Tuesday, May 13, 2008

One Morning in Maine

These are the days I wish I could bottle. May is a favorite month for many reasons: On the island, it is still nippy. You'll need a fleece vest in the morning. It is the time before mosquitos and swarms of SUVs from other places. We have what is called a winter waterview, in that from the pantry door, I can see a slice of the ocean and guess the tides. I bring plenty of pockets and an open mind on the daily ventures to the shore that stretches from Trefethen Landing to City Point. These days my only witness (other than the dog and sometimes my daughter) is the hired mower working to get the waterfront properties ready for Memorial Day.

My walks have yielded plenty of ideas and manifested visions. Pastels, mosaics, conversations. Always a renewed sense of balance. And a few children's stories! The illustration below is from a book dummy in which I combined drawing, pastel and collage. I somehow started collecting china and sea glass shards, it's an automatic urge to scan for patterns. My collage aesthetic is triggered to scavenge and make do with the rewards.

Here is a typical haul from a week of beachcombing.

In Sea Glass Chronicles, C.S.Lambert calls it "the everyday lottery of tides, currents, and chance." That's a splendid way to begin the day, finding the rare blue china shard or a porcelain doll part. Mostly, the beach is a carpet of mussel shells and seaweed, with sharp bits of broken beer bottles, an occasional glove or stray snack wrapper.

My first naive effort at making a mosaic has held up pretty well.

Since then, I have made countless mosaics, always around a mirror, and sometimes in a fish shape. I should probably learn how to do it, but meanwhile, I get lost in the process of arranging, smearing grout, smoothing around the ragged edges of the accidental treasures offered up amidst the flotsam and jetsam.

This process of finding and assembling finds its way into my artwork. I don't really like to know where my sketch is going to wind up. The cutting up and rearranging of pieces is a very focused act, but a delicious diversion from the final piece. I am such a lucky girl!

No comments: