Page 1

MAINE ARTS JOURNAL UMVA QUARTERLY

LINES OF THOUGHT WINTER 2017


Maine Arts Journal

NINA JEROME

2


Maine Arts Journal

NINA JEROME

3


Maine Arts Journal

MAINE ARTS JOURNAL Union of Maine Visual Artists QUARTERLY WINTER 2017 LINES OF THOUGHT

FEATURES AND ESSAYS

Front Cover

Alex Rheault, confluence, Rapture Series,14x17,watercolor and gouache on Strathmore drawing paper, 2016

7

18

My Life in Drawing by Edgar Allen Beem

30

Poetry Feature: Booth on the Line: The Poet’s Springboard by Carl Little

VISUAL ESSAYS 10

Marking Time Avy Claire

14

Josefina Auslender by Jessica McCarthy

22

Hilary Irons

26

rapture Alex Rheault

32

Diane Bowie Zaitlin

47

Ron Howard by Natasha Mayers Inside front cover:

Nina Jerome, Drawing from Drawing 1, Backshore, Mixed media on paper, 26x40, 2016

Kany on Drawing by Dan Kany

31

Nightsong by Philip Booth

36

The Other Woman by Linda Aldrich chosen by Betsy Sholl with art by Anna O’Sullivan

37

An Essay of Drawings and Words by Deborah Whitney images by Melinda Barnes Helen Goodwin Deborah Whitney

Back Cover The Blanchard Weather Report August 30, 2016 by Todd Watts 4


Maine Arts Journal

70

Insight/Incite Narratives on Art Education: by Argy Nestor and Lindsay Pinchbeck

22

MEMBER SUBMISSIONS 51

Nina Jerome

52

Jean Noon

53

Ben Lincoln

54

Ragna Bruno

55 56

Kate Beck

57

Grace DeGennaro

Chris Benemen

43

UMVA IN THIS ISSUE 6

From the Editors

8

Art’s Light In a Dark Time by Robert Shetterly

58 9

58

Krisanne Baker

60

Ellen Hodgkin

61

Arthur Nichols

62

David Wade

64

Noriko Sakanishi

65

Skye Priestley

66

Kathleen Florance

Call for Submissions for Spring 2017 MAJ: Light in the Dark: Art As a Sane Voice in an Insane World

67

Maine Masters Report Ashley Bryan on Lines of Thought by Richard Kane

72

UMVA Chapter Report Portland Chapter

73

UMVA Chapter Report Lewiston / Auburn Chapter

74

Artists Rapid Response Team! and LumenARRT! Quarterly Report

79 Order Print Versions of MAJ Issues 45 5


Maine Arts Journal

Lines of Thought Issue Point and line to plane, then solid form. Dimensionless points, one-dimensional lines - cold hard abstractions. This issue's theme, Lines of Thought, by contrast, is a multi-dimensional weaving of emotion, touch, dialog, vision - as real as actual life. As an art student in New York years ago, I visited the drawing archive at the Morgan Library & Museum to look at -- and hold in my own hands -- actual drawings by some of the greatest masters of western art. Issued a pair of flimsy but pristine white cotton gloves by the attentive staff, I held drawings by Tiepolo, by Delacroix, one by delicious one, my fingertips to each artist's fingertips, and I looked at each drawing as closely and as long as I needed - ‘til I felt the flow of each searching and responding eye and hand. Tiepolo's fluid brush and pen lines, his washes suggesting space or volume, and pen cutting through to define his familiarity with human anatomy, light, air, wind-billowed fabric -- these revealed an easy mastery and a heartfelt imagination. I'd never been so close to an old master's hand, and this touch and immediacy eclipsed the 300 years between us. Delacroix's Moroccan street drawings, his eager, flowing lines passionate to capture the exotic robes and turbans, the romantic character of everyday people, walking, riding camels, shopping at the market. My morning at the museum passed swiftly, lost in various artists' worlds, in the room with their presence. Emerging, I sat back to collect myself before leaving. But the attendant, a young woman, asked, "Is there another artist you'd like to see? Rembrandt, perhaps?" As I sat back down, she brought out a small, precious portfolio of just six drawings and placed the first Rembrandt on the desk easel. A pen and ink drawing of an ancient man no bigger than a paper pack of matches, but within its woven tapestry of lines was the old man's entire world. Nothing out of place, nothing else needed. This set of lines so completely expressed his reality -- a reality as complete as my own -- that I felt as if I were in the man's immediate, live presence. The power of art -- in a few lines -- can evoke life itself. We all share this experience and this ability to one extent or another. The artists and writers in the current Lines of Thought issue of the Maine Arts Journal share in Rembrandt's genius, each in their own way creating a set of lines and values that completely express a reality. Josefina Auslender's sensitive play of carefully built linear webs, sharply cut planes and shadows, golden spheres and atmospheres. Ashley Bryan's intense counterpoint of the repeated sweeping lines of his draughtsman's hand and the musician's bow, the music welling up to break the silence and speak out about war and suppression. Carl Little, on Booth’s poetry, rooting readers to a particular line of imagery, while propelling them to bear down, let up, and move ahead with the flow of a thought. Krisanne Baker's spirals of entropy and erosion, elegant and organic in their growth and their inherent will to be. Kate Beck's elegant black abstractions, each graphite line an elementary trace of material supporting an instinctive emerging structure, architectural in its presence. Beck's work resonates with the late Ron Howard's joyfully obsessive dream-state buildings, their infinite yellow-lit windows and mysterious brick walls. Howard's art is cousin to Noriko Sakanishi's refined grids of white to grey units moving serenely across a ruling geometry and Grace DeGennaro's accreting dot lattices of colors. They make an unlikely but close family. Ragna Bruno, Chris Beneman, Diane Bowie Zaitlin, and Avy Claire form a similar family in which the evocative magic of the freely made line defies preconceptions to suggest grace, rage, time, intimacy. Hilary Irons and Alex Rheault likewise speak a similar language of openness to the thorns of observation and their roots in imagination. In drawing, as in imagination, we discover what we see before truly knowing what it is. by Alan Crichton We thank all the artists who submitted their art on this theme, Jeff Ackerman, Alan Crichton, Dan Kany, Natasha Mayers, Jessica McCarthy, Nora Tryon

