Monday, June 13, 2011

Greening Up

It really is greening up in Kingfield where I was this past weekend finishing up "the planting of the garden."  Because we haven't had much sun up there, there isn't a whole lot of color except the hydrangeas and azaleas. They are spectacular and an oasis of color in an otherwise very Kermit-like landscape.

We saw a fox loping down through the fields. He or she was big and brown and looking good and healthy. I found tracks following the river further than I cared to go. I mentioned the sighting to our friend Will who said he had a couple of kits running around his house at sundown every night. I had a hankering to see some myself and went searching around for a video on the internet. I found a great site called Maine Nature Diary. This video has some cute kits - I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Greening Up • 8"x 8" watercolor framed to 12"x 12" • $200

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Community Gardens

My neighbor scored a plot in one of the community gardens here in Portland this spring. She was doing some speed-planting in hopes of beating an in-coming storm so I went over to check it out.

Her partner configured their raised garden using the most effective layout for the highest yield of vegetables per square inch. While she planted I cruised the area and saw a patchwork of great ideas and designs using all kinds of stuff - sticks, stones, wire, string, rags. Some of the gardens were art deco-ish, others whimsical, some Maine-ish and still others your basic primal jungle.

Not much was happening yet -mostly just greening up. I did notice however, the flea beetle population exploding and leaving anything leafy green looking like fish net. They've probably had their little beetle eyes on this place all spring, and devouring the produce for generations. My neighbor has been spraying the daylights out of her new growth with an organic deterent. Seems to be working, she said.

Dogs aren't allowed in the garden, so it's got to be cat city at night. Who knows what kind of shenanigans go on during the wee hours, but I bet it's pretty interesting. You gotta love city gardening.

Community Gardens• 8" x 8" watercolor framed to 12" x 12" • $200

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A House on the Ocean

I've been practicing watercolor lately - specifically washes. Washes are hard to do and I generally don't do them. I qualify my ineptitude by allowing that washes "aren't my style." In the meantime I continue to practice in the same spirit I did when I was learning how to drive my parent's car with a standard shift while all of my friend's practiced on automatics - it was good to know just in case I needed to and did, bail my friends out of seriously bizarre situations. But these are stories for another blog.

I figured painting a house on the ocean was a good subject for my wash practice as it represents something equally elusive in my life. And while a house on the ocean is something I aspire to, there is a powerful and innate fear of owning one.

My fear is that I would sit on my veranda and stare out over the water all day, every day in complete ecstasy.  I would forget to eat, sleep, and work and become petrified in place. Hundreds of years later archeologists would ponder whether it was a sudden and unexpected Pompeii-like volcanic eruption, a dramatic planetary cooling event, or the impact of an asteroid that caught her off guard. They might even suppose she was banished to this outpost for having adopted the science of quantum physics in the face of current religious belief.

And this folks is the reason why both watercolor washes and a house on the ocean elude me. Get back to work claudia, focus claudia!

A House on the Ocean • 8" x 8" watercolor framed to 12" x 12" • $200