Wednesday, July 8, 2015

When in Portland, Maine, Swing by She-Bear Gallery

This! These, these, these.
I received a wee package on Monday and it definitely numbers among my happiest small art purchases. If any of you have considered, but discarded the possibility of, selling card versions of your work, I urge you to reconsider. For lo, cards are the gateway drug to larger works! ... Maybe, maybe not. My actions have yet to prove this point. I have been mooning over Holly Meade's prints since I ran across them a couple years ago and I have yet to make the leap to larger pieces. But it's a matter of money and wall space rather than lack of faith in continued love. The cards themselves will certainly help to keep her artwork top of mind. Where will they work best? Clustered in the study, a boon to typing? Cheering up the basement, near the carving bench?

I was lured in first by "Against the Tide" (2009), though I'm not sure where I saw it; once in the gallery of Meade's work, Ioved prints included "Glimpse" (2002) and "150 Working Days Per Eagle," "Nightwalker" (both 2012). Regrettably, I only became aware of Meade after her death in July 2013; but the variety and quality of her work will; certainly inspire illustrators and printmakers to come! The humor and lively joy inherent in her pieces made her well-suited to be an illustrator of over 30 children's picture books.

RE: the pictured designs --
  • "Invitation": I love its simplicity. A single outstretched hand, viewed with a measure of trepidation by the primary figure, whose own hands are cloaked in gloves, but whose garments and skin are the same hue as the one reaching out. Her ambivalence about the potential connection can be seen in the opposing lines of her scarf and hair. 
  • "Coon" Wonderful variation in line boosts the energy and sense of simultaneity, both appropriate for a raccoon; dynamic personality conveyed by the animal's framing.
  • "Angel Disguised as Woodpecker" -- favorite title and conceit
  • "Cut, Insert, Fold, Fly" -- strong image and message. Debatable that achieving an exalted status, or soaring, is easily achieved, but the idea that both options are open to us, for us, is refreshing.

Holly Meade's artwork is handled through her daughter Jenny Smick at She-Bear Gallery, located in Portland, Maine; if I were nearby, I'd definitely be paying visits to see the rotating exhibits, as well as Meade's body of work. Let me know if you check it out!  

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