FROM THE EDITORS

6


Maine Arts Journal

KANY ON DRAWING Drawing is a bridge between words and thoughts. It's a way of conveying visual ideas. Painting hides its nuance under its possibility of trompe-l'oeil realism, but drawing holds onto its foundation of the conveyance of thought. Words were made by long-ago forgotten authors, but every drawing has a human touch, an artist-author driven by intelligence and intention. Drawing uses the image ground - typically a sheet of paper - as a platform. Unlike painting, which often works hard to hide its means, a drawing can be defined by its interaction with the drawing ground. The marks of a drawing - brush, charcoal, pencil, ink or otherwise - swim on that ground, that spatially omnipotent thing. It can be space, surface, ground, object and otherwise. The surface is to a drawing what single point perspective has become for painting: It is the context, the system, the way. Oh, but modernist painting does that too, you might say. But that is the lesson that painting learned from drawing. Modernism remembered the means of visual art. Manet, for example, laid out the genres in his luncheon on the grass: still lifes, nudes, portraits, landscapes and pastorals. Cezanne left the undercarriage for us to get a look up under the hood - and what we saw below it all was drawing. Early Cubism was about the archeaology of painting and what it found before it turned back with Synthetic Cubism was drawing at its very liminal limit of legibility. The Surrealists, the real ones at least, like Masson and Miro, let drawing off the leash. And even Pollock found a way to draw without having the lines get caught up in describing shapes. Drawing is how we start. Most of us now get fluent in drawing early on. It's like people are just as hardwired to draw as they are to learn language. And that's very likely because we are. Art culture has recently reopened the role of drawing so that nothing surpasses it in the ever-increasingly-outdated notion of art hierarchy. Painting might fetch more at market, but it doesn't outstrip drawing on its sparklingly content-strewn-paths forward. This is a good thing. For we are at a moment when artists can reclaim their content and, therefore, the cultural conversations at the foundation of visual culture. When it comes to considering the role of drawing in culture, we can look to the work of artists like Leonard's Vitruvian Man, or Piranesi's prisons. But we can also look to the defining moments of human culture, like when Darwin drew that rudimentary evolutionary tree and scribbled above it, "I think." Ragna Bruno Yellow Temperament (detail), ink on paper, 14 x 12, 2016, Douglas Gray photo

DAN KANY

7


Maine Arts Journal

Art's Light in a Dark Time By Robert Shetterly

The essential goal of art making is not economy, it’s culture. A life or death struggle is taking place in the US and the world today over who we are, how we are going to live and with what values and for whose benefit. What stories are we telling ourselves? What stories are we allowing to be told to us to define us? One of the missions of the UMVA is to promote true stories that enable a future based in the common good. The great environmental activist Edward Abbey said, “It is not enough to understand the natural world; the point is to defend and preserve it.” Similarly, it is not enough to preserve the rights of artists; we have to insist on the responsibilities of artists to envision a world worth preserving. I was speaking recently with elementary students in a school in a poor section of Syracuse, NY. This school district comprises the most concentrated poverty in the US. We were talking about why we make art. A fourth grade boy said, “When I make art, I have freedom.” What do you mean, I asked. He said, “When I make art, I am myself.” Then he said, “When I have freedom, my heart opens.” When we create the freedom to know who we are, our hearts can open to the reality of others. We have empathy. In recent years few of us in this country, the land of the free, have chosen that freedom. We have chosen stories of heart-closing, freedom-killing antagonism. Grace Lee Boggs has said it’s time to “re-story” America. When we do that we will have freedom, we will have open hearts, we will know who we are. Make art like your life depended on it. It does.

ROBERT SHETTERLY

8


Maine Arts Journal

INVITATION TO SUBMIT

THEME FOR SPRING 2017 JOURNAL In the spirit of Rob Shetterly’s statement, we invite artists to respond to this theme for the Spring MAJ:

Light in the Dark: Art As a Sane Voice in an Insane World

We encourage artists to use this opportunity to make and submit potent visual statements to address these strange times, whether it be through shining the light of truth into dark corners without or within; creating poetic visions of enlightenment or visual challenges to incite action or resistance. Many of us have been shocked by this election, saddened, numbed, confused. everything we value will be under siege. What a wake-up call! So, how do we confront the darkness ahead? This JOURNAL has an important role to play.

This is an arts journal, but it is also a community, a place to find and build community.

It is a place to share our responses to the world. We can give voice to what we and others are feeling, help to envision the future, start conversations, respond to the damaged soul of the world, heal ourselves, and in doing so, offer an example to others. We can turn to it for inspiration and light. It is a personal decision as to how we respond. Each of us comes to these issues in a way that suits our individual personality and art practice. And, yet, it is imperative to remind ourselves of the South African notion of "Ubuntu" -- I am myself because of who we all are. We exist and find identity only in relation, in sharing, in interconnectedness. We need to remember now that our work as artists affects the web of humanity. That is our strength and our responsibility. The editorial board of The Maine Arts Journal: The UMVA Quarterly invites members to submit your images and ideas for our upcoming Spring Issue: Light in the Dark: Art As a Sane Voice in an Insane World. You may submit up to 4 works. Word limit is 150 words. Please submit images as jpgs: high-resolution images, 150-300 dpi; the format should be at least 1000 pixels on the shortest side. Please label work with last name and title, and supply us with an image list which includes artist, title, year, medium, dimensions, and if required, the photo credit. Put “Light in the Dark” in the subject line and submit to umvalistings@gmail.com by March 1st deadline. MAJ will limit the “Members Submit” section to UMVA members who have not been published in the past year. Regarding images: It is the MAJ’s policy to request and then publish image credits. We will not publish images the submitter does not have the right to publish. However, we leave the question of photo credit to the discretion of the submitter when there is no required photo credit (photo by self, image ownership freely given, copyright with contract, copyright expired, work for hire, etc). This is particular to our article genre we have dubbed “visual essays” which are generally designed and submitted as complete PDFs by the author. In light of our policy and requests, it is to be assumed that any uncredited or unlabeled images are the author’s/submitter’s own images. By submitting to the MAJ, you are acknowledging respect for these policies.

