“Everything will be better when the little flowers bloom in the spring.” This is my Mom’s favorite refrain when times are difficult and life looks dark and bleak. Yes, indeed, it’s been a long, cold, snowy winter here in New England as well as in other parts of the country. “Everything will be better when the little flowers bloom in the spring” also is the title of one of the monotypes I printed this winter which I learned yesterday has been accepted into the New Hampshire Art Association’s 28th Annual Omer T. Lassonde Open Juried Exhibition. The juror for this show is Ron Crusan, Executive Director and Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art in Ogunquit, Maine. Come one, come all to the Opening Reception this Friday, April 4, 5-8 p.m. at the Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery, 136 State Street, in Portsmouth. It’s been a long winter, and spring is in the air!
Happy 2014! I hope you and yours are well this new year.
I’m energized these days. Doing quite a bit of framing, including Small Pleasures, 2013 (below), in anticipation of this year’s exhibits. Looking forward to drawing more, plein air and from the model. I also want to noodle around with watercolor again, having been inspired anew by the John Singer Sargent Watercolors exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. And, yes, am printing a new batch of monotypes.
Here is my Christmas wish:
Let us each and every one of us contribute something to making this holiday season and 2014 vibrant, alive and joy-filled by printing, drawing, painting, throwing or handbuilding pottery, making collages, cooking, baking, knitting, crocheting, sewing, arranging flowers, making music, dancing, singing, performing, acting, creating, being spontaneous, letting our imaginations soar, mixing up some magic and, most of all …
… by doing our best to practice kindness, compassion and peace each and every day.
“A farm is a form of expression, a physical manifestation of the inner life of its farmers. The farm will reveal who you are, whether you like it or not. That’s art.”
-Kristen Kimball, The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food and Love, p. ?
Our second year of Seacoast Eat Local Winter Farmers’ Market got off to a grand start yesterday at Wentworth Greenhouse in Rollinsford, New Hampshire. We’ve been shopping at farmers’ markets for 20+ years, so I thought I knew a tiny bit about farming. Not true. I recently finished reading Kristen Kimball’s book A Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food and Love which my longtime friend Connie, who grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania, loved and passed along to me. I realize I actually knew nothing about farming prior to reading this book. Winter Farmers’ Market yesterday was a totally different experience than Winter Farmers’ Market this time last year. Same world. New way of seeing.
I’ve been writing Morning Pages for more than six years, having been inspired to do so by reading Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. When I began making monotypes in 2000, I put my writing on the back burner. In 2007, I returned to writing via Morning Pages.
At first, I wrote Morning Pages maybe one day each week. Little by little, however, my writing practice increased. I’ve been writing Morning Pages more often than not each weekday morning for about three years now.
How do I write Morning Pages? I flip open my trusty Mead top spiral college ruled notebook; dig into my bag for a Pilot G-2 07 pen (always blue ink with a Fine point); and put pen to paper. First, I write the day of the week (Thursday) and the date (10.24.13) then skip one line and write the name of the cafe where I’m writing and the name of the street where the cafe is located (Kaffee Vonsolln, Daniel Street). I don’t know why I begin writing Morning Pages this way; I just do. Then I simply write, write, write until I’ve filled three pages. I write anything and everything. It takes me one hour to write my Morning Pages.
When I began writing Morning Pages, it felt a bit labored. As time went on, I got more and more into the flow of writing Morning Pages. I enjoy feeling the pen glide across the paper, transforming each notebook page from a smooth surface into a tactile surface, textured by my very own handwriting. It’s a good habit to have, I think.
Just returned home from printing at The Button Factory and working on my new montype project which taps my dreamlife and brings together text and visual images. I’ve been writing down my dreams for more than 30 years and call these writings Dream Notes. The Red Suitecase (I), shown here and printed in June, is my first finished Dream Notes monotype. One dream. One monotype. Last month I began working on The Very Large Bird series of monotypes. This was a long and visually rich dream, so will require lots of paper and time to complete. I’ll let you know how this project unfolds.
Yesterday was a picture perfect summer day here in Portsmouth: blue skies, sunny, warm, low humidity. I took a leisurely stroll through Prescott Park to Sheafe Warehouse where the New Hampshire Art Association’s annual juried exhibit is in full swing through August 25. Chatted with Ann who was gallery sitting. Quite a few other people enjoying the show as well as the view through the big open door in the back of the warehouse which overlooks the Piscataqua River. A group of kids stopped in at the exhibit as part of a treasure hunt. Outside again in Prescott Park, I paused to gaze at the new Memorial Bridge which is due to officially open tomorrow. Can hardly wait!
One of my aims this summer is to visit and tour each of the Ten Historic Sites in Portsmouth. Last month during my friend Pam’s visit, Pam and I jump started my aim by visiting the Tobias Lear House and the Wentworth-Gardner House, two historic homes on Mechanic Street in our fair city. I nearly swooned when my eyes caught sight of a most beautiful crocheted spread covering one of the beds in the Wentworth-Gardner House. Simply stunning, as you can see by the close up photo I took after receiving permission to do so from our tour guide. Is this a vintage piece of crochet work? Or is it contemporary crochet which looks vintage? Hmm. I guess I need to stop by the Wentworth-Gardner House again on one of my daily walks and ask the folks there what they can tell me. I sure would love to crochet some pillow covers in this pattern.