Ocean Park visit

Posted by on Jul 28, 2013 in Here Come the Humpbacks, pastels, travels | 0 comments

I had the honor of visiting Ocean Park last week for the first time. This historic seaside community near Old Orchard Beach, Maine dates back to 1881, built for the purpose of interdenominational assembly, where people of all ages still come to vacation, learn, worship, and play.


I made a presentation in Jordan Hall about my work and process, specifically for Here Come the Humpbacks! by April Pulley Sayre.


I even shared this peek of my messy studio, taken at the end of a long day of drawing humpbacks, early winter twilight outside.


I introduced a pile of my supplies I brought to share: hard and soft pastels, pastel pencils, and colored pencils.


What a fantastic group of book lovers and eager artists! Each one chose paper for drawing: white sketch paper, colored pastel paper, sand paper,  whatever your fancy. Try them all. I had small objects for reference, including my toy whales.


One artist wanted help drawing a beach chair into her summer scene. I often combine observation with imagination. Here I just winged it, breaking down the steps and strokes on another sheet of paper.


I was glad to see girls of all ages drawing together, like Marlene and her granddaughter, Annabelle.


Kids know just what to do. No art lectures for them. They seize the materials and tell a story. Colton had a very specific one for his drawing of a boat and a ladder to the dock. Love his marks and colors!


Another girl showed me her symphony of layered reds, too shy for words, but her colors sang loud and clear.


Pastels are pure pigment, a direct method for color that is also tactile. Many kids were happily wearing color on their hands and faces. Here is Claire, who drew one of the animal objects I brought for quick observation, a tiny orange frog!


I signed books, too.


I loved hearing artists tell me about what they drew.


Note to self: make sure all tables are covered next time. Evidence of passionate art-making was everywhere! My gracious host, Penny Gagnon, librarian of Ocean Park’s Memorial Library, said not to worry, as I packed up.


As I headed off into the moonlight, I felt so welcomed by this warm community. Thank you, Ocean Park!


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