Eclectic Journey

Kimberly Nicoll and Hilary Mank are Art Loft Residents for the month of June. We are so excited to have them teach and see their show, “Eclectic Journey,” on June 7th during Rockland Art Walk. The show will host diverse processes and products including a very cool photo booth and interactive displays.

 

Hilary Mank, Kim Nicoll Art Show, Art Loft Rockland Maine

 

We had the opportunity to interview them both about their collaboration for the show and their individual art concepts.

Let’s start with Kimberly!

You told us there were quite a few years between making art as a young person and your recent art activities. How and why did you start a daily artmaking practice?

After I had my son I was in constant amazement with his creative and curious mind. I wanted to give him access to as many creative opportunities as possible. His curiosity was insatiable and then I realized so is mine! I was delighted to create and discover new experiences with him every day. Wherever we went, whatever we did together, a fire was ignited inside me. I was compelled to begin artmaking daily. And to be realistic, it was a process of therapy and self-care to help me be the best mom I can be. After my son was asleep or before he awoke in the morning was a time I could feel rejuvenated by my creative journey.

Did you have a studio? Where do you paint and draw?

At first, my kitchen table was my workspace, but that became tedious because it wasn’t a permanent spot for unfinished work or supplies. A desk in the living room by our large window was the next step. This was a good spot for watercolor and gouache work. I wanted to begin creating much larger work so it was time to clear a space in the basement. So I do have studio space now. But honestly, I will always find a spot to do my art. I bring my portable watercolors and brush pen with me everywhere. I’ll paint at the cafe, the beach, and even in the car.

 

Hilary Mank, Kim Nicoll Art Show, Art Loft Rockland Maine

 

Hilary Mank, Kim Nicoll Art Show, Art Loft Rockland Maine

 

Hilary Mank, Kim Nicoll Art Show, Art Loft Rockland Maine

 

Hilary Mank, Kim Nicoll Art Show, Art Loft Rockland Maine

 

What do you try to accomplish each day?

Getting some color on paper or canvas is sometimes all I need to rejuvenate me. These days getting ready for my first gallery show has helped me be more organized. I steal a few minutes to gesso some canvases or add a layer to a piece or varnish some finished work. Framing is also on the list.

What types of materials do you use?

I love using gouache. It’s a vibrant water-based paint with a matte finish. It layers for so much dimension. It’s an illustrator’s go to medium. I’ve most recently studied and have been creating with Acrylic paints. I discovered how versatile this medium can be and I’m hooked! I’ve been playing with molding paste and gloss gel and adding texture with found objects. The process continues to excite my senses.

What inspires you?

My son really is an inspiration. He just creates as he sees the world. It’s so refreshing! The natural world around me is a constant source of inspiration. Architecture, the colors of lights bleeding on the pavement on rainy nights, a song, a phrase someone uses, there’s really no end to what fascinates me and causes a need to try to create it in my own way.

Do you have any plans for future projects?

It has been my dream to create a public art piece that can bring joy to others. Public art is accessible for all to view without any admission price. I imagine it would brighten their day as they walk the street or drive past on the way to work or on the school bus. In any city I have visited, I’ve always been fascinated to see murals. To experience art on such a magnificent scale fills me with awe and happiness!

 

Hilary Mank, Kim Nicoll Art Show, Art Loft Rockland Maine

 

Your June show will be a collaboration. How did you go about working together on this project?

Hilary and I have been encouraging each other creatively for a few years now. It’s a joy to have another busy mom to bounce ideas off of. So to do this show together takes so much pressure off my shoulders. We’ve got each other’s back. We’ve decided how to share the space and set up the Art Loft in a way that will give people a feast for their eyes.

What can we look forward to seeing from you at this show?

I’m so excited to share my creative journey with our community! I will feature some of my gouache images and prints. I’m planning a small section of my bioluminescence series in a dark “room” with black lights to experience this phenomenon. I’ll be displaying some giant experimental pieces. We have a Wear Art Thou boutique section of our wearable creations. It’s sure to be a delightful show!

How do you feel your residency at the Art Loft will help you professionally and artistically?

I so appreciate the opportunity Art Loft has given me to share my art. It has helped me to grow out of my comfort zone on so many levels. Sharing my love of art with people as an instructor in classes can be terrifying yet I absolutely love to see people come out of their shell and freely create. I believe we are all creative beings and I wish to inspire in others to search for their own creative outlet. I hope my work will stir emotion in others and they will want to take it home to experience over and over again.