Thank you, MAJ Editorial Board

MAJ SUBMISSIONS GUIDELINES

9


Maine Arts Journal

AVY CLAIRE

10


Maine Arts Journal

AVY CLAIRE

11


Maine Arts Journal

AVY CLAIRE

12


Maine Arts Journal

AVY CLAIRE

13


14


15


16


17


Maine Arts Journal

My Life in Drawing By Edgar Allen Beem

Drawing is the beginning of all art, both culturally and personally. The urge to make a visual representation of experience began expressing itself in prehistory in primitive marks and scratches. Most artists of my acquaintance initially discovered their love of art through childhood drawing. Though not a visual artist myself, I also discovered art through drawing. He first artist I knew was an eight year old boy named Tommy Crow. Tommy drew elaborate battle scenes in bold, black pencil. I was so taken with Tommy’s snipers, infantrymen and artillery batteries that I started drawing little battles myself. Drawing was like inventing your own toy. Tommy went on to study art at Brandeis, but I never got any further than a very modest way with a line.

Ed Beem doodle of Moto & Guzzi.

When I started looking seriously at art in the early 1970s, the work that first attracted my attention ran to the dark and graphic, deathly figures by Leonard Baskin and hollow men by Ben Shahn, the philosophical and the political rendered in existential tones. Back in 1978 I wrote and drew a comic column entitled Moto & Guzzi in the short-lived alternative weekly The Portland Independent. In a strange way, my limited skill at drawing an expressive line was responsible for launching my journalism career.

Eric Hopkins drawing and Ed Beem’s caricature of it.

Moto was a roly-poly Buddhist monk and Guzzi was a statuesque lesbian. They were the last two people on Earth, so the possibilities for social commentary were limitless. Each column was accompanied by a silly little cartoon line drawing. My column caught the eye of Maine Times editor Peter Cox after I devoted one installment of Moto & Guzzi to satirizing that late, lamented liberal weekly. Peter hired me to entertain readers with what he called “light ‘n’ bright” articles, occasional sketches and art reviews while the inves tigative reporters did the heavy lifting.

The height of my drawing career was probably the year I was invited to show 10 drawings in the seasonal popup show 10 x 10 along with serious artists such as Eric Hopkins, Marjorie Moore and Brita Holmquist. I felt so guilty about selling drawings I had just scribbled off in two minutes for $100 that I put away my pencil and pens except for the occasional caricature of artist friends such as Fred Lynch, Charlie Hewitt and Eric Hopkins.

EDGAR ALLEN BEEM

Larry Hayden panorama of Mason Philip Smith sitting for the Portland Drawing Society. 18


Maine Arts Journal I hadn’t drawn for years when a collection of my Universal Notebook columns in The Forecaster weekly newspaper was published in 2009 as Backyard Maine. To add value to the recycled columns, I illustrated each one with an ink sketch. I was thinking James Thurber and Ludwig Bemelmans, men of letters with a flair for comic sketching, but what I produced were more like doodles in a high school notebook, amateurish but earnest. All three of my daughters are more talented than I am when it comes to art, but then they grew up among art and artists. One of our closest artist friends was UMVA founding member Carlo Pittore (né Charles Stanley). Carlo lived in a yurt in Bowdoinham and had a studio in a nearby chicken barn when the girls were little. When we went to visit him, he would haul out the sketch pads and pencils and crayons so they could sketch him while he sketched them. Carlo was devoted to the human figure and for many years ran a life drawing class in Bowdoinham. Artists such as Martha Miller, Susie Drucker, Bryce Muir and Stephen Petroff frequented the life study sessions at the Academy of Carlo Pittore.

Portraits of David Whaples and Andy Verzosa. Drawing and photo by Larry Hayden

Drawing is not only the beginning of all art, it is also one of the most fundamentally civilized activities in the world. One human being looking at the world and making a likeness, a record of seeing is an act of silent communication, self-consciousness and reflection, especially when what you are looking at is another human being. That’s probably why there are drawing groups almost anywhere a few artists are found. Among the drawing groups I have heard of are those at the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell, River Arts in Damariscotta, York Art Association, Waterfalls Arts in Belfast, and USM and Maine College of Art in Portland. Of course, the granddaddy of all Maine drawing groups is the North Berwick Drawing Group, which has been held weekly since it started 53 years ago in Chris Ritter’s studio in Ogunquit. The group migrated over the years from Ogunquit to Springvale and North Berwick. A core group of 20 now gather Wednesdays at 6:30. A constant in the group over the years has been painter DeWitt Hardy.

EDGAR ALLEN BEEM

19


Maine Arts Journal DeWitt Hardy, of course, is one of Maine’s foremost realist painters and the nude makes up a distinct body of his work. Just turning out a couple of watercolor sketches a week for 50 weeks for 53 years tends to produce significant number of portraits, figure studies and nudes. “When I think about what I’ve learned from just working every week,” says Hardy, “it’s almost like automatic writing. When I confront something difficult, there is a solution.” Decades of drawing the human figure has instilled in Hardy with an innate sense of foreshortening, posture and how the ankle works. But even artists who do not paint the figure are devoted to drawing it.

Hearth by DeWitt Hardy, a drawing done at the North Berwick Drawing Group, photo by Deirdre Williams

Larry Hayden started the Portland Drawing Society about seven years ago. It began in his former studio on the peninsula and operates now in a dedicated studio in his barn on the outskirts of Portland. There are about 60

current members, though there is only room for about seven artists at a time to mount the hand-made drawing horses and draw. Sunday mornings are for portraits, Monday evenings for the figure. Among the regulars are artists Wendy Patterson, Caren-Marie Michel, Paul Brahms, Nanci Adair and, of course, Hayden himself.

