Saltwater Artists Gallery in New Harbor, Maine opened for the 2023 season on Memorial Day weekend. I'll be be taking my first shift sitting the gallery on Monday, June 5th. It's always great to come back and see all of the work my fellow SWAG artists have set up in their display areas. I am especially interested to see the work of the four new artists we have joining us this season.
Last year the gallery had an informal Plein Air event that just included some of our member painters. The day went well and created quite a bit of interest among fellow painters, customers, and passers-by. As a result, plans were made to hold a Plein Air "Paint the Point" event this season that would be open to area artists. The day will start at 8:30am with an artists' breakfast hosted by the Seagull Restaurant and end with an awards ceremony at 4:30pm and a "wet paint" sale. Artists will have the day to paint in the iconic area around Pemaquid Point and the Pemaquid
Lighthouse. More information about the July 22nd event, as well as registration for the event, can be found on the gallery website www.saltwaterartists.com.
Fellow Saltwater artist Pat Higgins recently emailed me a photo snails on a vertical rock formation because they reminded her of my gallery display of snail magnets (see my blog post from 9/17/19). Oscar Wilde once said "Life imitates art far more than art imitates life..." but I certainly think there is an equally valid argument to be made for the opposite sentiment. I know that after first coming up with the idea of creating snail magnets, I then had to figure out a way to effectively display them. A memory from my youth (and that is going back some!) of periwinkle snails attached to pier pilings came to mind and I was able to recreate a version of that image by attaching two short lengths of old cedar post to a length of weathered board. Finished snails could then be affixed to small magnets that had been imbedded in each post resulting in an appealing, and somewhat life-like, presentation. As for Mr. Wilde's observation regarding life and art, I think that, in the end, it may come down to the same conundrum as in the "chicken and the egg" debate. As for the snail magnet display, I keep having to replace the snails, so it would seem that visitors to the gallery relate to this creation resulting from a childhood memory.
I began this piece by adhering the painting to a 1/4" thick piece of birch plywood so that I would be able to mount it in the to-be-constructed window frame and to insure that the canvas wouldn't distort over time. I then proceeded to construct a small window that included a recess on the back side where the painting could be attached with small screws. I painted the window an off-white, and, before installing the painting, I painted out the partial image of a second figure that could be seen over the left shoulder of the woman in the foreground.
The next step was to tackle the potted plant for the sill. I had a 3" terra cotta seedling pot that was a perfect size for what I had in mind, but it was "new", so I "aged" it using acrylic paint. I wanted to attach the pot with a bolt rather than simply epoxying it to the sill. I put a 1/4 thick layer of Apoxie clay in the bottom of the cup to prevent the pot from cracking when the bolt was tightened, and then drilled a hole through it after it hardened. I then drilled a hole in the sill and made sure that the pot would screw into it securely. I was ready to "plant".
Attaching the strips involved using my Dremel to create insertion holes for the ends of each strip in the driftwood base. I also added a small metal pin into the edge of each strip at the point where the edge of the strip actually touched the body of the "Diver". I drilled holes to receive the pins in the body and then epoxied each strip end and pin into their respective holes. I further secured the strips by adding a toothpick "pin" through overlapping flat areas of the strips. In addition to the 3 long strips that I attached around the rod, I also added 2 shorter strips about an inch further behind the base of the rod to further enhance the flow and effectiveness of the composition. I feel the addition of the "landscaping" added to the illusion of motion and of being underwater...and, even better, added a sense of playfulness. :)
ArtinME, the annual statewide juried art show at BRAF Gallery in Boothbay Harbor
is back for 2021!
The Yarmouth Art Festival is back to its in-person format for the 13th edition of this annual juried show at St. Bartholomew's Church in Yarmouth show after having to go virtual in 2020 . The jurors for this years show were Peggy Greenhut, founder of the Greenhut
the board was to attach a wooden strip on the back (to allow the piece to hang flat in spite of the weight of the ceramic pieces) and a hanging wire.
Finally I epoxied each piece to the backing board - it was ready to hang! I loaded it and the rest of the work that I had selected into my car and headed to New Harbor to set up my display area at Saltwater Artists Gallery. The gallery opens for long weekends starting May 28th and then will be open daily starting on June 18th...stop by if you are in the neighborhood!
Cynthia Smith, Maine artist, originally from Connecticut. Taught art at secondary level for 35 years, retired in 2004. Sculpts in bronze, wood, stone, clay & plaster. Her work can be seen at several mid-coast Maine galleries and shows.