down to the DIAA at 15 Main St. in Deer Isle. The artists’ reception is Sunday, Aug. 19, from 3-5 pm. We’ll also be at DIS Friday on Friday, Aug. 17, with cookies, lemonade and used art books for sale (in addition to the art).

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The 12 by 12 (By 12) Is Here!

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The Deer Isle Artists Association’s popular 12 by 12 (By 12) exhibit is scheduled to start Tuesday, July 31, at 10 am sharp.

Be there at the starting gate if you have your eye on a particular work of art.

The 12 by 12 (By 12) features paintings, prints and collages (also known as wall art) no bigger than 12″ by 12.” It also includes 3-dimensional art, such as ceramics, baskets, fiber art and sculpture, also no bigger than — you guessed it — 12″ by 12″ by 12″.

Every work of art sells at an extremely reasonable price of $144 ($12 X $12). The gallery hangs new work as pieces sell. The show lasts two weeks, as all DIAA summer exhibits do, until August 12.

The exhibit is important to the DIAA because it raises money for operating costs.

If you’d like to meet the artists, the reception will be held on Sunday, Aug. 5, from 3 pm to 5 pm. Wine and lemonade will be served, and there will be plenty of food as well.

I’ve shown my work in the past two 12 by 12 (By 12) exhibits. This year I’m donating three watercolors to the show.

They are: Farmers Market,12-by-12-Farmers-Market

Farmers Market, Watercolor, 12″ by 12″Caterpillar Hill and

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Caterpillar Hill, Watercolor, 12″ by 12″

and, finally, Cape Rosier.

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Cape Rosier, Watercolor, 12″ by 12″

These are all Maine scenes. Farmers Market, as its name implies, pictures a scene from the Stonington Farmers Market,

Caterpillar Hill is the view from a stunning lookout on Route 15 on the way to Deer Isle (or the way back). It overlooks Penobscot Bay, the island and the Penobscot River. If you happen to drive by, check out the informational markers. I believe they explain the disastrous Penobscot Expedition during the American Revolution. It didn’t go well for Paul Revere.

Cape Rosier is a part of Brooksville, also part of the Blue Hill peninsula. I’ve just recently discovered this beautiful part of the world and plan to paint much more of it!

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Shape of Waters at the Deer Isle Artists Association

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The Shape of Waters exhibit has already started at the Deer Isle Artists Association  in Deer Isle Village. I have five paintings in the show, all of which depict some kind of work.

Why Work?

When I left journalism to work for a labor union, I thought I should decorate my office with an image of an American worker. So I went to the National Gallery of Art, thinking the gift shop would have a poster, print or even a notecard  depicting someone at work.

I was hoping for a nice big WPA poster,

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but I would have settled for a print of an Ashcan School painting — McSorley’s Bar, for example.

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McSorley’s Bar by John Sloan.

By the time I’d spent an hour looking through the merchandise, I would have been happy to find a notecard with Millet’s The Gleaners on it.

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Jean-Francois Millet, The Gleaners

I couldn’t find one single reproduction of a painting, print or sculpture that showed an American working. I’d soon learn how invisible the working class is in the United States, but that’s a whole other story.

Since moving to Deer Isle I’ve started to paint people at work. Usually I’ll spot them in a certain light or against a certain backdrop and I’ll ask them if I can take their picture. I take a bunch, then sometimes I go back and study the setting a little more. That’s what I did when I spotted Danielle washing windows at Inn on the Harbor.

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Danielle

The painting now hangs against the yellow wall in the Inn on the Harbor lobby.

Since then I’ve done more, including Kim at 44 North. That painting — 44 North — is now in the Shape of Waters show.

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44 North

I also have a painting of Dan collecting beach glass at Scott’s Landing, which is work to him, in the Shape of Waters show. Others show a painter caulking a windowsill, a shipyard worker scraping a boat, and the Stonington town cat — yes, that would be Dundee) supervising the town.

So come by and see the Shape of Waters show. There’s a reception from 3-5 pm on Sunday, July 8, at the gallery, where you can meet all the artists.

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Leslie Squared at ART by KATY

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Tonight at 4 pm starts the soft launch of the Leslie Squared show (OK, I admit, I haven’t figured out how to make the squared symbol on my laptop yet) at ART by KATY. The show features oil paintings by Leslie Anderson and me, Leslie Landrigan. Both of us are married to Dans and both of us paint landscapes, so voila!

Tonight (July 6) is DIS Friday in Stonington, and Katy Allgeyer is holding a reception for Leslie Squared at her ART by KATY gallery at 22 Weed Field Rd.

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The Art By Katy gallery at 22 Weed Field Rd.