“I like to draw more than I like to paint,” he confesses. Left: Portrait of artist Amy Stacey Curtis. Drawing and photo by Larry Hayden

Right: Portrait of photographer Jay York. Drawing and photo by Larry Hayden

EDGAR ALLEN BEEM

20


Maine Arts Journal While the paintings Hayden is known for run to natural and landscape abstractions, his love of drawing led to one of his most conceptual works, “Continuous Drawing” a 180-foot long drawing that he calls “an experiment in watching the line flow out of the brush.” Vertical line after vertical line laid down with ink on rag paper read like a seismograph of Hayden’s own internal vibrations, the frequency he tunes into when in the thrall of drawing. The Portland Drawing Society also maintains an on-going Portland Society Portrait Series of local art world figures who sit for the artists. Among the sitters have been artists Amy Stacey Curtis and Duane Paluska, curator-collector Bruce Brown, gallerists Andy Verzosa and Anne Elowitch, photographer Jay York and former Maine Arts Commission executive Donna McNeil. Some years back, I also sat for the Portland Drawing Society, the artists in attendance that day being Hayden, Frank Oliva, Cornelia Walworth and Ed Zelinsky. I was thinking that sitting for group of artists would be a calm, intimate, meditative experience. I was wrong. Holding the same pose for three hours, even in 20-minutes increments with five-minute breaks, proved to be a feat of endurance. My mind raced, my focus wandered and my limbs fell asleep. I found it almost impossible to sit still and not talk. The calm, intimate, meditative experience of drawing apparently belongs exclusively to the artist. Next time I go to a drawing group, I’m taking my pens and pencils. (Edgar Allen Beem is a freelance writer and art critic who lives in Brunswick.)

Photographer Mason Philip Smith sitting for the Portland Drawing Society. Photo by Larry Hayden

EDGAR ALLEN BEEM

21


Maine Arts Journal

Drawing By Hilary Irons

A twisted, dried-up tree root lay on a white table. The wooden material of the root doubled back on itself; little spikes stuck out of a ball of dirt. Tentacle-like branching roots emerged from a knot. As an eleven-year-old, I stared at this root while holding a sheet of heavy paper clipped to a board. My instructor told me to forget about roots, forget about trees, close one eye, and find the unnamable shapes and lines that it presented to me, both in the substance of the object and the captured spaces it made on the white table. Hilary Irons, Gilslandfarms

He told me to draw as slowly as a person in a trance.

Sigmund Abeles, Tiger Lily, lithograph, 1978, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Frederick P. Nause, 1979/80.6

HILARY IRONS

22


Maine Arts Journal

formally inventive and academically precise, with a veil of narrative influencing even the most straightforward work. I knew Sigmund was a well-known artist, but I didn't understand the extent of his genius, as both a draftsman and a teacher. I was intimidated during the intensely focused, atelier-style classes, during which I was asked to see things in a way that was totally alien to the mind of a child who wanted to make a decorative sketch of a jumping unicorn. Sigmund Abeles, Max/Shabbat, Etching, 12x9, 1995

This experience of finding a formal, abstract answer to the puzzle of nature's patterns is the basis of my experience with visual art. When I was a child--not a young child, but about ten, eleven--my father came up with a way for me to study drawing, which I had always enjoyed in a casual way. In our house, with limited access to electricity, doodling was a way to pass time in a mildly creative fashion. The doodles showed a certain amount of skill, so I started to take them seriously. My father's scheme involved trading carpentry work for drawing lessons with a family friend, the acclaimed realist Sigmund Abeles. Sigmund is a master in his field. His figurative work is

Hilary Irons, Clover

HILARY IRONS

23


Maine Arts Journal

Hilary Irons, Montville

We looked at roots. We looked at boots.

Sigmund Abeles, Four Views of Sig's Pup, Kaethe, Lithograph, 15 x 22 ¼, 1978

HILARY IRONS

24


Maine Arts Journal

We looked at live and dead lilies in the garden, branches, chairs with clothing heaped up on top, floors with broken pottery scattered over the surface, open doorways, Maurice Sendak, Tintoretto, Degas, and Hyman Bloom. The dark basement studio gradually gave way to something more open as my father completed work on a bright upstairs studio. My confusion in the face of visual puzzles was harder to transform. But Sigmund's lessons proved to be like flowers that never die, that bloom slowly over the course of years, hidden away but always extending the roots of their influence. In my late thirties, I feel like I'm finally getting close to discovering the key to the atelier. The patterns presented by nature will give the mind endless material, when approached with the simple goal of transcribing optical information. As slowly as a person in a trance, the draftsman enters a place where judgement and correction become useless hindrances; only the openness of the eye to what the world presents will do.

Hilary Irons, Goldenrod

Sigmund Abeles, Measuring Up (Self-Portrait), (Bates College 139)- lithograph, 1976

HILARY IRONS

25


Maine Arts Journal

rapture by Alex Rheault

rapture, an ongoing series of intuitive drawing... with a brush laden with watercolor, i combine poached images, drawings from observation and my own photographic references of ridiculous and sensuous combinations like coloring books. i color in areas assembled. i disassemble, scumble, stain, redraw, trace over, and overlap. drawing is that safe and reflective space where i wander expand and float; marvel interrogate study and muse. images, words, and imaginings merge... conceal expose surface collapse bubble. discarded domestic objects, found toys, dead animal remnants, a garment flattened on the road; figures in motion, transformation, in costume, or bare bones and muscles and hair. all the things in the world where words and worlds whirl. drawing is like a journey into the worlds of perec gombrowicz nabakov stein abe bataille prassinos, loire valley madonna with red angels and impossible breasts, dali’s melting figures, bellmer’s dolls and parts, schiele’s elbows under knees pouting lover, guston’s flabby shoe soul and smoking head endlessly inspire the whirlwind of debris and infinite appeal… the mess and the chaos play games with notions of contingency and proximity….

