Sunday, October 30, 2011

Artmaking in Maine

I’m just back from a week of artmaking near Rockport, Maine. My art group, 2nd Tuesday, rented a house situated on Penobscot Bay for the month of October and we all went when we were able. The rent was very reasonable, and the house came with everything – linens, kitchen equipment, and heat. But no TV or internet connection. Perfect. Alex Bottinelli, who had a sabbatical from her work, spent the entire month, and some others were able to spend up to 19 days in one or more trips. I had a quick trip early in the month with my husband that was more of a vacation, and then went back from October 23-28 to actually do some work.

People set up studio space in various parts of the house, but mostly in the big, heated garage, that had windows and was a really great studio space. The house is associated with a place that rents small summer cabins right on the water. It used to be a destination, with a dance hall and dining hall in the early 1900's, and it still has old stonework and a lingering sense of history.

During my first visit in the early part of the month, I discovered the dump, filled with wonderful things that only Janet could love, including old rusted sheetmetal firepits, a pile of lath from latticework, and some dead colored lightbulbs that were strangely appealing. It came in a rush to me that I would split the lath to make arms and legs for small people, some black and some white, with random letters in the opposite color. I made a test piece in the studio when I was back in Vermont, and hit the ground running when I got to Maine.

Unfortunately, the thing with the basins just didn’t work. Not enough figures to really fill it up? I don't know, but they just looked like a pile of messy sticks. I wound up taking the tubs (and the lightbulbs) back to the dump.

So I tried some other things with them – combining them with old rusty slats from a rusted venetian blind, and...
then I just started to play. I took them down to the water and sat them on the rocks.

But BEST of all, and the piece de resistance, was this Homage to Magdalena Abakanowicz!

I also did a lot of work with letterforms, did a prototype wall piece, and painted many disks that I will be integrating into a large wall installation. I'll write about that in another post.

1 comment:

Maggie Neale said...

Janet, happy to see your post on Maine and love the people sitting on the! Yes, that garage was great; sorry not be there working with you. More images on my site.