 

Hilary Mank, Kim Nicoll Art Show, Art Loft Rockland Maine

 

We next spoke with Hilary Mank.

Hilary, you are a published writer and an artist, how did you get started writing and where has your work been published?

I worked in fine flower gardening for many years and had a home vegetable garden as well. After obtaining a greenhouse, I experimented with season extension and growing salad greens throughout the year. With my new found experience I wanted to share findings with other gardeners. I publish a new blog post nearly every week on the Everlongardener website and I’ve been featured in Rural magazine.

Tell us about your blog, how long have you been writing it and how has it benefited you?

Through my blog, I’m able to share gardening information, seasonal recipes and garden photos. My blog took shape in late 2015. The blog has certainly expanded my writing ability and I’m providing practical gardening information. This time has helped me with other writing projects that I hope to produce in the future.

 

Blogging Workshop - Everlongardener - The Art Loft

 

How has writing your blog informed your art?

I’ve been painting flowers as long as I can remember. To showcase what I have going on in the studio has been a joy. My art is so nature-based that I feel that they mesh well together.

What types of materials do you use?

Watercolor is my medium of choice but I’ve been pushing the boundaries over the last few years. Driftwood and wood burning has really become the core of what I do. I don’t really like to limit myself when it comes to art.

What inspires you? 

I find inspiration everywhere. I carry a small journal to jot down ideas or to make a quick sketch. I see so many things when I look at trees and plants. Finding the beauty in everything I encounter.

 

Hilary Mank, Kim Nicoll Art Show, Art Loft Rockland Maine

 

Hilary Mank, Kim Nicoll Art Show, Art Loft Rockland Maine

 

Hilary Mank, Kim Nicoll Art Show, Art Loft Rockland Maine

 

Hilary Mank, Kim Nicoll Art Show, Art Loft Rockland Maine

Caterpillar or driftwood? Can you tell which it is?

 

Do you have any plans for future projects?

So many! I have a few book ideas floating around and I always have many unfinished art projects in the works. I had a vision of making a human figure sculpture just from trash from the beach. An Etsy shop will be coming in the near future that will feature botanically based art.

Your June show will be a collaboration. How did you go about working together on this project?

Kim and I have a lot in common. We are able to bounce ideas off each other pretty easily. Once we embraced the idea that our art and life journeys are so diverse, we felt that the name, ‘ Eclectic Journey ‘ would fit perfectly. We are all on journeys in life and this show is about our collective art journey.

What can we look forward to seeing from you at this show?

We want the show to be like a journey. Through color, texture, sound and other elements that will spark the senses. I will be showing my current driftwood work as well as watercolor paintings and some assemblage.

How do you feel your residency at the Art Loft will help you professionally and artistically?

I look at it as a chance to grow and learn. To share a little piece of what I see. Making connections with others through art and writing will help me keep moving forward toward my goals. I’m looking forward to the whole experience!

 

Find Kim Nicoll on Instagram @kimberlyannenicoll

Find Hilary Mank on Instagram @everlongardener and on her website at everlongardener.com

 

Hilary Mank, Kim Nicoll Art Show, Art Loft Rockland Maine

 

Joyanna Margo – Resident Artist

Artist in Residence Joyanna Margo - The Art Loft

 

Artist in Residence Joyanna Margo will be teaching and showing her work during the month of May at the Art Loft. She begins her residency with a show entitled “Blossom by Blossom” during Rockland’s Art Walk on May 3rd, 2019.

We had a chance to interview Joyanna about her artistic style and teaching method. We welcome you to her home and studio.

 

Artist in Residence Joyanna Margo - The Art Loft

 

Joyanna, you have a very different method of approaching a painting, can you describe that for us?

When I begin a painting, I feel that there is one meant to be there on that canvas that needs to be brought to life, one that I’ve never seen before and I won’t know how it looks until I’m finished. I’m both creatrix and conduit that brings it into being. Together the painting and I put together its design. The less control I use, the more inspired my paintings are.

 

Your paintings are very colorful, can you tell us how you decide what colors you will use in a particular piece?