Alex Rheault, undercurrent, from the Rapture series, watercolor and gouache on Strathmore drawing paper, 14x17, 2016

ALEX RHEAULT

26


Maine Arts Journal

ALEX RHEAULT

27


Maine Arts Journal

Alex Rheault, reach, from the Rapture series, watercolor and gouache on Strathmore drawing paper, 14x17, 2016

ALEX RHEAULT

28


Maine Arts Journal

Alex Rheault, wonder, from the Rapture series, watercolor and gouache on Strathmore drawing paper, 14x17, 2016

ALEX RHEAULT

29


Maine Arts Journal

Booth on the Line: “The Poet’s Springboard” I’ve been reading Available Light: Philip Booth and the Gift of Place by Jeanne Braham. This portrait of the poet Booth (1925-2007) is one of those marvelous hybrids: a biography and an explication de texte, each element playing off the other. While Braham details the poet’s lifetime connections to Castine and highlights his place in American literary history, she also offers readings of some of his finest poems. At one point Braham mentions Booth’s devotion to revision. He was known to push a poem through numerous drafts, which served as sketches, if you will, for the final written work. This discipline was necessary to crafting a poem that in the end would not show the nuts and bolts of its making but rather reveal a whole made of individual lines. Braham’s book sent me back to Trying to Say It: Outlooks and Insights on How Poems Happen (1996), a collection of Booth’s essays, interviews and journals. In one piece, the concise and revelatory “Prose Notes on Prosody,” Booth offered his take on the line. Calling it “the poet’s springboard,” he saw in the line “a recurrent chance to balance, spring, clown, play Icarus, to enter the same old pool in a hundred new ways.” More than “a unit,” the line to Booth was a means for containing or releasing “energies.” A line of poetry, he further stated, made him catch his breath “only to the extent that it has an end: a place in the poem to bear down from, to hold back on, to let up with, or shift speed across.” The line was crucial to the movement of the verse, each grouping of words propelling the reader forward, backward, inward, around. In the same essay, Booth described how his sense of the line in his own work evolved from a “Newtonian standard” to “the uncertain fields” of Heisenberg. In musical terms, he needed Mozart and Basie “at various times of various days,” listening to each “with separate devotion.” That said, only in the lines of his own poems, said Booth, would he know to make his own music. That music and those lines reverberate. --Carl Little

CARL LITTLE

30


Maine Arts Journal

Nightsong Beside you, lying down at dark, my waking fits your sleep. Your turning flares the slow-banked fire between our mingled feet, and there, curved close and warm against the nape of love, held there, who holds your dreaming shape, I match my breathing to your breath; and sightless, keep my hand on your heart’s breast, keep nightwatch on your sleep to prove there is no dark, nor death. —Philip Booth, from Lifelines, 1999

PHILIP BOOTH

31


Maine Arts Journal

Diane Bowie Zaitlin, Touching I, (detail), 2015, monoprints with beeswax, 12” x 18”, 2015, Gary Lowell photo

Drawn line is the basis of my artwork, regardless of the medium. I usually start a piece with writing or drawing as a way to set my thoughts and actions in motion and to activate the picture plane. Although this is often obscured, it is an important part of my process and sets the mood and intention of the piece. The simple act of placing pencil to paper has always held magic for me. A single line against the empty white can elicit a feeling of grace, rage or peace. It can evoke a figure, landscape, or treasured object. It can be powerful or serene. It can record the artist’s bold physical movement or refined and constricted contemplation. At once, the humble line can be spiritual, simple and complex.

DIANE BOWIE ZAITLIN

32


Maine Arts Journal

Diane Bowie Zaitlin, Within Without I, mixed media encaustic on paper, 14” x 9”, 2010, Gary Lowell photo

DIANE BOWIE ZAITLIN

33


Maine Arts Journal

Diane Bowie Zaitlin, Within Without II, 2010, mixed media encaustic on paper, 14” x 9”, 2010, Gary Lowell photo

Diane Bowie Zaitlin, Gestation, acrylic and graphite, 24” x 50”, 2013, Gary Lowell photo

DIANE BOWIE ZAITLIN

34


Maine Arts Journal

Diane Bowie Zaitlin, Aperture II, acrylic and graphite, 28” x 22”, 2012, Gary Lowell photo

Diane Bowie Zaitlin, Aperture III, acrylic and graphite, 28” x 22”, 2012, Gary Lowell photo

DIANE BOWIE ZAITLIN

35


Maine Arts Journal

This isn’t the first time he hasn’t shown up, and I’ve gone to so much trouble: this dress, my hair, the barefoot look I know he likes. Why, I am barely here anymore, all sideways slip and losing weight. I can hardly see my hand, tapping my distress. I have no mouth to remonstrate. Anna O’Sullivan, Chickory, monoprint, silk screen, blue film etching

The Other Woman

chic(k)-o-ry 2. The root of this plant, which is roasted and ground as an additive or substitute for coffee. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not angry. I drum my fingers whenever I have to wait too long. It’s a nervous habit. Ok, I’m nervous. I’m a line drawing. All line drawings are nervous. We feel so… incomplete. Without my yellow dress, you wouldn’t see me sitting here, blinking my hazard lights, looking out from behind my bars. Better watch out, I’m saying, look both ways before crossing me.

LINDA ALDRICH

The lights are plugged in but no one flips the switch. I know life isn’t fair, but even, the table and chair are proudly red against my pale diminishment. And those blue flowers of glory, those blooms of chickory (I remind you, the title of this work!) will only find my leg a clever way to climb the ladder of this dress, drowning out my seething SOS. Linda Aldrich

first published in Ekphrasis: Poems Speaking to Silent Works of Art, Merrill Memorial Library, 2013. 36


Maine Arts Journal

AN ESSAY OF DRAWINGS AND WORDS

37


Maine Arts Journal

AN ESSAY OF DRAWINGS AND WORDS

38


Maine Arts Journal

39


Maine Arts Journal

AN ESSAY OF DRAWINGS AND WORDS

40


Maine Arts Journal

41


Maine Arts Journal

AN ESSAY OF DRAWINGS AND WORDS

42


43


Maine Arts Journal

AN ESSAY OF DRAWINGS AND WORDS

44


45


Maine Arts Journal

drawings: Melinda Barnes Helen Goodwin Deborah Whitney words: Lydia Davis Francis Bacon Henry David Thoreau Marianne Williamson Nick Flynn This essay is presented in conjunction with Lines of Thought, a contemplative drawing show presented by UMVA on view at CTN Gallery in Portland, from January 6-26th, 2017. Lines of Thought – a survey show of the work of artists from all over Maine and beyond, presenting the multitude of mediums that constitute the nature of drawing. Organized by independent curator and visual artist Deb Whitney, former Director of Whitney Art Works in Portland. Participating artists include; Melinda Barnes Diane Bowie Zaitlin Kenny Cole Alex Rheault Avy Claire Helen Goodwin Kate Beck David Wade James Chute Grace DeGennaro Roland Salazar Noriko Sakanishi Michele Caron Tanja Kunz Deborah Whitney Peter Bennett Krisanne Baker Kimberly Callas Susan Cooney Ron Howard Skye Priestley

