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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

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abstracts and Realism at the Art Loft

When it comes to art, which do you love? Abstracts or realism?

Opinion seems to be split right down the middle, so that’s what we’ve done. Split the Art Loft right down the middle with a two person show featuring Chuck Paine and Paula Apro.

Chuck Paine is both a yacht  builder and accomplished artist, proficient in oil and watercolor. You can see a love of both professions in his artwork. A passion for all that is Maine, especially the sea, is clearly evident. Students at the Art Loft benefit greatly from the traditional art instruction he offers. It is such a pleasure to have Chuck as part of our instructor team. We are so pleased to be offering his work at the Festival of Lights Art Walk opening on November 25th, from 2-8, Black Friday. Small pen and ink drawings, as well as large oil paintings, will be available to purchase.

Chuck will be on hand to explain his process. Please feel free to stop by and talk shop with him.

Visit Chuck’s website here.

 

1000-miles-to-land-chuck-paine

 

marshall-point-lighthouse-chuck-paine

 

spring-thaw-chuck-paine

 

winter-sunset-monhegan-chuck-paine

 

 

Paula Apro is an artist and photographer as well as a  web designer. She is a co-founder of the Art Loft. Paula’s photography workshops are well known in Maine and have a loyal following. She has a passion for abstracts and has developed a process by which she manipulates her camera settings and creates motion in her work. The result is an amazing image beautifully printed and perfect for any home. You simply must experience her photography in person, truly inspiring!

Stop by and say hi to Paula Friday, she will be happy to share her story with you!

Visit Paula’s website here.

 

paula-apro-stillness3-copy

 

paula-apro-stillness

 

paula-apro-stillness4

 

paula-apro-abstracts4

 

paula-apro-abstracts3

 

Several other small works from various artists will be shown at the Art Loft from 2-8, November 25th.

See you there!!

 

 

 

 

 

Encaustic art with Otty Merrill

Encaustic art with Otty Merrill

 

On Saturday, November 5th, Otty Merrill demonstrated her encaustic art process to a group at The Art Loft. We thoroughly enjoyed watching her create with this amazing medium! Encaustic art is a process by which elements are embedded in wax. One can also ‘paint’ elements with colored wax onto a board. The possibilities are endless with this ancient artistic medium.

 

Encaustic art with Otty Merrill

 

Encaustic art with Otty Merrill

 

Encaustic art with Otty Merrill

 

We are so honored to have Otty as an instructor at The Art Loft. She is a well-known artist of notable talent. Her work has been shown at various galleries and venues from Portland, Maine to Seattle Washington, including Maine College of Art in Portland, The Center For Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport, Mars Hall Gallery in Port Clyde, Maine, and most recently in New York City at the National Association of Women Artist’s gallery on Fifth Avenue.

Her next workshop will be from 10:00am – 3:00pm, December 3, 2016. Below are scenes from Otty’s workshop this past spring.

 

Otty Merrill - encaustic workshop

 

Otty Merrill - encaustic workshop

 

Otty Merrill - encaustic workshop

 

Thank you Otty for sharing your art with us!

Click here to register for Otty’s Intermediate/ Advanced Encaustic workshop.

Visit her website here.

 

hands-of-time-by-otty-merrill

 

Otty Merrill
My statement as an artist is this:

“You might as well ask a fish to make a statement about “water”…it’s that much a part of who I am and what I do and how I see the world. I’m thrilled and thankful for having been born with an artist’s eye and heart. Temperament?…not so sure.

But this is for sure: life keeps getting better and so does my art, I notice, so long as I don’t take it too seriously or try to be something I am not.

What do YOU see in my artwork? If it is joy, or mystery, a pull or a connection, I have succeeded.”

~ Otty Merrill

 

Kim Nicoll teaches popular kids art class

Giggles and Doodles Kids Art Class - The Art Loft

 

We don’t know how she does it, but each week Kim comes up with an amazing project for her 3-6-year-old class, Giggles and Doodles Kids Art Class. Whether painting with cars and fly swatters, making paper mache fall trees, spray painting with acrylics in spray bottles, or becoming human spirographs, Kim never ceases to amaze us with her ability to design creative classes for the kids. She even provides her own handmade smocks for the children to wear!

 

Giggles and Doodles Kids Art Class

 

Giggles and Doodles Kids Art Class

 

Giggles and Doodles Kids Art Class

 

Giggles and Doodles Kids Art Class

 

Giggles and Doodles Kids Art Class

 

Giggles and Doodles Kids Art Class

 

The class will be held on Wednesdays from 1-2:30pm, beginning November 16, 2016. Parents are encouraged to sign up their children for a two to four weeks series class and are welcome to participate.

Don’t you just wish you could be a kid again?!

Events

Chinese Painting- Bamboo

In this class, we will study how to paint bamboo plants with ink and color, using traditional Chinese brushes, on rice paper. The subjects will be individual bamboo plants, young and old, groups of bamboo, and bamboo in combination with rocks and other plants in the traditional Chinese style. No prior experience is necessary, and artists of all skill levels are invited to participate.

 


About your instructor: Nanfei Wang

Artist Bio:

Nanfei Wang - The Art Loft

Born in the Tonghua City, Jilin Province, People’s Republic of China, Nanfei Wang is a trained artist with a fine arts degree from Northeast Normal University, Changchun, Jilin, and an MFA in painting, drawing, and sculpture from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. She has shown is numerous exhibitions and has received many awards for her work in a variety of mediums.

Nanfei has been painting since she was 5 years old when a family friend bought her an item she had pointed to in a store. What she thought was a red wrapping of candy turned out to be watercolor paint. The friend bought the red color and all other basic colors, along with a paintbrush.

Please visit her website at http://www.wangnanfei.com

Artist statement:

My artwork is guided by my interest in everyday human relationships and human reactions. It’s about myself, my center. It’s about the environment I find around me, and who I am. I think constantly about the events in my life, places I have been to and the people I have known. Images of beautiful and ugly things play over and over again in my mind just like a movie or pages from a diary.

My works are grounded in a perspective of my individual being as it is affected by my relationships to the environments I find myself in and the people I find myself among. This includes my being a female Chinese artist in China and the United States of America.

My works are based on sociological and anthropological approaches as revealed in my work. Basic myths and stories are found everywhere in all cultures, and I have found them in the Chinese and U.S. cultures I have experienced. But I also believe people have individual identities, essential cores of personality, and I try to reveal these in my paintings. I often capture aspects of relationships of which my subjects may not be aware. In my work, I combine my analyses of their interactions with a broad acceptance of the subjects’ depths of human emotions. I paint others as distinct individuals, in poses that are natural to them. This involves their social standing, what has happened in their lives, and aspects of their character.