Here’s Katy two days before the Friday party:

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Katy Allgeyer in celebratory Fourth of July fashion.

Katy has done a great job promoting the Leslie Squared Show at ART by KATY. We’re in the Bangor Daily News, the Ellsworth American and the Island Advantages.

My Dan and his family, visiting Deer Isle at the time, dropped by the Art By Katy gallery on Wednesday for a peek at the paintings, a glass of wine and some very smart edibles. I believe they were duly impressed by the rustic charm of the gallery.

Katy is relaunching the gallery after a hiatus of several years. She’s worked really hard to make it a very appealing space, and I’m excited to be part of her  reopening!

At the Gallery

Here’s a peek at one of my paintings in the show:

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Acadian Horseback, oil on canvas, 16″ by 20″

And here’s a peek at one of Leslie Anderson’s paintings:

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The big ART by KATY opening pARTy will start the next night, Saturday, July 7, from 4-7 pm. There’ll be more wine, more smart edibles, fun and interesting people as well as oil paintings by someone named Leslie.

Leslie and I, by the way, both started out doing watercolors, and we’ve both branched out into oils. Which is what you’ll see at the show, which runs until July 26.

So be there or be squared!

 

 

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DIS Friday in Stonington at the Island Agency

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I’ll be selling new watercolor paintings, some oldies but goodies, prints, notecards and postcards at the Island Agency in Stonington on Friday, July 6. It’s DIS Friday (Deer Isle-Stonington for the uninitiated), which goes from 5-7 pm in downtown Stonington.

Wine and hors d’oeuvres are inseparable from art, so I’ll have those on hand, too!

Here’s one of my favorite new paintings I’ll bring along:

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Deer Isle Morning, watercolor, 12″ by 16″

It’s a scene from just past the causeway across from Scott’s Landing.

I’ll also bring along a couple of watercolors with more somber palettes. This one, for example, also shows a scene from the causeway, but in November.

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November Sunset, watercolor, 12″ by 16″.

It reflected my mood at the time. I believe our furnace had just gone on the fritz.

Changing Seasons, Changing Palette

I’ve noticed, though, that my paintings get darker and more muted in the winter, and brighter and sunnier in the summer.

For example, here’s a watercolor I did of the forest floor at the Island Heritage Trust’s Tennis Reservation.

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Tennis, watercolor, 12″ by 16″

I painted Tennis in April, when it’s cold and raw and overcast every single day. Or at least it seems like that.

But then comes summer and my palette gets a lot brighter — especially when the lupines come out.

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Lupine Madness, watercolor, 11.5 by 11.5.

Tomorrow at the Island Agency I’ll be selling matted prints of Lupine Madness, Deer Isle Morning and other paintings of Deer Isle for $20. I’ll also have prints of some paintings of interiors — which usually means cats.

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Window Kitty, matted 4.5″ by 6.5″ print

Inventory isn’t my strong suit (I’m an artist, after all), but I will have some notecards and postcards for sale as well.

So please stop by the Island Agency tomorrow and check out my artwork.

 

 

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Paintings and Prints at DIAA “Distinctive Marks” Show

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I’ll have both paintings and prints in the Deer Isle Artists Association show, Distinctive Marks, starting Tuesday, June 19.  My paintings will all be watercolor (though I am doing oils these days too), and they’re all new.

Like this one:

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Barred Island

All my work for this show will be landscapes. Because they were painted between November and June, the palette ranges from somber to bright.

November Sunset, for example, shows Causeway Beach in (you guessed it) November.  As I recall I painted it just after the furnace went out on a very cold day.

November Sunset, watercolor, 12″ by 16″.

A very long, wet, dreary spring followed our very long winter here in Maine. Only recently did the temperature exceed 70 — and that was in June, for godsake. But suddenly the sky cleared, the sun came out and  the flowers bloomed. Many, many flowers bloomed, and they did it all at once.

So after toiling over a muted palette I wanted to paint something bright and exuberant. I had plenty of scenes to choose from, but I picked one of my favorite views: from Highland Avenue in Stonington, looking down at the harbor.

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Lupine Madness, watercolor, 11.5 by 11.5.

Distinctive Marks is an exhibit of 3-D works, painting, photographs, pottery and sculpture . Also showing work in the Distinctive Marks show will be Emily Brett Lukens. Ron Deprez, Mary Eaton, Steve Ettlinger, Alan Flowers, Stephan Haley, Jill Kofton, Jerry Levitt, Luna Lyman, Julie Meranze-Levitt, Woodley Osborne, Cynthia Stroud-Watson, Maura Tillotson and Alice Wilkinson.