AN ESSAY OF DRAWINGS AND WORDS

46


Maine Arts Journal

RON HOWARD

47


Maine Arts Journal

RON HOWARD

48


Maine Arts Journal

RON HOWARD

49


Maine Arts Journal

RON HOWARD

50


Maine Arts Journal Although my focus as an artist has always been painting, retiring from teaching has given me more time for making art, for playing around with an idea before starting a painting. Drawing is play, a way to pare down the structures that I see into their essential elements using a varied vocabulary of marks, searching for movement and space, rather than descriptive detail. I draw in preparation for a painting, but also to identify my interests or to mark my presence in the environment, a kind of conversation with the landscape.

I now appreciate my drawing as work that stands alone, and does not rely on a painting to give it value. Nina Jerome, Backshore 9/28 Water-soluble graphite on yupo, 11x14, 2016

Nina Jerome Drawing from Drawing 2, Backshore, Mixed media on paper, 26x40, 2016

However, using drawings as a source for larger paintings and mixed media works on paper is a process that I have recently embraced, allowing more freedom in my work and encouraging me to continue the drawing process with paint.

NINA JEROME

51


Maine Arts Journal

Jean Noon, Wave, wire, 12.5x10.5x5.5, 2016

Jean Noon, Will’s Wave, bronze, 15x12x8, 2016

“Drawing is the act of taking a line for a walk.” Paul Klee

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." Henry David Thoreau “A little too abstract, a little too wise, It is time for us to kiss the earth again, It is time to let the leaves rain from the skies, Let the rich life run to the roots again…” Robinson Jeffers “The channeling of creative energy is an act of peace.” Roy Patterson

JEAN NOON

Jean Noon, No, WC & Ink on Paper, 9.25x8.25, 2014 52


Maine Arts Journal

Ben Lincoln, Four Marks, Graphite on paper, 18X18, 2013

Ben Lincoln, Triangular Composition #1, Graphite and charcoal on colored paper, 18X16, 2016

BEN LINCOLN

53


54


55


56


57


58


59


Maine Arts Journal

Ellen Hodgkin, I Shouldn’t Have To Tell You This, mixed media on panel, 16”x20”, 2016

ELLEN HODGKIN

60


Maine Arts Journal

Arthur Nichols, Candle In the Wind Study, ink on paper, 17x14, 2009

I use drawing as hand/eye exercise, to explore visual terrain, to examine closely, to record, to work out concepts spatially and otherwise, to pass the time, and to engage with my world.

Drawing for me is also liberation and excitement

Arthur Nichols, Sleeper, pencil on paper, 22x30, 2016

a way to jump in and then jump out, which fits my life pretty well. I love the quote from Paul Klee (one of my faves) : “A line is a dot that went for a walk....”, and “A drawing is simply a line going for a walk”. Notice the action in that phrase. I love to walk, but never with earbuds. I want to hear, smell, and see, then stop and draw.

ARTHUR NICHOLS

61


Maine Arts Journal

David Wade, SUMI, archival inkjet photograph,16x22, 2010 David Wade, Rope line Stanza, archival inkjet photograph, 15 x 20, 2014

DAVID WADE

62


Maine Arts Journal

The word "photograph" derives from the Greek, meaning "to draw with light". Although my "drawings", or prints, don't rely on a pen or pencil, they do result from visible marks made from inks and photo chemistry on a flat surface.

In making a photo, my eyes are focused on how light and shadows will fall upon and mark a particular surface, be it paper, earth or water, outlining a shape, indicating direction, and in effect, “drawing with light�. David Wade, Pennants, archival inkjet photograph, 22x26, 2010

DAVID WADE

63


Maine Arts Journal

Noriko Sakanishi, You Would Find It, 10x10, graphite and pigment ink, 2014

Noriko Sakanishi, Beginning To Dream, 10x10, graphite and pigment ink, 2014

NORIKO SAKANISHI

Noriko Sakanishi, Either Or, 9x9, graphite and pigment ink, 2011 64


Maine Arts Journal Skye Priestley, untitled figure drawing one, charcoal, 24 x 18, 2016

This fall, I began drawing from life on a weekly basis again. Life drawing has always been one of my favorite practices. I'm probably a little bit more sociable than some artists, and it's nice to get outside the studio. I also like the regularity of the work. The greatest variable in life drawing is the model, and it often surprises me how strongly the quality of the work I produce is dependent on who is doing the posing. If a model behaves erratically, or if I have troubling relating to them, then I become distracted. On the other hand, if I get along well with a model, I tend to produce drawings of unusual poetry and force.

Skye Priestley, untitled figure drawing two, charcoal, 24 x 18, 2016

SKYE PRIESTLEY

65


Maine Arts Journal

Kathleen Florance Right: Kathleen Florance, Cecropia, charcoal on Rives, 42 x 50, 2013

Below: Kathleen Florance, Butterfly #12, digital drawing on iPad, 2013

“scribbling” is done these days with the help of the digital world. The iPad has become a marvelous tool that now allows me to think not only in line, but in color and form.

Below: Kathleen Florance, Butterfly #13, digital drawing on iPad, 2013

Graphite, charcoal, litho crayons, erasers, thumbs,rags, tissues.....anything I can get my hands on! - these have been my tools over the years. I learn through my drawing. I learn from the looking, I learn from the marks, I learn from the “doing”. I usually begin a series, not with small sketches, but with large figurative drawings of a particular subject from the natural world that intrigues and captures me. It is during this figurative period that I begin playing with lines and forms that direct me to another artistic plane. Those marks, those scribbles, those lines become imbedded in my psyche and find their way out in unconscious ways. Most of my

KATHLEEN FLORANCE

66


Maine Arts Journal

From the film I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan on Lines of Thought Reported by Richard Kane

Ashley Bryan, the 93-year-old creative wonder is now the subject of two important new films by Richard Kane and Robert Shetterly that can help spark needed conversations about race and racism in our country.

