Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fearlessness

Come visit me at the 
Maine Crafts Guild 39th Annual Directions Show 
at Mount Desert Island
August 1-3, 2014

Save these dates as well!

August 23rd, 9am-4pm
Quoddy Bay Artist Studio Tour

August 23rd, Opening Reception at 5:00 p.m. 
SACRED: Women in Vision
At the Next Door Gallery
Eastport, Maine

August 24th, 4:00-7:00 pm: Art Auction at Crow Town Gallery
To support the Lubec faction of the Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium
With LIVE auctioneer Chris Crittenden!



 Herring Tiles for private home installation.
Almost time for them to be installed!


 
 Nature: Rothko style
Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine

 Chanterelle season!
Found on the birthday mushroom excursion this morning!


Hijacked on my birthday by Lisa, Leslie, and Angus to scout out 
some fabulously delicious wild edibles!
See photo above!


 Lubec Farmers Market up and running!
What a treat to have Curt and Karen Shirer share their talents with us last weekend!
Check out their blog!


 Detained
Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine
 Green and Stone
Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine

 Mowry Beach at Low Tide
In view: Campobello, Grand Manan, and West Quoddy


 Thanks, Mark Buell! 
The music was phenomenal at our KINDRED: Women in Vision opening at Mulholland Gallery!

 Rock reflection at Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine


 Ledge, Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine


 Twined
Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine

 Foggy sunset at Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine


Stained glass evening light at Congregational Church, Lubec, Maine


 Women in Vision!
Elizabeth Ostrander, Sharon Mack, Sherry Ashby Cunningham, Shanna Wheelock, and Lisa Marquis-Bradbury
Thanks for the photo Faye Mack Photography!

 Hurricane Arthur swooped through town and did far more damage than we ever expected. Some folks were without electric power for five days. In good ol' Lubec fashion, everyone chipped in to help their neighbor as needed.


 Arterial
Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine


Hanging with my family for a birthday celebration at Reid State Beach.

Artist friend Diane Langley in her Wildwood Gallery on Westport Island, Maine

 Bouli enjoying summer.


 Critters all around us! Two hares regularly snack just outside my studio.


Found this sweetie in the shop!


 
Lovely loon at Indian Lake, Whiting Maine.
The loons always greet us when we kayak on their lake.
Our first kayak of the season!
 My friend and teaching colleague from eons ago, Donna Dachs, FINALLY made her way to Lubec!!! I think she is hooked!!!
In this pic, East Quoddy Head, Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada


 Chris and me at Reid State Beach.


Enjoyed a beautiful summer wedding while playing Maid of Honor at my friend Becky's wedding. What a gorgeous day for love, celebrated waterside then on a boat cruise around Casco Bay.


I guess today is what some would refer to as a "milestone". At precisely 11:42 p.m. this evening I will be forty-five years old. I noticed that I hadn't blogged in over two months which is a deviation for me from the norm. Today I woke with the "plan" to do a very specific set of things that I either wanted to do or felt that needed to be done. As with most plans, they went out the proverbial window. I did manage to re-arrange the shop, went to the beach, and am now writing this blog entry. All three of those things were on "the list". I did neglect, however, to clean and work. I am not crying over this, not by any stretch, as the day began in a quite lovely manner with a bit of spontaneity. I was hijacked by two friends, first thing in the morning, and taken on a mushroom scout deep in the woods. In the past, with deadlines and orders looming, I would have denied myself the pleasure of such an excursion, but the "new" me, the "another year older and wiser" me found a "yes" smoothly rolling off the tongue before even having time to run down the mental list of reasons to say "no".

It feels to me that a lot of how I go about life has been changing. One thing that I have been thinking about lately is fear, where it comes from, how we create and propel it, and how to overcome it. I have a couple handfuls of fears that have accumulated over the years. Some reach back to as young as three years old and some were developed not much more than a decade ago. Most of these, when examining and analyzing with my rational mind, actually seem sort of unfounded. Sure, there was something that triggered the fear, but to hold onto that fear for decades has come to seem somewhat irrational. 

To each person their fear, whatever it may be, is psychologically huge. To an outsider that same fear may seem silly. I thought of this two days ago while I watched with interest a spider crawling over my arm hair. That same day I saved (yet another) mouse from Bouli, carrying it to safety. I have watched others squeal in terror when they come anywhere near such critters, but to me, they are harmless. 

That being said, my fear of bees to some would seem disproportionate to the probability of actually being stung. I have thought in my mind, is it such a bad thing to be stung? Sure, it hurts, but in the whole scheme of things, other things hurt much worse. That fear I trace back to being three years old and riding my "Big Wheel" in the barn. I noted a large bumble bee in the window pane and thought to myself that if I left it alone it would not hurt me.  After all, I had been told this before. I continued to ride my bike, minding my own business, when that fat aggressive bumble bee flew on over to give me a good ol' sting. Ironically, my grandfather had nicknamed me "Bumble Bee" long before this incident. 

Three years ago Universe forced me to face my phobia by sending a swarm of thousands of bees to my studio. It was then that I began to tackle my fear. After the incident I found myself wanting to try my hand at beekeeping. My phobia was not instantly cured, but I can say that now, three years later, I have done well. At the beach last weekend a bee landed on my abdomen. In the past I would have panicked, swatted, and ran. Instead, I calmly waited for the bee to fly away. That same day I purposely stood near dozens of bees busily pollinating fireweed.

One fear down, a handful more to go. 

I have tackled two others in the past couple months, both major in my eyes. One fear that I faced no doubt would seem silly to others, but the other was (and is) much more complex and I am still working at it. Next week I face another fear that I have held onto since I was eight years old and soon hope to face another that has been with me since thirteen. A few more in line will need to be tackled in later months. All I can say for certain at this point is that it feels good, REAL GOOD, to be doing this clearinghouse of sorts, to be letting go. These are my stepping stones. For now I feel brave.

The real test will come, though, when I find myself at a crossroads as we so often do in life. Most do get past fear and take a plunge to move forward but it usually comes with much emotional turbulence. These stepping stones are great practice, but the real test is whether or not that turbulence can be quelled in a timely manner. We have come accustomed to being controlled by our fears in attempt to hold onto false security, and fear and false security are plentiful.

I think, I hope, that I am on the path to living more fully, more fearlessly.

So far so good.








Monday, May 5, 2014

Spring Emerges in Lubec



Arched like the rib of some ancient whale 
whose bones have worked their way back up through the sand and dunes, a whitewashed rainbow settled in grass as golden as Rapunzel’s hair. The earth held the aquatic mammal for centuries until a low sandy mumble forced it to puncture through the layers and up into the sky.  No longer breaching or flirting with ships’ captains, no longer dancing the waves, rather, a portal between Aether and Terrain. Who dare pass?

 (Herring Cove, Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada)


 
 Nest
Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine 



Cairns at West Quoddy, Green Point
Lubec, Maine














Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine

Their union was cemented a long time ago, a young cyprid swimming free in the water. She happened upon the lone stone at high tide, adoring his crown of green flowing seaweed. Elated she performed a handstand, never to tumble upside right again. Soon others joined, each dwelling in their own shell, algae tinted, clinging to their substrate for to grow. Years of communing, weathering the elements, basking in sun and cloud at low, watching the fish, crabs, and mollusks at high.  A better life not there be.


Waves breaking at Mowry Beach, like  Chihuly Seaform!
Lubec, Maine


Conversation with a gull.
Lubec, Maine



 Adrift
 (Herring Cove, Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada)



 What's your sign?
 (Herring Cove, Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada)



 (Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine)


Stone souls are ancient and wise. No pocket guide translator will be able to decipher their language. Silence speaks in the space between, where words hang nestled amongst inhale and exhale. Breathy air collides but ever so gently, hovers in gravity, tethered to Aether.  Their native tongue is steeped in the stars. To touch a stone and understand one must be adept at reading braille, speckled aggregate of a billion galaxies.



 Color and light emerging from thawing puddle.


 
A sure sign of spring!


 Handcarved tiles from the Herring Collectors Series.
Shanna Wheelock, 2014
 
 Handcarved sardine and weir tile from the Herring Collectors Series
Shanna Wheelock, 2014



Sand Bar at Mowry Beach
Lubec, Maine


Contemplative me on a windy day at the beach.


 Pirate's Creek
Lubec, Maine

 Been busy at work carving awards for the Bay of Fundy Marathon.
Medallions in progress.
Closing in on the end of the wet work! Next week, it's all about the glazing!


 Snowy birch, late snow in spring.


Mosaic workshop with Lisa Marquis Bradbury.
What fun I had!
Eastport, Maine

Pirates Creek, Lubec, Maine

 Ribs of an ancient coniferous beast decay and protrude from ground, remains before a last descent into earth.  Ten years’ time this hackmatack sat at water’s edge, waiting for a journey that never came to be. Abandoned, left to ponder the tides and weather the wind, snow, and ice. The occasional winged visitor would sit upon woody flesh, splintered by sharp iron spikes. Did the bufflehead ever make its way from the bay, or the eider or Canada goose, to sit upon this elder’s bones? To decipher the wisdom from knots and grains? How many souls were carried across the stones and flow and did they carry with them a coin for the ferryman? 



r
The Chili and Chowder Cook-off was a HUGE success! We had a blast and all were well fed. The proceeds from this event help to support the granite sculpture installation that Lubec will receive via this year's Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium.
We need donations to help meet our $12,000 goal. If you can help out (so that I, along with my volunteer committee mates can put our stressed-out fundraising minds at rest)....please send your lovely generous donation to:
SISS Lubec
c/o Rule
PO Box 519
Lubec, ME 04652


Bouli critiquing a current drawing in progress.

I have been away from blogging for a while and the photos sure have piled up! Here in Lubec we are finally turning the bend in to spring and all feels hopeful that soon we will put our thermals to rest somewhere in the back of the closet until next fall. The rain lover that I am you would think that I would be reveling in these grey drizzly and damp days, but to be honest, I am ready for some glaring heat-infused shine to warm these bones. When the solar disc does make a shiny heated appearance I try to get outside for a little yard work or a walk on one of the many beaches. I think this is a sign, for sure, of me getting older; thinking that spring will never fully arrive and longing for summer. I must have been spoiled by that mid-winter trip south where for six glorious days I was able to nestle barefoot piggies in sand along shore while wearing only single layers, and ones that did not include wool to boot. Yes, I think it is obvious. I am ready to welcome eighty degree days with those late afternoon thunder boomers that shake the earth then bless us with glorious arched spectrum.

It was an intense winter on many levels. At current I am working on commissioned pottery orders including the marathon awards while trying to think about what needs to be done for summer vending. I am fortunate to have three art exhibits lined up for this summer as well, but have yet to begin the major planning for those. Things always seem to come together though.  Sprinkled in amongst pottery orders I have enjoy thinking about my thesis work which is picking up in intensity. It will be yet another fine juggling act which I seem to have become quite adept at. Of course, if you were to actually hand me a few balls and ask to juggle those I would surely drop them. 

Walks have become a near daily ritual. I have always walked but now these walks have shifted to become a necessary component of my soul and art development. Most days I document sights of interest and when inspired find myself writing a short bit of verse. This sort of contemplation, or meditation if you will, is feeding my artistic self at a very deep level. Drawing has pushed to the forefront artistically over the sculpture and I find myself yearning for more wax and ink rather than clay. The pottery seems to have become such a big production that there is a delineation between what is "work" and what is "art", though art is in and of itself work as well. The real distinction is, perhaps, that one (the pottery) is determined by supply and demand (at this point) while the drawing is what speaks from my core, from a more introspective, spiritual space. I love both and know that balance is good. I am truly blessed. This I know.

Lubec is starting to come to life once again. The buzz is that it is going to be a wild summer. The Bay of Fundy Marathon will kick things off in a big way bringing more than an extra thousand people to our little seaside village.  The farmers market kicks up in June as well as Summer Keys, and then there are also the  Cobscook Bay Music concerts. Fourth of July and Pirate's Weekend will pack the streets, and in August we have an art auction and studio art tour. What a summer this will be! I be busy!!!
 
Save these dates!

June 14, 2014
Shanna Wheelock vending at the 
(details TBA)
(I will be debuting my latest handcarved Collectors Series, the North Atlantic Right Whale, as this year's selected artisan for the marathon awards.)


June 19-July 15, 2014
KINDRED: Women in Vision
Lubec Landmarks, Lubec, Maine
Opening reception Saturday, June 21st, 5:00 p.m.
(Women in Vision is a collaboration between Passamaquoddy Bay area artists Sherry Ashby Cunningham, Lisa Marquis Bradbury, Sharon Kiley Mack, Elizabeth Ostrander, and Shanna Wheelock)


August23 - September 5, 2014
SACRED: Women in Vision
Next Door Gallery, Eastport, Maine
Opening reception Saturday, Augsut 23rd, 5:00 p.m.
(Women in Vision is a collaboration between Passamaquoddy Bay area artists Sherry Ashby Cunningham, Lisa Marquis Bradbury, Sharon Kiley Mack, Elizabeth Ostrander, and Shanna Wheelock)


August 23, 2014
Quoddy Artists Studio Tour
9am-4pm 
Artists from Eastport, to Lubec, and across the bridge to Campobello open their studios to public!


September 2014
Shanna Wheelock at Lubec Memorial Library
(details TBA, including a name for the show!!!)

Mid June-Mid October
Lubec Market
Saturdays 9-11:00
(Weather and travel permitting, this is where I will be most Saturday mornings this coming
summer.)


I'm still hashing out the details of this summer and fall's vending/gallery schedule and already have 2015 exhibits in the works. Updates to come soon!