plunge into the new

Posted by on Jan 8, 2013 in A Warmer World, Maine College of Art, Sketchbook Project, zines | 0 comments

2013 is off to a brave and busy beginning, full of stories, students, and creatures with white fur.

Charlesbridge donated a stack of books for the Natural Resources Council of Maine’s Polar Dip and Dash on the last day of 2012. Sunny but cold, it was a glorious day to sign books about climate change for the top ten kid winners.

There was a great crowd, including a polar bear looking a bit out of his element, a fitting metaphor for the whole deal.

Wait, what’s the bride doing here? Oh, it’s Beth Dimond, Public Affairs Coordinator for the NRCM, who decided to take the plunge with her entire wedding party before taking the plunge at the altar.
Talk about prenups!
She was kind enough to take this photo of me awaiting the dipping action. Notice I am not in MY bathing suit.

Great spectator event, truly. Here the crowd gathers, those in clothing feeling smart, and those dipping bracing for the water.

The event itself is, of course, brief. Wedding dippers in the foreground below:
I sponsored my neighborhood polar bear family, Jeanne Gulnick and her husband Mark Green (both professors at St. Joseph’s College) and their brave kids, Jonah and Lilah. I shiver just looking at them. Bravo for raising money to combat climate change.
A couple of days later, I encountered more brave kids at King Middle School. I was one of 9 guest artists visiting for their annual World Culture kick-off, an expedition involving making art inspired by a French or Spanish artist. Students begin by interviewing local artists about how culture influences their work, and other pertinent details about being an artist. I always bring pastels, since materials are a major aspect of my approach.
This student made a fast and furious drawing, unafraid to get green dust all over.
Wow, sweet rewards for artists…. Holy Donuts!
I also showed students my current Sketchbook Project, in which I’m drawing my favorite shops around Portland. My own superhero/donut dunker modeled for me. Look, up in the sky!
Over the weekend, I finally saw a performance of the Peaks Island Puppets. I felt like a kid again, totally transported.  My neighbor Stephanie Eliot shines with exuberance and David Handwerker is
sly and silly. Julie Goell made all the puppets and props, and wrote the comical telling of Solomon and Ashmedai. I brought home the materials to make my own. Cool.
I headed back into another school on Monday, Casco Bay High, to help kick-off their week-long intensive on self-publishing. Shared selections from my zine collection and lugged my vintage typewriter.
Meanwhile, I’m sketching away. Everything seems to be a source of inspiration.
Stopped in at Longfellow Books to see the latest window installation, this one by Gaella Materne, awesome illustration senior at Maine College of Art. She recreated in 3 dimensions the book cover of my neighbor Eleanor Morse’s new book, White Dog Fell from the Sky.
Eleanor also posed for me for my sketchbook.
Eleanor will be reading and signing this Friday at Longfellow Books at 6:30. I’ll be one of the first in what will be a long line for this amazing book. Come join me!


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