Immersion

by Karen Olson

Creative process – with it, we make sense of our life experience, emotions, relationships. It is particularly helpful when traveling abroad. Culturally, after a long stay, we absorb another way of life and make it our own.

Amy Parrish, an accomplished artist and photographer, comes to Maine from an 8-month long stay in India. She is one of our instructors currently living as the artist in residence at 26 Split Rock Cove. I couldn’t wait to visit her studio and see what she’s working on. I could see right away that symbolism is a strong takeaway from her travels. I was fascinated and immediately resonated with the colors and textures on the walls and tables left there as inspiration, works in progress.

 

Amy Parrish- The Art Loft

 

Amy Parrish- The Art Loft

 

Amy Parrish- The Art Loft

 

AmyParrish_2_Stinging Showing

 

 

Her mentors, Brenton Hamilton and Joyce Tenneson encouraged Amy to create works of art apart from photography and stated that working in other media informs an artist’s work as a whole.

She tells her story …

“I recently returned to the US after spending nearly a year in Kolkata/Calcutta, India where I worked on a program which taught photography to young women affected by the commercialized sex trade. In between managing and teaching I traveled around the city and West Bengal, collecting images and experiences for my own projects.

While overseas my marriage ended and I found myself uprooted from the life I had known. It was a serendipitous return to the Midcoast region; staying at Sandy Weisman’s inspiring artist retreat over these next several months. This place nurtures creativity with quiet, privacy and a full studio connected to the living space.

I plan to hunker down over the coming months and complete a project based on all of the adventures and words and photographs I accumulated during my time in India. I’m not entirely sure what the final product will look

While overseas my marriage ended and I found myself uprooted from the life I had known. It was a serendipitous return to the Midcoast region; staying at Sandy Weisman’s inspiring artist retreat over these next several months. This place nurtures creativity with quiet, privacy and a full studio connected to the living space. 

I plan to hunker down over the coming months and complete a project based on all of the adventures and words and photographs I accumulated during my time in India. I’m not entirely sure what the final product will look like. At first, I thought a photo book (Stray Birds), then a memoir (One Star in Kolkata), then a more delicate pairing of words and images (Incarnations and Incantations). But no singular thing seems capable of conveying all I have to express. 

I took a drawing class at the ArtLoft, am editing an epic erasure poem inspired by Rabindranath Tagore, and I’m also working with textiles, powders & sculptural elements.

 Expression is making an appearance in many forms and I’ll keep letting it out until the end result becomes clear. 

But some days I wake up and don’t feel creative at all. I keep myself busy with the mundane until the muse strikes- updating websites, revisiting old projects, submitting to exhibitions, and generally trying to figure out what to do after this residency phase completes.

I’m thankful for being surrounded by friends and mentors who look at my work-in-progress, offering suggestions, critique, and encouragement. One piece of advice given when I was feeling less-than-inspired, was to go into my studio every day and do something, anything. The next day, not at all in the mood to be creative, I organized my space as best as I could (temporary living means lots of boxes and miscellaneous piles). 

Wouldn’t you know, rearranging the space transformed its energy into something which fueled me whenever I stepped through the door? I hung my own work up on the walls, tacked up experiments and quandaries to mull on, and dedicated a table to showcasing a dense collection of “inspiration objects.” It’s a great place to start for anyone who feels the need to shake things up, and just in time for the New Year.”

 

Amy Parrish - The Art Loft

 

Amy Parrish - The Art Loft

 

Amy Parrish - The Art Loft

 

Amy Parrish - The Art Loft

 

Amy Parrish - The Art Loft

 

As I was packing up my camera, we talked a little about the importance of connection, having people you can count on to advise you. It is an essential part of an artist’s life, we often spend so much time alone. Amy has enjoyed meeting many individuals at The Art Loft, both at the class she attended and at the workshop she taught. She will be teaching another workshop on January 8th.

Photoshop Transfers – Coasters Workshop – Amy Parrish

 

 

Open Studio

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at watercolor, acrylics, or collage? Are you thinking of taking a class but aren’t sure what you would like to do?

We have the perfect thing – Open Studio at the Art Loft!

The Art Loft has all kinds of materials for you or your young ones to try. Come in for a play day or work on your own project, either way, we will all have fun creating together!

Beginning January 9th, the Art Loft will be open on Monday afternoons from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Karen Olson will be on hand to help you get started with your project or offer a dedicated space for you to work in. Karen has experience in a variety of mediums and will be glad to offer help. There are all kinds of materials available for kids projects as well.

Open studio will run back to back with the class Jewelry Making – Intro to Metalwork. If you are taking the metalwork class you are welcome to stay and work on your project during open studio time.

 

The Art Loft

 

The Art Loft

 

The Art Loft

 

The cost of the 2 hours class is $15. Please register is advance online for each day. 

January special!

One adult together with one or two children for just $15!!

Sure cure for cabin fever!!

Register here!

Feel free to contact Karen with any questions – karen.artloftrockland@gmail.com or 207-542-5845

 

Partying at the Art Loft

Jewelry Making Art Party at the Art Loft

Our first Art Party was a huge success! We had a wonderful turnout and everyone had a relaxing afternoon making jewelry and making friends.

Karen Olson brought her bead stash to share and each person went home with a few pairs of earring to wear or give as gifts. Karen promised she would do another free class in the early spring! We can’t wait!!

But if you can’t wait until spring, she will be teaching a class in metalwork in January. Click here to sign up.

There will be a free art party at the Art Loft every month, each with a different instructor and theme. In January, it will be Melissa Kelly with ‘Reviving Creativity.’ Check it out here.

See you there!

 

Art Party - The Art Loft

 

Art Party - The Art Loft

 

Art Party - The Art Loft

 

Art Party - The Art Loft

 

Art Party - The Art Loft

 

Art Party - The Art Loft

 

If you are interested in hosting your own art party, you can rent the Art Loft  space by the hour. Artists are also available to lead a group in your chosen medium if you like.