Life as I know It

My photo
San Luis Obispo, California, and South Bristol, Maine, United States
Author ~ Illustrator ~ Lecturer

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Art for Heart's Sake

My friend Ethel Pochocki, who is an incredibly gifted poet, novelist, and children's author, just spoke with me about the creativity, satisfaction, and inspiration she gets from picking a flower and watching it unfold or canning her famous plum jam or pickling cucumbers (as she was doing when I called). She creates art not only when she writes, but also by the simple pleasures and beauty she can infuse into her daily life. Ethel believes in art for her heart's sake.

I want to introduce you to some of my favorite Maine artists, women who have filled my home with a playful vitality and a rainbow of brilliant colors. Their spirits, though intangible, are evident in everything they create.

Sara Hotchkiss-weaver extraordinaire. I longed for this runner rug for months. When my dear friend Lynn Karlin (award winning photographer-see her new book Gardens Maine Style Act II ) arrived at my cottage for birthday tea, she presented me with a long package. When I opened the gift, I found MY rug, the one I had yearned for. I couldn't believe my eyes. Now it warms my studio with its happy design, great craftsmanship and artistry, brilliant colors, and Lynn's friendship. Take a look at Sara's web-site! You will be amazed by the range and quality of her beautiful textiles.

Suzanne Norton's studio-gallery is chock-a-block with finished works and partially completed commissions. I love visiting her to see what new brew of ideas are stirring about in her mind. I've seen her work in many homes, from tables and chairs to chests, beds, and bread boxes, and also massive murals from elegant to playful.

Suzanne has done some great pieces for our cottage, and they all reflect our interests and style. My favorites are these two tiny, children's chests of drawers, which belonged to my beloved neighbors Jane Wagoner and Barbara Albret. Both chests are from their childhoods in the early 1900s. Before I sent them to be painted by Suzanne, my friends signed inside the drawers and included their dates of birth. Suzanne's web site is Her studio is at 72 Courtyard above Weatherbird (behind Main St.,Damariscotta)

Across the hall from Suzanne's studio is the atelier of Dana Moses. Dana's gallery brims with paintings and whimsical works painted on tin. Dana was living on a Caribbean Island when Hurrican Hugo hit and lifted tin roofs off houses and hurled them across the landscape. Tin was everywhere and, like the proverbial Phoenix rising from the ashes, Dana rose from what looked like a rubble heap. She began to salvage tin and cut it into magical shapes, which she painted with her signature joyful colors.

When I first walked into Dana's gallery, I knew that I wanted one of her pieces near the front door of our cottage to welcome our guests. Our cottage is called "Fox Drink Ledges" for the ocean front ledges that hold pools of rain water. Late at night and early in the morning, the shy red fox laps at the fresh water and nips blueberries from our bushes. I told Dana that I wanted a sign for our home that would convey our love of nature (and especially foxes). You can see that she did it beautifully incorporating the amber-eyed fox and blueberries into a vivid and fresh design, the hallmark of her remarkable creativity.

Dana is above Weatherbird at 72 Courtyard, behind Main St. in downtown Damariscotta, Maine. View her work on line at

I am always inspired when I see new creations or share new ideas. I hope that you will find inspiration in all the beauty.

Keep on creating, dear readers, and let your children have their own area in which to create their art.

Blessings to all,


p.s. Join me next week for our small, vintage kitchen remodel project in Maine.


Barb Davis said...

Oh, what wonderful treasures and beautiful inspirations!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love those rugs!

Tammy Heller said...

I love your new rug and I have always admired your Fox Drinks Ledges welcome sign. Thanks for featuring artisans in your area. I'm looking forward to pictures of your vintage kitchen remodel project as I have always been a fan of magazines that feature your cottages!

Tammy Heller said...

I just love your new rug! Thanks for featuring artisans in your area! I also admire your Fox Drinks Ledges welcome sign. I'm looking forward to your vintage kitchen remodel project as I have always been a fan of magazines that feature your cottage!