I spend hours observing the colors of the sea – its variety is endless. Even in a foggy grey landscape, the layers of colors are beautiful and brilliant when you spend enough time with them. That said, most of my paintings are jubilantly bright. I begin with a few colors I’m drawn to, perhaps inspired by a flower, photo, or piece of fabric that caught my eye. I then use colors that are the opposite of those, to heighten the first colors with strong contrast. Then usually I create a negative space using white which makes all the colors really pop.

 

Artist in Residence Joyanna Margo - The Art Loft

 

How did you decide on the subject for your main body of work?

Before I started painting again, I enjoyed filling my house with fresh cut flowers every week but felt bad every time I had to throw away the dying bouquets. I do love the occasional cut flowers, but I’m finally improving my track record with potted plants, and for flowers, I have paintings everywhere now – brilliant bouquets that don’t fade and die. In my mind, as far as décor goes, there’s room for flowers everywhere. They are also a flexible subject, which encourages vast freedom of creativity. In the words of one of my favorite artists in England, Imogen Skelley, in her correspondence with me, “A vase of flowers is always the right thing, don’t you agree?”

Artist in Residence Joyanna Margo - The Art Loft

 

How would you describe your teaching style?

In my lessons, I give the basic principals of my method step-by-step and encourage each participant to use those guidelines to create something completely unique to them. If they’re stuck, I try to give helpful suggestions to keep going. I want the painting they end up with to be something nobody else could have come up with. They should have a sense of ownership and accomplishment with the piece.

Do you have an artistic practice?

One of my favorite ways to nurture my creativity is by walking The Breakwater. I drink in colors, sounds and textures, take pictures, get my heart rate up, pray and listen. When I’m back in the studio I turn off the part of my brain that loves being in control and reach for the colors and patterns that just feel right. Sometimes there’s a specific song I’ve been listening to that will influence a painting, and I’ll write words from that song right on the canvas with colored sharpies to begin my mark-making. It feels pretty lucky if a few of the words show through after the painting is complete.

 

Artist in Residence Joyanna Margo - The Art Loft

 

Artist in Residence Joyanna Margo - The Art Loft

 

How do you see yourself growing artistically in the next year?

I’d like to expand my repertoire. There are so many things I want to learn, so many ideas for paintings and a wide variety of subject matter and art mediums that I would love to master. I would like to branch out to a wider variety of subjects, but keep the loose and instinctual style that I love. Architecture requires precision, which I can do, but it isn’t as enjoyable for me because I’m concentrating on making it perfect instead of letting the painting speak for itself. There are certain things that can look however they’d like – like flowers – and other things that really do need scale measurement. However, I’ve been pondering a graceful method of creating streetscapes, and plan to paint my favorite places here in the midcoast.

 

Artist in Residence Joyanna Margo - The Art Loft

 

How do you feel your Art Loft Residency will benefit you?

My Art Loft Residency has already been wonderful. Karen Olson helped me create my website, joyannamargo.com, something I’d never done before, and I’m very happy with this step in my artistic journey. I love sharing my art and receiving feedback that confirms my motivation for sharing it – to bring light and joy. Teaching will be a great opportunity for me to share some of my favorite processes. It’s always inspiring to see what others come up with. I know I will have a sense of accomplishment as well because the idea of teaching has been a bit intimidating for me. A couple of years ago, I said to myself “I could never do that.” But, here I am, and I’m going to do it.

 

Artist in Residence Joyanna Margo - The Art Loft

Winter Resident – Amy Wilton Closing Show

As some of you may know, Amy Wilton has been a resident artist during the winter months of 2018-2019, using the Art Loft space to great advantage. Last Wednesday evening, March 13th, Amy had her closing show, revealing to the world what has come of intense creativity and thought. We were completely blown away with everything she shared with us.

It was an emotional show.  She spoke of how her work reflected a therapy or way to process the difficult things of life. Everything had a story, a background of collective imagery and meaning. The show was moving and important in many ways.

Thank you, Amy, for sharing your process and your stories with us, your heart.

 

Amy Wilton - The Art Loft

 

Amy Wilton - The Art Loft

 

Amy Wilton - The Art Loft

 

Amy Wilton - The Art Loft

 

Amy Wilton - The Art Loft

 

Amy Wilton - The Art Loft

 

Amy Wilton - The Art Loft

 

Amy Wilton - The Art Loft

 

Amy Wilton - The Art Loft

 

Amy Wilton - The Art Loft