Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Moved to Maine!

After having lived in Brookline 34 years (and the Boston-area since 1968, minus 2 years in New York City), I suddenly moved to Maine with my new puppy and my husband in January. It all came about because I fell down stairs and broke my arm while on our usual August vacation in Maine. Since kayaking was out, we amused ourselves by touring historic houses and then by house-hunting, a dangerous pastime! We found the perfect spot in October – ironically on the internet, made an offer, put our condo on the market, and by December we had closed (in the middle of a blizzard). We moved January 20. Only then did we realize we needed to do a lot of renovation, which has pretty much pre-occupied me until recently. (See my Pinterest board: http://www.pinterest.com/marthajanebrad/moving-to-maine/ )

My downstairs display room is the crowning jewel. It is called Martha’s Underground because I don’t want to use the word “basement,” which is where it really is. I am delighted with the space. What a change from the way it looked when we started! http://www.pinterest.com/marthajanebrad/marthas-underground/ Upstairs I have a clean room for my computer equipment and a “dirty” room for varnishing, gluing, and the like.

I have now uploaded my entire portfolio to Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/marthajanebrad/ And I am delighted to say that I now have a pin button on my splash screen at http://www.marthavista.com/ as well as a LinkedIn button.

Moving to Maine has proved to be one of the best things I ever did. I have ancestors from nearby Damariscotta and Round Pond, I have spent part of every summer here since I was 2, I have always felt my heart was here and that I was living in exile, and the Maine landscape has been a huge part of my artwork. Finally I am home! (What took me so long?) Oddly, this isolated, rural little spot is proving to be far friendlier and more supportive than the Boston-area. My neighbors have quickly become good friends. “Girls Night Out (GNO),” a Tuesday gathering at a local bar, has been a great way to meet and network with other women. My work has been well-received: I sold a couple of digital collages at the MaineArtShow at St. Andrew’s Parish House in Newcastle, and when I hosted GNO here (we meet in each other’s houses during the tourist season), I sold 2 more prints. One of these prints, “Pemaquid Harbor,”

”Pemaquid Harbor,” serigraph, 23 x 36,” $800 at www.marthavista.com

is destined to hang in an historic house in Bremen in the same spot where “Dark Harbor Fishermen” by N. C. Wyeth used to hang! The art community here is huge – there is a joke that there are more artists in Lincoln County than people. And the artists have been very helpful with advice about shows to enter and information about galleries.

The last lap in this marathon is to get my storage space built in the – yes – basement and my work unpacked. Then I can put my energy on new work and seeking out show opportunities more assiduously.

Last month I finished my entry for the 2015 show Look Again: ACM Collection Inspires The Boston Printmakers at the Art Complex Museum in Duxbury MA. For this collaborative exhibition, ACM's contemporary curator Craig Bloodgood and collections manager Maureen Wengler have selected 42 works for response pieces to be created by members of The Boston Printmakers. I chose Thomas Nason’s “Mountain Stream, an engraving showing water rushing under a woodland bridge.” In exploring his body of work, I felt a great correspondence between our styles and subject matter. My response piece, a digital drawing, is called “Another Stream.” It also shows a forest bridge but the stream has been reinterpreted as the history of foot traffic over the bridge.

Thomas Nason, “Mountain Stream,” 1948-1949, wood engraving, 6 x 7 ¾, courtesy of The Art Complex Museum

“Another Stream,” digital drawing, 9 x 12,” $400 at www.marthavista.com

I recently joined River Arts, a non-profit arts organization on Route 1 in Damariscotta, the heart of Midcoast Maine. http://riverartsme.org/ River Arts is strongly community-oriented and provides art instruction, exhibitions, and special events.

My digital drawing, “Nasturtium,” was accepted into the 2014 Butler Institute of American Art’s 78th National Midyear Exhibition. The juror was artist Ben Schonzeit. The show ran from July 27 through September 7 in Youngstown OH. “Nasturtium” has an oriental feel. There is an interesting tension between the close-up focus on the single white flower and the long distance focus of the background landscape.

“Nasturtium,” digital drawing, 28 x 14,” $1000 at www.marthavista.com

My black and silver acrylic painting, “View from the Other Side,” is included in “Creative Community: Danforth Art in Collaboration with The Art Connection, on view from October 8–December 14 in Framingham MA. The Art Connection is a Boston-based organization that connects artists to underserved communities through the donation and placement of original contemporary artwork in area social service agencies.

“View from the Other Side,” acrylic on canvas, 1992, 72"x48", originally $6000

Work in this exhibition is available for placement in MetroWest social service agencies. If you are a representative of a social service agency interested in selecting art work, please contact Danforth Art Assistant Curator Jessica Roscio at 508.620.0050 ext. 12 or jlroscio@danforthart.org. Social service agencies may find information about eligibility at The Art Connection website, www.theartconnection.org.

“Tamago,” a print from my virtual immersive art installation Acquarella is included in The Boston Printmakers new publication Palate to Plate: Prints and Recipes from Members of the Boston Printmakers. This full-color, 216-page book is also the catalogue for the 2014 Boston Printmakers Members' Exhibition at the Newport Art Museum. The book contains prints and favorite recipes by 99 members of the Boston Printmakers and is available through www.blurb.com. The show runs from August 30, 2014 – January 4, 2015. The Newport Art Museum is at 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840. Link to the show: www.newportartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Now-on-View/Palate-to-Plate

“Tamago,” digital screen-capture on canvas, 18 x 27 on 23 x 32,” $950 at www.marthavista.com