Babette’s Feast

Posted by on Jan 30, 2018 in Illustration, Pastels, Portland Stage Company | 2 comments

I worked on the poster illustration for Portland Stage’s world premiere of Babette’s Feast about a year ago. It wound up being a circuitous journey to the final piece, which can happen sometimes. I faintly recalled having seen the movie years ago, but didn’t want to see it again or color my approach too much by what had been done cinematically. I based my ideas on the script written by Rose Courtney and adapted from the short story by Isak Dinesen. Local actor and Affiliate Artist Abigail Killeen conceived and developed the play, which is set in the small town of Berlevag...

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Winter walks

Posted by on Jan 19, 2018 in Pastels, Peaks Island | 4 comments

As the anniversary of the Women’s March arrives, I’m reflecting on when I walked the very slowest in my life. Being in a huddled mass of humanity was life-affirming, our scrawled signs of dissent, our loud voices, our crush of bodies moving through Manhattan that historic day. In the year since, I have walked daily, mostly solo but sometimes with others. I am deeply nourished by these walks and none more so than now, in the heart of winter on an island in Maine. I recently came across two things that confirm why my winter walks are so important. In Brain Pickings, a marvelous...

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Full moon soon

Posted by on Dec 1, 2017 in Drawing, Illustration, Luna Press, Pastels | 1 comment

Calling all lunatics! This Sunday will be the last full moon of 2017. I know this because of my handy dandy Lunar Calendar, to which I have contributed since 1983 at the invitation of Nancy. F. W. Passmore, editor of the Luna Press. I worked on the cover of the 2018 edition during my trip to Ireland in May. Well, I did a quick sketch anyway. From the cottage where we stayed in Dunquin, I saw a distant island. Everywhere we went, it was there, like a body floating. It’s called Inis Tuaisceart and I couldn’t get it out of my head.  Plus, there are goddess faces in unlikely places....

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Giving thanks

Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 in Book: Island Birthday, Children's Book Illustration, Drawing, Illustration, Pastels, Peaks Island, Portland Public Library, Publisher: Tilbury House | 2 comments

Don’t ask me how a flock of wild turkeys has been roaming our end of the island for many weeks. Leading up to Thanksgiving Day, there were plenty of jokes about them. Peaks Island is part of the City of Portland, where no hunting is permitted, so these birds were just free range. When our daughter returned for college break, our first stop was at the delightful Dahlov Ipcar exhibit at the Portland Public Library. You can’t miss the fantastic reading nook with a mural of lively fowl! This First Friday is the closing reception, so hurry up. Besides Ipcar’s original picture...

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Vermont vibes

Posted by on Nov 10, 2017 in Drawing, Pastels, Travels | 2 comments

What a gadabout autumn we’ve had. Last weekend we headed to Vermont for the first time in ages, to the rustic getaway house of my Kittery cousins, Mike and Wanda. They bought land from Mike’s brother Joe, a retired dairy farmer, Vietnam vet, and thespian. We were lucky to find the place in the remote hills of Marshfield just before dusk. While others were upset about losing power, this is how they roll there, off the grid. Dinner by candlelight with long stories. Mike did the dishes under a solar lamp. What a difference the sun makes! Spied this dear painting by their daughter,...

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Lady Day in moonlight

Posted by on Oct 5, 2017 in Illustration, Pastels, Portland Stage Company | 4 comments

These are just a few of the records I grew up with. My parents were into jazz. I heard Billie Holiday long before I knew her name. Sarah, Billie, and Ella were my mother’s favorites; Duke, Satchmo, and Coltrane were my dad’s. These were the faces on the records, but in fact I went all through elementary grades and high school without having a single person of color in my classes, or in my small world in rural New Hampshire. That changed in art school and beyond, but those soulful voices remain somehow elemental for me. The script for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill by...

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