MEET the ARTist
HEARING TREES SPEAKING ON THE HOMESTEAD
The major themes in my work have come directly out of
living for the past 32 years on a small woods homestead. After being
raised in suburban Boston and attending University in western Mass.,
I became interested in the "back to the land movement" and decided
to leave the so called "rat race" to live an artist/
farmer/gatherer lifestyle. I deliberately set out to get away
from industry, roads and masses of people and bought a
cut-over wood lot of twenty acres ; moving to Downeast coastal
Maine , near the Canadian border, in 1973.
For the first twenty years I chose to live without electricity,
running water or phone. I happily created my art ,my family and my
life. I built a two room cabin, birthed two children at home, had
lots of cats and dogs and raised rabbits and chickens for eggs and
meat. I raised organic vegetables for my own use and harvested
trees from the wood lot for fire wood. I carried water from an
abundant bubbling spring for washing and drinking. I searched the
surrounding forests and seashores for the free edibles available
there. I gathered mussels, dug clams, raked blueberries, and went
fishing. .My friends, who are better gardeners and cooks than I am,
fed me often. I supplemented my homesteading endeavors by selling my
woodcut prints at art shows, galleries and country fairs. I also
worked for many years as a self-employed odd-job carpenter.
The relief printmaking medium of woodcut has lent itself
well to my lifestyle- with its no- nonsense , all-you-need-is
gouges, rollers, ink and paper format. I am as likely to find a wood
gouge (or a cat) on my kitchen table, as finding a fork.
For many of the early years my studio was the kitchen table. Upon
finding myself, that first season in Maine, many miles from old
friends and family, I took a scrap pine board into that kitchen, and drew and carved a Great Grey Owl. This was the first of
my annual hand carved and printed Solstice cards.
As the years went by on the homestead, I wanted to become a
living example of how a regular person can use alternative energy.
Over the course of ten years , 82-92, I built my present
"Geo-Victorian Cabin" a 3/4 geodesic dome, attached to a three story
rectangle. I then took the next ten years trying to learn how to
live in what is ,essentially, a sculpture. I installed solar
electricity , which I use for water pumping, lights, power tools,
computer, etc. I heat water by thermo-syphoning through a wood cook
stove to the kitchen sink and to an upstairs claw-foot bathtub. I
have an outhouse and an "in-house", or composting toilet.
"Success" for me is being able to do what I want to do, love it
and be able to earn a living doing it. I live in the woods, making
a peaceful life on a tiny farm, while creating art and selling it
locally. I maintain a home gallery and open studio with
workshops/classes in the warm season. Each day, I enjoy time
tramping through the forests or walking by the sea with my best
friend, Nanook, and just being with the trees, listening, watching
and playing. Recently I acquired the 30 forested acres to my
east..I am a registered Tree Farm and along with thinning and
harvesting, I do wildlife enhancement practices. I have created a
couple of miles of trails for these endeavors.
Carving and printing by hand, with wood, I let the "life" of various
woodgrains "speak" in my prints; and bring forth the consciousness
and spirit of the animals, birds and people I portray. Living in
Downeast Maine affords the opportunity to live in nature and see
wildlife on a daily basis. I remain truly inspired by the place
where I live .