Ashley Bryan was deeply affected by the carnage of World War II and by the reality of institutionalized racism where he served in an all Black battalion. It changed him for all time. In response, he dedicated his life to art -- creating beauty and joy, spreading love and peace. Ashley returned to the US after the War and was in the first class of students at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in1946. That summer he and a group of friends took a trip to Mount Desert Island and for the first time he laid eyes upon the beautiful Cranberry Islands. As director Nick Clark of The Ashley Bryan Center says in our film, that is where “Ashley began to forge an oasis for himself.” But he first had a very strong desire to find out why man chooses war, “a form,” he said “that destroys everything you’ve built up.” So he took a degree in Philosophy at Columbia University in New York. “I thought I would get answers; I was always naïve.” And when he completed that work he didn’t look for grades. He simply got on a boat and left this country. “I knew if I didn’t now give all my time to what my hand meant in art that I would never be sane,” he said. So he went to Aix en Provence, Cezanne country, and found himself in Prades, France at the now famous “Breaking the Silence” concert conducted by cellist Pablo Casals in 1950. Casals said his only weapon against the brutal Spanish dictator, Franco, was his bow. So Casals vowed never to play again until Franco was overthrown. But Casals was convinced to “break his silence” in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the death of Bach in the little French town of Prades in the Pyrenees. Ashley was there “and that's what freed me, in the sense of the rhythm of the hand, in what I do. And so the drawings I did of those musicians playing meant everything to me.”

MAINE MASTERS

67


Maine Arts Journal

What makes that drawing above, Ashley said, “is the strength of the position of the face and the force with it that’s against the vertical thrust of the instrument.” Ashley continued to tell the story: “I'd sit close, I'd listen to the rehearsals, I'd draw during the rehearsals. I began to get a sense of what drawing meant to me, through those rehearsals, where I could sit unobserved in the cloisters of Saint Michel de Cuxa … and I would draw the musicians practicing. And that spirit of drawing, the spirit of rhythm in which an artist performed, and trying to translate it into my own experience gave me a sense of how my hand could move with a brush as well.”

About the drawing above Ashley says: “You can see in the rhythm of the instrument against her chin ... and then he counters it with the way his face and his instrument slant, the counter slant. It’s not just how they were moving. It’s what the music was welling up in you.”

MAINE MASTERS

68


Maine Arts Journal

Pablo Casals conducting a rehearsal at the 1950 Breaking the Silence concert

Ashley continued: “There's something beautiful about instruments in the first place, and a person holding it, and the way to get something of the feeling of the arm even if you’re not drawing it anatomically so, but to get some of the rhythm of the arm moving … you don't see the bow, you just see the instrument because the bow is moving in such a flighted way … other people wouldn't even consider this, to do, because it's too much motion; but I've always learned that in motion there is repetition, and you don't focus on any one moment you focus on the repetition of what you want to draw. So, if I'm drawing the musician and the hand is down here moving across, the next time it's up this way and it's that way …. I used to tell my friend at Skowhegan who wanted to open up to drawing (at) … the circus or the fair, and I'd say there's always the repetition, someone running, there's going to be a position you're after that's going to be repeating itself again and again. So don't be disturbed by it's always moving. Just try to catch those moments that interest you.” I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan is the subject of a Kickstarter that was launched December 4, 2016 (and ends January 2, 2017) that will help bring Ashley’s story to a much wider audience. Please consider supporting this effort -- 5% of which will support the UMVA: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/818742863/ashley-bryan-film-outreach-and-distribution

MAINE MASTERS

69


Maine Arts Journal

INSIGHT / INCITE Narratives by art Educators Argy Nestor and Lindsay Pinchbeck In July Argy Nestor and Lindsay Pinchbeck travelled for 18 days with Go! Malawi, a Maine based non-profit Foundation working to improve education and reduce poverty in the Ntchisi District of Malawi. They provided an Arts Integrated professional development workshop for local teachers. Overview During the workshop ideas were explored in Drama, Music, Movement, Poetry, Storytelling, and Visual Arts. Teachers developed lesson plans around a Fiber Arts project. Underlying themes such as Hopes and Dreams, Traditions, Making Mistakes were woven through the work. On our final day we turned our classroom space into a gallery to display the work. It was at that moment we realized the profound impact of the arts - teachers became artists and educators became connected through the art making process. Local students and community members gathered to celebrate and recognize each teacher. The biggest joy was seeing the excitement as the teachers shared their work with the students, elders and chiefs of the community. The buzz in the gallery was alive and there were many sparks of inspiration from the visitors. We Observed *The power of the arts to teach, learn, and communicate. *Teachers digging into the thematic ideas such as Hopes and Dreams, sharing ideas and collaborating. *One teacher being recognized as a strong leader because of her classroom work around singing and moving. *Lots of laughter was shared and relationships built. Teacher Reflections “My Hopes and dreams are being a good teacher with the knowledge you have given. I am more important now, I will be more than I was.” Cecilia “Now flexible to share my views and my voice.” Olipa “This training is helpful to acquire different skills, artwork, the quilt, it will help my learners to have skills for the future. I appreciate different ways of sharing and appreciating everyone’s work.” Sekeran

INSIGHT/INCITE

70


Maine Arts Journal

For Lindsay and Argy the experience has clarified the power of the arts that leads to empathy and action. Argy Nestor is the Director of Arts Education at the Maine Arts Commission. She served as the Visual and Performing Arts Specialist at the Maine Department of Education and spent 30 fun filled years in the classroom teaching visual arts to middle school students. Argy loved collaborating with colleagues to teach in an integrated fashion. She is most proud of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (formerly the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative) and the work that all arts educators do in classrooms across the state. Argy can be reached at anestor@maineoutdoors.biz. Lindsay Pinchbeck is the director of Sweet Tree Arts and founder of Sweetland School, a Reggio-inspired arts integrated program in Hope. She has been teaching in art and alternative education settings for the past 17 years. Art, she says, can be shared by all ages and all abilities on many levels: “We create as active participants, engage as observers and share experiences together that enrich our lives and build empathy when we explore the world through the arts.� Lindsay can be reached at sweettreearts@gmail.com.

