A Sense of Place/El Sentido del Lugar’s at the U.M.F. Emery Center opens Friday March 4. The reception is from 5-7. Artist’s talks at 6:00 pm.
It was Drew Barton, PhD from U.M.F. who helped me understand biodiversity and encouraged me to read his great book, The Changing Nature of the Maine Woods. I wanted to find colorful inspiring birds that flew from Ecuador to Maine. He suggested NeoTropical Migrants. Last May I decided to explore the warblers that fly from Ecuador to Maine each year. Our international exchange was with the Estampería Quiteña in Quito. I started out on my first birding expedition with Western Maine Audubon. I learned to see birds through binoculars and even look through a powerful Fieldscope. I was amazed at what I was seeing. Nature up close looks very different.
I arrived at the Whistlestop Trail in West Farmington on a Saturday morning at 7:00 am. I had no idea what a novice I was until everyone was seeing birds but me. Luckily for me Kate Weatherbee took me under her wing and helped me learn to focus on the birds. She had an app that called in the birds. Since they had just landed in Maine all the way from South America, they were eager to find their own. After two or three birding sessions I got to see the Yellow Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, and the American Redstart. This was three out of the four birds that Herb Wilson, PhD from Colby told me flew from Ecuador to Maine.
At the same time I was running to the Circling the Square Fine Art Press. There, I was translating my research into my art. Art is an unpredictable process for me. Usually I start with color and some stencils cut with an Exacto blade out of paper and foam.
One aspect of this project I found very difficult was that we were required to work in editions of 5 to 7 prints. What that meant was we had to reproduce each layer of the image many times. This prompted me to incorporate a different organizational element into my work. I had to use a fixed matrix in order to reproduce the image.
Here are some images from my process:
This is just my process. The 32 artists involved in this exhibition have works that all have stories to tell about their amazing processes and research on Biodiversity and A Sense of Place between two presses separated by 3800 miles.
Here are some installation shots at the Emery Community Arts Center in Farmington. This is a quilt representing both fine art presses. The left side has the Estampería Quiteña’s artist’s work and the right side represents Circling the Square. (My piece is on the lower right corner).
Hope you can make it to our exhibition on Friday evening March 4th and catch our artist talks at 6pm. By the way the featured image on this post is me after one of my birding expeditions last May. It was great and I never would have done it had I not taken on this project!