Thursday, April 5, 2012

between deadlines

I'm in that delicious place I call "between deadlines" during which I get a teeny bit more sleep, and fill my well. Recently, this meant spending more time in Portland, drinking in the vibe there and being inspired by art and artists.

My illustration class enjoyed an engaging visit from Mike Gorman, who previously taught illustration at Maine College of Art. Now he does web design, and maintains a prolific freelance career.

He shared his formative years working feverishly for multiple regional papers, as well as the process from preliminary sketches to final art for two recent clients. Thanks, Mike!

He also confessed that he believes in Bigfoot. Below is one of his paintings for a show at Sanctuary Tattoo.

Somehow the idea of Bigfoot really made a mark on my, um, brain. I used him as a metaphor in
a brand new site for A Warmer World.

Thanks to Kirsten Cappy, colorful publicist and kids book advocate, the site offers e-postcards for young readers and anyone concerned about our warming world.

We met one gray day in Portland to brainstorm. Spring, anyone?

Portland was our fling over the weekend. Marty and I saw a magnificent documentary by Michael
Maglaras at the Maine Festival of the Book.

The filmmaker opened the evening by saying he fell into Lynd Ward by reading a new edition of his Six Novels in Woodcuts. As illustrators, we were already familiar with Ward's work and know at least a few illustrators who claim him as inspiration. The film proved a fascinating immersion into the historical, cultural, and personal influences that shaped his pioneering art.

From there, dinner at the East Ender and a comfy stay at the Inn at Park Spring made us islanders feel at home. We walked around the immediate neighborhood the next morning.

Portland's got such architectural character. Spotted these in the span of two blocks, my radar always up for a good face, like this knave.

A hearty lion protects this house.

A scholarly profile ornaments the old Baxter Building, current home of VIA.

Baxter was the site of my first class taught at MECA in 2003. Quite gratifying that a former student, Tom Dowling, had his sculpture play a role in Heroes at Portland Stage, which we saw, right around the corner.

The play, an adaptation by Tom Stoppard, is fantastic!

Afterwards, we wound down by walking the labyrinth near the Art Gallery at UNE.

Yes, a grand blast of culture now settling into my bones. 

I confess I've done precious little drawing. Just a few sketches for the Sketchbook Project like these.

This is my Mum, who's on my mind. Back when she was 18, getting a hug from her beloved aunt.

There, my well is filling up, just in time to start anew on another deadline!

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