Member Submissions: Pam Smith, Bonnie Spiegel, Mary Becker Weiss, Amy Peters Wood

Pam Smith

June 1981

When confusion visits me these days, I tell myself it is the blur of growth.

Suggestion is too coy for the real meaning of a painting. I struggle with whether my images are complete or incomplete, not with what they might suggest.

July 1981

It is color, color, color that moves me.

I am an ambassador for the color green, a spy for the color red, and a surgeon sent to insert the color blue.

In private life, I am white’s lover. And gray’s.

Some days, I feel like I am a dictionary in reverse, cataloguing all the possible meanings, and then coming up with a word.

November 1982

When I paint, my colors are a shape and a placement. I paint their boundaries. Just this much I paint. Here. And how.

Sometimes I enhance the boundaries by painting them as lines. Sometimes I let the boundaries be where two areas bump into each other.

The way to become an artist is to apprentice yourself and make a thousand stupid mistakes from the heart.

When I paint, the world is malleable. It is up to some definition the paint and I work out.

In the 1980’s, when I was painting in my studio in Bath Maine, I wrote notes to myself in my sketchbooks. The sketchbooks are long gone, but in the late 1980’s, I still had them, and I referred to them for a talk I gave at Bowdoin College in 1988, on Creativity.

In 1990, The Georgia Review published a double volume  “Women and the Arts,” and excerpts from my studio notes were included as an essay titled, “Powerful Red Dogs.”

Bonnie Spiegel

Stan Sleeping 1995
pen and ink, approx. 9″ x 11″
Bonnie Spiegel

I’ve got a lot of good memories of Stan. I used to draw him a lot after those enervating TV programs put him to sleep. I would jump at the chance to draw him, whipping out my pen and sketchbook while he slept, so still and so cooperative. He might not appreciate my showing him at his best like this. Or maybe he’d be okay. After all he was used to my intrusions. Wherever he is, I hope he’ll forgive me.

Stan Sleeping 2013
pen and ink, approx. 9″ x 11″
Bonnie Spiegel
Stan Sleeping 2014
pen and ink, approx. 7″ x 7″
Bonnie Spiegel
Stan Sleeping 2015
pen and ink, approx. 3″ x 10″
Bonnie Spiegel

Mary Weiss

I was impressed by the idea of maintaining a personal visual work board when I first came across Whitefield artist Roger Majorowicz’s notes to himself pegged outside on his barn wall, well beyond the concept and scale of a table-top sketchbook. Among some indecipherable scribbles to himself and many affirmations which I assume kept Mr. Majorowicz going through the years were, “the man who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the man doing it” and a quote by Emile Zola, “The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without the work.” 

My own work board is comprised of a number of elements which for all intents and purposes resembles a disparate ransom note: quotes, titles, poetry, scraps of paper, magazine articles, line drawings, postcards, vintage maps, cards and stamps (an addiction), photographs of textures (another addiction) and travel keepsakes. From this menagerie of elements I create my encaustic montages. By going back to the beginning, I am able to affirm my direction and to stay focused ~ I learn to see with a new perspective.  As Lillian Hellman in Pentimento said, “perhaps it would be well to say that the old conception, replaced by a later choice, is a way of seeing and then seeing again.”

Amy Peters Wood

When complete, my hand sewn and bound sketchbooks contain private ruminations, rants, ideas, travel logs, poems, scientific illustrations, architectural plans and inventions, and the thumbnail sketches for my large format egg tempera panels. Starting out as sewn signatures, and carried in a small leather satchel I made years ago,  everything I need to do a quick watercolor, carbon smudge, colored pencil, pen and ink or charcoal drawing is with me at all times. I have included some of the tamer examples.

Blackice
paper, ink, pencils, 7”x 9”
Amy Peters Wood
Eclipse
paper, ink, pencils, 7”x 9”
Amy Peters Wood
Rockland
paper, ink, pencils, 7”x 9”
Amy Peters Wood
Trump
paper, ink, pencils, 7”x 9″
Amy Peters Wood