Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ashley Bryan artist

We took the ferry to Islesford from Great Cranberry and in no time bumped into Ashley Bryan.
Ashley Bryan is a phenomenon. He has more energy, aliveness, and vitality than, I believe, anyone else I have met. He exudes a love of life and embodies all the best that an art life can be and have - total freedom of mind and creative energy, with space to create and a world that accepts what he has to give.
He says "everything is animated," and it IS, through his awareness and being. Of course, it "is" all the time, but do we see it, feel it, hear it, live it?
Here are a few photos. Look him up!

When you look up Ashley Bryan you see that he is a well known children's book author and editor. Definitely true. He has published many books. What you cannot see and find out from wikipedia is that his home is filled with art books, artistic and craft tradition from every culture, dolls, sculpture, art in process everywhere including a stack of plein air paintings he does daily in his garden and elsewhere on the island, detailed puppets in process, stained glass windows in process, more visual stimulation than is possible. A serious mature accomplished artist who has retained the spirit of the inquisitive child.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Artistic Heritage

I made a pilgrimage to the Maine coast to visit the places where David Lund, my painting teacher extraordinaire from 1967, and Marvin Bileck, my mentor from Queens College in 1968, spent summers for over 40 years. David still goes there; Marvin died several years ago. Marvin's partner Emily Nelligan still goes there to draw, and is the local heroine.
We flew to Portland and drove up to Stonington on Deer Isle. The light is so brilliant and the air so clear. Stimulating. You want to breathe in all you can store up. Great lobster too. Photos....

The next morning we went by David Lund's house in Stonington and I saw the view which inspired him so long ago. Still there, the water, the rocks, the craggy look, the trees.

Onward to our longer stay on Great Cranberry Island. The ferry rides were my favorite part - the mountains of Mount Desert Island, the sky, the fog that surrounds everything, the water, the waves, the sunlight, the pointy trees that must be balsam firs. Ahhh. Maybe we'll return next summer and I will have a residency at LaHotan and Carl will rent the same lovely house with the out of tune piano and porch swing and feeling of warmth everywhere.

Home in Takoma Park now, trying to adjust, having missed the earthquake here by one day, and avoided the electrical outage. We review the photos in slide show format, trying to get more of that air, that light, that space.

Wait, there is more to this post. All those painters - Marin, Hartley, Lund ..... even Hopper and tons more you've seen - they all soaked up and worked from that Maine landscape. No wonder I needed to go there, and no wonder I loved it too.