A reception for the artists will be held Sunday, June 24, from 3-5 pm at the DIAA gallery.

The Deer Isle Artists Association, founded in 1972,

Founded in 1972, the Deer Isle Artists Association is a member-run nonprofit organization committed to creating and exhibiting art. Our more than 100 members include painters, sculptors, printmakers, jewelers, fiber artists, photographers, ceramicists and other artists.

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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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Inn on the Harbor, New Home for My Work

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There are at least two wonderful places to stay in Stonington: Inn on the Harbor and Boyce’s Motel.  Dan and I stayed at both while hunting for our dream home in Stonington, and we had nothing but good experiences.

Putting cards in racks at Inn on the Harbor.

Jay Brown and Dana Durst bought Inn on the Harbor a year ago and worked their tails off freshening it up. Over the winter they held community potlucks in their dining room, which is how I got to know them. (There is, by the way, a rich potluck culture on Deer Isle. You’d better have a couple of go-to hors d’oeuvres recipes if you want to survive the winter here.)

At their last potluck, I asked Jay and Dana if they’d be interested in selling notecards I’d made of Deer Isle scenes in winter

On the Hard, notecard, 5.5″ by 4″.

… spring

Oceanville Garden, notecard, 5.5″ by 4″

…summer

Deer Isle Bridge From Caterpillar Hill, notecard, 5.5″ by 4″

and fall.

Scott’s Landing in Autumn, notecard, 5.5″ by 4″.

They said sure, bring them on down.

But then the dilemma presented myself: How do I package them? So I ordered clear bags. Then I thought I need to explain what they are. So I ordered a postcard to go in the package with the cards.

While I was at it, I decided to order some more postcards.

Church of the Morning After, pastel
Blue Hill Overlook, watercolor
Clamming at Causeway Beach, watercolor
Moving Day. Watercolor
Boys o Summer, watercolor
Sand Beach, watercolor

The postcards arrived yesterday, so I spent this morning assembling what seemed like thousands of little doodads: notecards, envelopes, stickers, scotch tape, postcards. Fortunately the cats were not in terrorist mode and I got it all done without a mishap. (They find it comforting to chew on the cellophane bags.)

All the while I remembered two things people had told me: One, a salesman for R.R. Donnelley in Chicago. He said, “Anyone can write a book, not everyone can sell it.” The same applies to art, I thought. It’s one thing to sit in a studio and create images; quite another to schlep paintings around, reproduce them, frame them, price them, keep track of them (seriously) and convince people they don’t suck.

And I remembered what my friend Michael Daugherty said to me over the winter. He’s the former co-owner of the Isalos Gallery in Stonington with his wife Rebecca. Michael told me people have no idea the amount of work gallery owners put into selling a work of art. I take his point.

Anyhoo, my notecards and postcards are now on sale at the Inn on the Harbor in beautiful downtown Stonington, Maine. Stop in and see for yourself.

 

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Looking for Signs of Spring on Deer Isle

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It’s easy to get obsessed with signs of spring, since there are so few of them here on Deer Isle this year.

It’s May 6, and I’m still wearing wool socks while my friends in metro Washington, D.C., torment me with Facebook images of cherry blossoms and azaleas along with complaints of 90 degree weather.

The Portland Press Herald tries to put a positive spin on the weather forecast:

Enjoy the sun today; we won’t see it for a while

That’s for sure.

Two nice days lie ahead, sandwiched between damp weather patterns.

By ‘damp weather patterns’ they mean several weeks of cold, overcast, rainy, foggy, dreary weather.

You don’t need the news media to forecast the weather here in Stonington. Here’s how to do it, per one of our neighbors:

Today you can’t see the stone. 
Here’s Stonington Harbor on a typical spring day in 2017.

Signs of Spring

Here on Deer Isle the grass did get green, and the occasional crocus and daffodil peek out along the stone walls.

In between rain showers I’ve been outside looking up to find the ultimate signs of spring: those lovely green leaves. I found wonderful things, and I’ve been having a blast posting them on Instagram.

I went a little crazy with the filter on this one:

Buds

This one is from the tree on Pres du Port’s front lawn.

Buds and moss

It was so encouraging to see this tree starting to leaf out a few days ago:

The blue sky didn’t last long

These guys have a little longer to go.

From Dunham Point Road

I took all these photos with my cellphone and altered them with Instagram filters. I think they show that art is as much about seeing as it is about what you do with what you see.

I haven’t abandoned my paintbrushes, though. I’m working on a Stonington streetscape right now for the May 26 ‘Make a Detour’ exhibition at the Deer Isle Artist Association. Hope to see you there!

 

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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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