71


Maine Arts Journal

UMVA PORTLAND AREA CHAPTER REPORT The UMVA had a very successful second annual Holiday Sale on Friday, Dec. 3rd and Saturday, Dec. 4th. About a dozen members participated, and we had several hundred eager visitors stop by the gallery. The UMVA Gallery is situated in the CTN building at 516 Congress St. in Portland. CTN is currently fundraising in order to rebrand itself as the Portland Media Center, a move that will involve the renovation of the gallery space. This will include the installation of track lighting, hard floors (as opposed to the current carpet), new signage, and a coat of fresh white paint on the walls. Anyone interested in contributing can contact the Portland chapter of the UMVA, or donate directly through the CTN website at http://www.ctn5.org. Submitted by Skye Priestley There have been numerous exhibitions and events at the UMVA Gallery this past quarter. Possible upcoming shows for 2017 include: January: Lines of Thought group show curated by Deb Whitney. February: Iceland photography by Sotora Morata and installation show featuring model Sable Sanborn. May: Photography Exhibit to be curated by Dave Wade. June: Pop Art Exhibit to be curated by Greg Bullard Sept: Addison Woolley Group For further updates visit the UMVA Portland Area Chapter Facebook page.

Above: Tom Hibschman, LumenARRT! crew member at First Friday Projection in Monument Square. Dave Wade photo

Above and Right: UMVA Gallery Exhibition and photo of the exhibiting artist, UMVA member, John Ripton. Dave Wade photos

Current hours for the UMVA/CTN Gallery: Friday Closed Saturday 10AM–5PM Sunday Closed Monday 12–9PM Tuesday 10AM–5PM Wednesday 12–9PM Thursday Closed

UMVA PORTLAND CHAPTER REPORT

72


Maine Arts Journal

UMVA Lewiston/Auburn Chapter Report UMVA-Lewiston Auburn has had a wonderful fall! Our October meeting artist talk was at the home studio of Debra L. Trafton, an internationally recognized artist who has done a residency in Italy,

Above: Harvest Masquerade Ball dancers Right: Harvest Masquerade Ball costume contest winners Gary Stallsworth photos

and is just a gem! In November we enjoyed learning about the Maine Arts Commission Traditional Artist Apprenticeship program at L/A Arts. Afterwards we walked down to the Hive Artisan Co-Op. Sheri Hollenbeck talked about how their artist co-operative works, the variety of things they are doing, and events planning Then we viewed the works of visual artists and artisans. Harvest Masquerade Ball was held at the Agora Grande Event Center, formerly St. Patricks Church. We had over 100 people really step up the Masquerade Ball attire! They enjoyed black and white vintage horror movies, danced to 80's-90's music, had local craft beer and craft cocktails, a costume contest, giveaways, and a VIP section in the balcony of the tallest building in Maine. It was an incredible night and we are already planning for next year! We also had our Second Annual Festival of Art & Lights in collaboration with the cities of Lewiston and Auburn and their Parade of Lights event! We had over 25 venues all over Lewiston Auburn with the wares of local artisans, handcrafted gifts for holiday shopping, as well as a student show, local music and food venues, family fun spaces and so much more! This fell on Shop Small Saturday, so we worked hard to promote the shop local aspect of the day. We also had a twin city-wide Window Decorating contest. Dube Flowers won the trophy and bragging rights, Community Credit Union won Runner up! Our next event is For the Love of Art on February 11th from 4-7 pm. We will have venues celebrating various aspects of love. We will be taking submissions and do a call to artists soon. Each venue will have something for all the senses. Massage Therapy/Body Work, locally made chocolates and other tasty treats, touchable art and artisan works, floral arrangements to smell, and art to look at! We took the month of December off and will resume with our next meeting on Jan 4th at Wicked Illustrations Studio and Gallery with Melanie Therrian. Gary Stallsworth photos: Student Show, Festival of Arts and Light

UMVA L / A CHAPTER

73


Maine Arts Journal

ARRT!

74


Maine Arts Journal

ARRT!

75


Maine Arts Journal

ARRT!

76


Maine Arts Journal

ARRT!

77


Maine Arts Journal

LumenARRT! is a project of the Artists

Rapid Response Team! and the Union of Maine Visual Artists (UMVA). We use large scale video projections to call attention to the work of progressive non-profits in Maine. Pictured on this page (upper left) is an image of the Welcome to Maine projection performed in September and November in Monument Square, Portland. LumenARRT!’s latest projection at the Equality Community Center (above and left) for their Grand Opening during December’s First Friday can be seen at: https://vimeo.com/194854577 (for a short peek). For a longer version to see more of the animations and interviews that were featured: https://vimeo.com/194854034 For updates or to contact LumenARRT! go to: lumenARRT.org

LumenARRT!

78


Maine Arts Journal

The MAJ is a project of the Union of Maine Visual Artists.Please share it with friends online, click here to subscribe to the MAJ, click here to JOIN the UMVA and support the arts community of Maine. We rely on the support of our readers to continue publishing and advocating for Maine arts and artists. You can view past issues through our website archives at: http//umvaonline.org/index.php?page=archives If you would love to hold a printed version and have it in the physical plane, just click on the issue cover below and order it from Peecho.com . Thanks for your continued interest and support. MAINE ARTS JOURNAL UMVA QUARTERLY

MONSTERS FALL 2016

Spring 2016 Neurotica

Summer 2016 Muses

Fall 2016 Monsters!

Winter 2017 Lines of Thought

Spring 2015 In Defense of Painting

Summer 2015 A Sense of Place

Fall 2015 Working in Series

Winter 2016 Impermanence

Summer 2014 Art You Don’t Show

Fall 2014 Then and Now

Winter 2015 Interview/Innerview 79


Maine Arts Journal; UMVA Quarterly; Winter 2017  

"Lines of Thought" is the theme of the Winter issue of the MAJ. This journal is by artists for artists and is a project of the Union of Main...