Welcome to our new website; it’s been a long-held intention, finally coming to fruition with the expertise of Peaks Island designer, Will Crosby. City Point Studio is where we work, show and sell much of our artist output of many decades. Mostly you’ll see a lifetime of my prints, along with the painting I’ve come back to after a hiatus dating practically back to school days. As you can see, observation’s my thing, although I rarely reproduce anything exactly, more likely choosing to rearrange or mix images from various locations or moments. Norm’s not been at it quite so long but has been moving freely around pastel, oil and acrylic as his color and fantasy or model-based impulses take him.
Our local representation has been through Addison Woolley Gallery, now without a physical home so you’ll see us pop up here and there around Portland. It’s primarily a group of highly imaginative photographers plus us and one other painter/printmaker. I’ve had the distinct pleasure and honor to exhibit among the luminaries at the Maine Jewish Museum: twice in 2015 and coming up again in less than a year, January 2018. The challenge in 2017 is to put together a new body of work for that show.
The first of these images was started last June when chosen as one of 50 fellows among 300 applicants, to the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts Open Residency. It allowed 2 weeks to do nothing but our own work amongst and with 49 other incredible artists, skilled technicians running each of 7 studios and, of course listening for the dinner bell with legendary fare and lively conversation. Many of us chose to expand our usual horizons with new materials, techniques and the learning curve that goes along with it. No one was stingy with knowledge of process and tools and the pleasure was easily returned for adventurers into our printmaking studio.
There were to be two full sheet 22”X30” prints, too large for my press, perfectly intended for the Haystack presses. The plan had been to combine finely drawn solar plates with multi reduction plate relief prints. Completed first were the drawings, exposure and cut-out of the gulls with a jeweler’s saw in the metals studio.
Then came the challenge I’d worried about for weeks in advance of the session: how to cut the large, irregular pieces of linoleum. Scared silly of power tools, I’d researched hand saw options but in the end transported my material to the wood studio where I took ridiculous pride in cutting it all in the scroll saw, leaving with a wide grin and all 10 fingers still intact.
When the first relief colors were printed on top of the intaglio gulls, it was immediately evident that the birds would disappear amid the color and complexity of those plates. Having lived with this idea since mid-winter, I stubbornly studied the proof for ways to isolate and emphasize the contrasting media but the wisdom of a collaborative critique from fellow participant Dan Weldon and studio tech David Wolfe prevailed: they were two separate statements each to be left to succeed on its own.
After a summer chasing limited large press time in Portland, I discovered the wonderful Pickwick Independent Press in October where after our annual seasonal stint on the L.L. Bean Customer Service phones was mostly over, I completed the last two colors and the first relief piece is finally done. Now, with the initial stage learning curve under my belt, it’s on to the second, that is if I can figure out where I put away the drawings in June!