What an honor to be in another show at USM’s  Atrium Art Gallery in Lewiston, Maine, curated by Robyn Holman, one very devoted fisher of art. She’s gathered in her net a spectacular catch of wonders in Secrets of the Sea.


My three pastels from Here Come the Humpbacks! hang beneath a bladderwrak raku by Anne Alexande and next to an oil titled Tidal Dance by Wendy Newcomb.


Since today is Happy Hump(back) Day, here are better views:


The non-fiction picture book by April Pulley Sayre includes the epic journey humpbacks make as well as their obstacles. All marine life in  Federal waters off the East Coast now face the dangers of offshore exploration. The sonic sensors used to find oil are  harmful to whales and other marine life. If only trash was their sole problem.


According the the WDC, “Entanglement in fishing gear is a major threat, and can often be fatal. Because of the endangered status of humpbacks (and other large whales), successfully releasing just one animal from gear may have a profound effect on the recovery of the population as a whole.” The Marine Animal Entanglement Response network is notified when an entangled animal is spotted, with the Center for Coastal Studies, spearheading most of the efforts. How about good news: since 1984, the Center has freed more than 200 large whales and other marine animals!


There were other whales on the walls, these by renowned book artist Rebecca Goodale.


One of my favorite works in the show is by Nathan Nicholls, who made magical use of a snowmobile muffler here:


Nicole Duennebier’s Tunicate and Golden Sac shines with mysterious depths. Her paintings could be from another century.


I fell for this teapot by Brian White, part creature, part vessel.


Honestly, the variety of surfaces made me giddy. Look at this felted fauna of anemones by Sayuri Sasaki Hemann.


I met the maker of this urchin, stone artist Thomas Berger.


I have a thing for urchins. Could draw them day in and day out, with their rad radial symmetry. Here’s a detail from my Cryptofauna:


I was pleased to find a fun print by fellow children’s book illustrator Holly Berry:


The surfaces of Zone of Influence by Adelaide Tyrol are exquisite.


This is a must-see show for anyone in love with the ocean. You can even walk away with a booklet of poetry, Poems for Tube-Snouts and other Secrets of the Sea. I left floating on salty bubbles of inspiration.

Meanwhile, on other shores, my Maine College of Art junior illustration majors are working on pulp covers, in league with the upcoming show at the Portland Public Library: The Pulps!

Look what swam into Ashley Palmer’s cover. Yes, it’s Attack of the Octo-Witch!


After class, I found recent MECA illustration alum Liz Long hard at work on a mural in the Artists @ Work space. Avast, another whale!


Same day, I came across a gem from another student, Sophia Cangolese, which pretty much sums up this post.


This calls for a walk to the shore. Maybe I will find some spiny urchin shells, stay tuned.


  1. I, too, love the sea and really enjoyed this post. I will try to get down there to see it. Thanks for sharing.

    • thanks for reading, Russ! You will definitely love the show. It’s up til almost Thanksgiving.

  2. Thanks, Jamie! Looks like another fabulous show by one of the Maine Art world’s best kept secrets–Robyn Holman.

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