July 29, 2010

Swan's Island + Albers + Friends

Swan's Island was just perfect. And, we did use a few Josef Albers paintings as inspiration to get our creativity flowing. It was amazing just how much we saw our chosen Alber's palette on Swan's—even the pinks in the glow of the sunset and subtle shades of it in the sand. The coast of Maine is rich with light and texture. The water is salty and divine. The air is clear and crisp. Spending time with best friends who all have creative spirits is just the best. We are easily content and happy in this incredible place. It's as sweet as the years we've all spent together.

Of course, there are many things to stop and see along the way to Swan's Island. I traditionally stop in antique book barns. This time, I found an interesting book by Walter Sorell called The Duality of Vision about the urge of writer's to paint, and painter's to write, etc. The book includes a poem written by Josef Albers:

More -- or Less
Easy -- to know
that diamonds -- are expensive
good -- to learn
that rubies -- have depth
but more -- to see
that pebbles -- are miraculous

I love this little poem by Albers and found many miraculous pebbles and rocks on Swan's Island.

We gather all of our food on the mainland before we meet at the ferry in Bass Harbor, and then fill-in as we go at the small Carrying Place Market on the island. My favorite and a must stop on the way to Bass Harbor is Chase's Daily {vegetarian restaurant + farmer's market + café} in Belfast, Maine. The produce is brought in daily from the farm at 11 am and it's good to get there soon after that unless you have time to get there for a delicious breakfast or lunch. The mesclun mix is exotic, the chard and kale have the deepest hues of goodness, the purslane and arugula is fresh and crisp, and the charming buckets of flowers and baskets of herbs are full of beauty, and earthly love.

Wishing you a beautiful summer and I hope that you too, find a little time to get away from it all! oxo

Photos: My Dog-Eared Pages
Chase's Daily storefront photo, courtesy of a great blog about Maine called 2bnmaine

July 20, 2010


Josef Albers | Growing, Oil on Masonite 1940

This summer it's Josef Albers. Last summer it was mussel shells and fisherman's knots, the summer before that it was Alex Katz. In the summer, I try to find a couple of weeks where my pace of life slows down. In fact, I force it. And, this usually happens when I head to Maine to visit friends. Swan's Island is small and perfect. No shopping excursions, no fancy restaurants or bustling beaches. It's all about woodland walks to soft sandy coves, combing the rocks, picking blueberries and wildflowers, bike rides, cooking, and the major thing—aside from Scrabble or Bananagrams—is creating. Whether it's painting, sculpture, collecting, sketching, or photography, everyone has their thing.

Josef Albers | Homage to the Square {left to right} 1950, 1951 and 1955

In a completely organic way, I decide what might be my inspiration each year. Albers is it this year. And, the reason is simply color + shape. Swan's Island itself and all that I adventure to see on it, holds more of an organic shape—perhaps not as architectural as Alber's Homage to The Square series—but I will see islands of color, indeed.

Josef Albers | Related A. Oil on Canvas 1937 and Josef Albers | In Open Air. Oil on Masonite 1936

Last summer, we collected large bins of knots on the rocky shore and sorted them by color. We also participated in creating art from the burned pages of books salvaged from the Swan's Island Library fire that became part of a rebuilding, benefit exhibition called New Pages.

We were inspired by the large, sun-washed mussel shells that cover the rocky beach. Shown here glued to an interesting piece of driftwood... and below that, blocks of wood being assembled by my friend Jane in a Louise Nevelson sort of way.

The summer before that, I was inspired by an Alex Katz show at The Farnsworth and the loss of my oldest friend's mother. I made this little Katz-inspired collage titled, Nan.

The beach we comb is covered with perfectly smooth rocks from the pounding surf, and we paint a lot of them. It's a simple meditation to mix paint and cover a rock, and a summer tradition from as far back as I can remember. I will celebrate these days with my best friends and perhaps pay homage to Albers... a rock, a collage—we'll see!

All Josef Albers work is from the catalogue of an exhibition held at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1988.

July 5, 2010


Vignettes from our annual 4th of July spent with friends on The Farm. I am lucky to have spent nearly every 4th of July here for the past 20+ years. The Farm is a place that feels like home to so many of us. I hope you are having a wonderful holiday weekend and that it's continuing through today. It's a perfect beach day here on the East Coast, and I'm heading off for an ocean swim now! ox

July 2, 2010


Heading into this beautiful holiday weekend, here are a few fashion picks from a favorite store. Summer style is always carefree and easy... just like these chic + sunny looks from Calypso. Wishing you a very happy 4th of July weekend!