Flying Seeds video release: I recently sat down with local musician and empathic healer Emily Sabino to chat about the new video that she and her husband, multi-instrumentalist Lenin Sabino, released on Valentine’s Day. Emily’s mother, as many readers may know, is Newcastle painter Jane Dahmen.
We are about to enter the phase of the year when I avoid driving on River Road between Boothbay and Damariscotta. The frost heaves can make one’s car grow old before its time.
Domestic water birds on our north-country farm were a happy presence in the barnyard society. Their comical characters, beauty, and daily actions brought us laughter and delight.
The artist in winter: Walpole oil painter Susan Bartlett Rice currently has a lovely exhibit of 10 of her winter paintings on display at the Bristol Area Library. A mixture of landscape and wildlife paintings, the cheery show brightens the section of the library where it hangs.
Well, January ended up as the fourth-warmest in Portland history. And as February gets underway, we have seen two more cat trackers (Feb. 1 of three inches and Feb. 7, which is this writing and we’ve already seen four inches and still snowing).
GSB raises the bar: I recently heard about the GSB Online Gallery of Arts and Literature, a new website for artists of all kinds at Great Salt Bay Community School in Damariscotta. Its mission, as stated on the site, is “to provide a performance platform for the GSB learning community.
On the morning of Jan. 29, there were no less than seven gray squirrels visible at feeders — more than the usual two. They were chasing one female who had come into her estrous cycle. Across the tree canopy, up and down the oak and pine trees they raced after the lead female. Finally, she stopped, tail flicking, and the closest male caught her and they mated.
World of watercolor: I recently had the pleasure of spending time with Damariscotta painter Jan Kilburn, whose eponymously named gallery is part of the four Bristol Road Galleries. Kilburn’s gallery, which is attached to the front of her house, is a well-lit space that is loaded with Kilburn’s lovely watercolor paintings, giclees, and prints of mostly Midcoast landscapes, many of those Monhegan Island scenes. It is the same space in which Kilburn teaches Monday-morning painting classes from 9 a.m. to noon.
Can you believe it’s February? I hope I don’t jinx us, but it’s been a pretty good winter so far. The days are getting longer and February is a short month. Before you know it we’ll be complaining about black flies.
I can’t even attempt to pretend that I know what the play “Etty” is about, nor can I grasp the full dimension of the spirituality of either Susan Stein’s performance or Etty Hillesum’s writing. All I can say is that this play, which I saw at the Parker B. Poe Theater at Lincoln Academy, is one-of-a-kind, with a distinct level of dedication that the author as well as the actor, Stein, has paid to this production, and a depth of spiritual discussion this play has brought to various groups, from middle schools to high schools, from prisons to large city theaters.
Learning to paint: I received an email from a reader after I mentioned in this column that talented Damariscotta artist Will Kefauver gives painting lessons, asking that I include more information in the future about other local artists that offer lessons. This column is going to do just that.
Local gem: I had the opportunity to meet Damariscotta singer-songwriter Kathi Nordone recently when she stopped by The Lincoln County News to chat with me
Marjorie and Calvin Dodge
In the 19th century, the two nations of Great Britain and the United States of America were having their shipyards build vessels with faster speeds. Each nation was challenging each other in the China tea trade. The London Daily News ran an article urging Great Britain to make good her claim of maritime supremacy by accepting a challenge between Great Britain and the United States.
Driving Route 32 in the cold air this morning, I saw the dark cloud bank of the storm that is expected later today. The sun skimmed the steel gray cloud in front of me to the south. As the sun rose over the line of demarcation between the nearing front, the sky behind it turned pink, then orange, then brilliant gold.
Watershed connections: As readers may have heard, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, at 19 Brick Hill Road in Newcastle, was recently awarded a $35,000 Art Works: Creativity Connects grant to support a series of public programs in collaboration with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. I recently asked Claire Brassil, Watershed’s program and marketing coordinator, to elaborate on what the grant means for the center in 2017.