The first art opening of the season at Jessie Edwards Studio is great not only for the art but for catching up with friends after the long winter.
I greeted David and asked why he hadn’t been at the 350th anniversary festivities, given that his family goes back so far on the island. He said he had been putting in lobster pots that day. He has put in 30 this year. Last Saturday he pulled 11 lobsters, which he doesn’t think is much for 30 pots. His extended family eats them all.
Another friend is writing a biography of his parents, which he intends to self-publish. He hopes the cost doesn’t keep him from getting the words that he wants on his tombstone: “I broke even.”
Given the crowds at openings and all the catching up, you have to be pretty determined to see the art. I nudged my way through temporary gaps and checked out everything.
Kathleen Noonan Lang was showing her island monotypes. See them here. I especially liked her “Sailor’s Delight,” with its rosy evening sky reminiscent of the weather rhyme “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.”
When my cousin Sally had a show of her monotypes in Connecticut, I asked her to describe her approach. She wrote:
“To make a monotype, you basically create an image on a sheet of plexiglass and run it through a press. There are dozens of techniques but my tools of choice are primarily paper towels and Q-tips; very sophisticated. I roll on a layer of ink on the plate and then push it around with the paper towels and Q-tips, run it through a press and then work on the plate again and print another layer. Often I’ll develop several prints at one time, working on the ghost impression left over on the plate, rolling on a transparent base to raise the viscosity of the remaining ink (as my father would have said), and print it again. That’s the short version. Most of my monotypes have 3-4 layers. It is a very exciting process and there is always an element of surprise as when the paper is pulled from the plate.”
I like that sort of surprise. It’s kind of like writing a blog post and being surprised by where your train of thought leads you. In playwriting class we are encouraged to surprise ourselves that way.
I wanted to include some clay art from Suzanne here, but she says she hasn’t been taking pottery long enough to have anything to display. Her brother said, “How about the shell she painted for my birthday?”