Reflecting on summer work, studio residencies, ‘from the field’ & ‘giving tuesday’

Resident Artist at Maine Farmland Trust’s artist residency at the Joseph Fiore Art Center. Photo by Kristin Dillon | Blue Horse Photo

Jeweler and Painter

If you received my recent email you may have already linked to the Maine Farmland Trust website page, with the snippet I wrote about my month long residence. There is so much to share! They even used my little watercolor sketch as the header of the past residents page, I am so honored. I could wax poetic about this experience for hours but here is a snippet.

Jefferson Maine is a formative place for me. I spent my childhood summers going to our log cabin ‘the camp,‘ built by my father, brothers and uncles, shortly before his life was eclipsed by cancer while I was very young.


It sits just a few miles away from where this artist’s center now exists, which would make my father so thrilled had he been alive to see this materialize. This camp I now share with siblings, is on the banks of a nearby body of water much smaller than this setting on Damariscotta Lake. The landscape is a part of my cellular memory, the plants almost a part of my DNA. This experience was a priceless opportunity to re-connect with parts of my integral artist being, for I began my adult life as a painter. This time reassured me, that my instincts are correct and I now have a path to pursue a project that will hopefully come to fruition in 2020.

Haystack and Legacies

Not only this one residency but I was fortunate to have  kicked off summer with a freezing two week residency at another precious place, Haystack.  I was accompanied by many amazing artists that I now feel are friends and colleagues.  I want to simply state how important artists residency’s are to an artist’s practice and development.

(NOTE: read more about Haystack and how it connects to my graduate school at Cranbrook and Black Mountain School, where Joseph Fiore studied and taught – click on the link above, which links to much press about the current exhibition about Haystacks formative years).

Giving Tuesday and Not for Profit Arts Organizations

So, as the paradigm  in the US does not currently support not for profit arts organizations such as these two, nor is it supportive of artists in general so please consider how you can help.

Thankfully places like Haystack School of Craft and Maine Farmland Trust continue to raise funds to support artists such as myself in our passions and our need for time and place to work. For this I am grateful… but I am also asking, as we are upon ‘Giving Tuesday’ to consider donating to as many arts organizations as you can.

I will just end with some images that Kristin Dillon of Blue Horse Photo took of me in my studio the open studio day at the Joseph Fiore Art Center.

Utricularia vulgares in guoache on 22″ x30″ BFK rives black paper. Plant was released back into the lake from my kayak.
I did not draw or paint directly from this microscope borrowed from Maine Mychological Association, but it would help me look at plant structures so I could adapt my brushstroke to reference the gesture of growth habit. Sometimes counting parts for accuracy in morphology.
It was fun to see what details Kristin picked up with her lens. Wonderful person and wonderful photography.

A watercolor sketch of the black walnut tree outside of my studio I became quite enamored with.
22″ x 30″ moss gouache painting on paper by j.e. paterak- haircap moss on rock from stonewall at Rolling Acres Farm