Monday, March 30, 2015

Pastels to Oils via Tie Dye

Pastels to Oils via Tie Dye
Brenda Ferguson (1959-2015) painting pastels at Spruce Harbor, Maine 
on August 24, 2010 wearing her traditional tie-die at a time in her career 
when she was transitioning from pastels to oils, sketched on March 29, 2015.
7" x 5", Winsor & Newton and Holbein watercolors, and
Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico
cold press fine grain 100% cotton watercolor paper.
Also on Brenda Ferguson's blog, HERE, A Color Full Life 
with portraits by other artists of Brenda.
NFS
The Blues
by Bruce McMillan 

I left Brenda's celebration of life,
we don't call these gathering funerals anymore do we,
as one of hundreds with heavy hearts
humming the closing tune,
this little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine;
this little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine.
Brenda had painted her last painting.
Her favorite color was yellow
but many of us were feeling the blues.
On the ride south serendipity reminded me
that the art museum at Colby College was open.
I'd yet to see it. It was an art opportunity,
an apt follow up to the farewell artist Bren celebration.
Colby College was a ghost campus, spring break.
The museum was full of art, almost empty of people,
security guards sauntering through as performance art.
I ambled through, so many great works, such inspiration,
noting a little known Georgia O'Keeffe, Pink Daisy with Iris,
one of Brenda's favorite artists.
My spirits lifted when I passed by Alex Katz's
enormous yellow petal flowers.
After so many paintings, so much fine art,
my mind strayed back to the note that was
found on Brenda's table after she was gone,
her last handwritten words, such clear strong penmanship.
"Look around you. Look up … Be kind. Be light. Be happy."
I looked up at the blues, soft cool light shining down
from today's overcast sky onto the staircase.
I hummed
this little light of mine, I'm going to make it shine;
this little light of mine, I'm going to make it shine,
as I ascended the staircase.
I stopped to buy some books.
I wanted to remember this time
and to learn more about how
Eight Begin, Artist's Memories of Starting Out,
while thinking about how another artist, Bren,
had finished her art journey.
I wanted to see and read more about Bernard Langlais,
a Maine artist with the same artistic whimsy of Brenda,
both whose animals were unlike any others.
The clerk asked how I was going to pay for the books
I replied, "A credit card of course."
She smiled and said, "This is your lucky day.
We're changing our processing system and so
the books are a gift, no charge."
Astonished, I was almost speechless,
barely muttering, "Really?"
Before I turned on the ignition in my car
I picked up Brenda's celebration program.
I read Brenda's final note, her last handwritten words.

"And have a wonderful life. All is well. All is well."
Brenda's story was a book that I didn't want to see end.
And it had. And I cried.

poem © 2015 Bruce McMillan
not for reuse without permission

 
 The Gifts from the Colby College Art Museum 
(see the poem above) 

Bernard Langlais on amazon HERE
and Eight Begin on amazon HERE
with Colby College of Art museum security clerk Sheri LaVerdiere

The Colby College Art Museum web site is HERE 

I'll never forget it. -Bruce

Friday, March 27, 2015

Model Nora Posing

Model Nora Posing 1

Model Nora Posing 2
at the Kennebunkport, Maine Friday Morning
Drawing Group on March 27, 2015,
10" x 8", Winsor & Newton and Holbein watercolors, and
Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. 500 Series
Strathmore cold press 100% cotton watercolor paper
framed, sold framed, each $170 plus $9.35 sales tax plus $15.65 S&H = $195.00

Walking That Away

Walking That Away
A Ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) on a blustery cold
sunny day at Kennebunk Beach in Kennebunk, Maine
on March 22, 2015, sketched on March 27, 2015
7" x 5", Winsor & Newton and Holbein watercolors,
#3 graphite,  on 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico
cold press fine grain 100% cotton watercolor paper
framed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $9.50 shipping = $115.00

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sunny March Day . . .

Sunny March Day with Red Amaryllis
on my deck with the amaryllis pot set out in the sun
on March 24, 2015, sketched on March 26, 2015
7" x 5", Winsor & Newton and Holbein watercolors, and
Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico
cold press fine grain 100% cotton watercolor paper

framed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $9.50 shipping = $115.00

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Liftoff

Liftoff
of an  American herring gull (Larus smithsonianus)
at Kennebunk Beach, Kennebunk, ME
on March 22, 2015, sketched on March 25, 2015
7" x 5", Winsor & Newton and Holbein watercolors, and
Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico
cold press fine grain 100% cotton watercolor paper
framed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $9.50 shipping = $115.00

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Color Full Life

In Memory of Brenda Ferguson
July 9, 1959 – March 23, 2015
My essay tribute to my friend 
A Color Full Life is on Brenda's blog HERE

  A Color Full Life
dwarf yellow narcissus flowers in Shapleigh, Maine
set out by the snow on my deck with thoughts of Brenda
on March 19, 2015, sketched on March 24, 2015
7" x 5", Winsor & Newton and Holbein watercolors, and

Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico
cold press fine grain 100% cotton watercolor paper
framed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $9.50 shipping = $115.00


A Color Full Life
Brenda (1956-2015)

She blossomed, full of such joy,
her favorite color, yellow.
Cad yellow she would deploy
in paintings that said, "Hello,

I'm so full of life's delight
and now you are too, pure bliss."
She saw color in life's light.
She left way too soon; she's missed.


poem © 2015 Bruce McMillan
not for reuse without permission


Monday, March 23, 2015

Cape Porpoise Harbor, ME . . .



Cape Porpoise Harbor, ME,
Dewey, Dewey, Do

After I'd remembered a painting of a floating lobster shack
at Cape Porpoise, seeing it in David's Dewey's book on page 90,
I took a reference photo when I passed by familiar Cape Porpoise again.
I've taken David's workshop and will take it again. I used only the four
colors he'd used in his watercolor sketch over twenty years ago.
My reference photo was taken on March 22, 2015, sketched on

March 23, 2015, 7" x 5", using only cadmium red, French
ultramarine blue, cerulean blue, and yellow ochre,
Winsor & Newton and Uniball waterproof fade
proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold
press fine grain 100% cotton watercolor paper
framed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $9.50 shipping = $115.00

The Watercolor Book, Material and Techniques for Today's Artist
David, Dewey, Watson-Guptill, New York, 1995,
page 90, The Color of Gray
David Dewey's Web Site HERE
His book for purchase on amazon HERE
His book for purchase on Abe Books HERE

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Two Blooms One Bud

Two Blooms One Bud
a red amaryllis set out on my deck amidst snow
on March 20, 2015, sketched on March 21, 2015
7" x 5", Winsor & Newton and Holbein watercolors, and
Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico
cold press fine grain 100% cotton watercolor paper
framed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $9.50 shipping = $115.00

Friday, March 20, 2015

Aron Looking North . . .

Aron Looking North
to the Solar Eclipse
from a photo of Aron Trasti Björnsson, son of Björn, on their deck
in Reykjavik, Iceland looking north towards the soar eclipse,
on the morning of  March 20, 2015, sketched on March 21, 2015
7" x 5", Winsor & Newton and Holbein watercolors, #3 graphite,
and Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico
cold press fine grain 100% cotton watercolor paper
NFS