Saturday

Boston - Providence - Squam

Woweeeee! I've had THE BEST trip to America, get ready for some jet lagged ramblings...

I started off in Boston and went straight to the Harvard Museum of Natural History to see their collection of glass flowers. It's the Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants, over 4,000 models, representing more than 830 plant species, created by glass artisans Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka. They are astonishingly realistic and I found them really inspiring (see my snap below - it's so hard to conceive that it's made of glass!).


I then travelled on to Providence to stay at Squam HQ with the SUPER LOVELY Elizabeth and Forrest ready to film a seven part drawing e-course (that will be available online later this year, watch this space...) They were so kind, and welcoming and it was such a treat to spend time with them (and of course Elizabeth's superstar dogs Daisy and Oliver!) Film maker Ryan Sheetz (below) was great, he made me feel completely relaxed and confident and I had SO MUCH FUN - I can't wait to share the films with you. 


I LOVED Providence, we did lots of filming around the city, my favourite bit was the RISD Nature Lab, an unbelievable museum of natural history specimens surrounding long tables where RISD students can pop in, select an item of interest and draw it.  I really couldn't believe my luck, when we were given permission to visit and I had the chance to spend time drawing there! 

The day after filming I explored Providence a bit more, taking in the Wildflour Bakery (amazing ALL vegan cafe), the Farmers Market (HUGE including a band playing, antiques, crafts, and produce stalls) RISD Museum and RISD art shop. The next day we packed up the car and drove on to New Hampshire to get ready for the Squam Art Retreat. This was my 4th year teaching at Squam, it's a completely magic place full of inspiration, creativity and friendship, and it was such a treat to arrive early and have the opportunity to spend more time in my favourite place. It's based at Rockywold Deephaven Camp that was created over 100 years ago. It's based around a large lake and we live in wooden cabins with private docks dotted all around the lake.

My cabin was Point Comfort, shared with a group of wonderful teachers. My room was on the first floor with a wonderful porch overlooking the lake (pictured below)


And here was the view from my bed each morning...


Our wood cabin had a huge open fire (with new wood delivered each morning) and a wooden ice box (containing ice harvested from the lake each winter and refilled each day). It also had lots of beautiful drawings on the walls including this loon (below). The loons at Squam sing you to sleep each night with really amazing and ever changing tunes. 


It was all SO BEAUTIFUL and deeply relaxing to spend so much time in nature...



I was so glad that I remembered to take my flower press so I could take a little bit of Squam home with me (and use it in future paintings!) 




The class I taught at Squam was called 'Drawn Together' it's a collaborative sketchbook class exploring colour, mark making and introducing lots of different materials. We spent the morning working across everyone's sketchbooks, and then spent the afternoon working in our own sketchbooks using, collage, colour and repeat motif to draw everyones contributions into one cohesive and highly personal work. The students were brilliant, completely open and inspiring and they made really wonderful work...




The big news this year was that although I didn't see a raccoon (I am OBSESSED with Raccoons as we don't have them in the UK)...

 I saw 2 BEAR CUBS!!!

.... I do not have photographic proof of this I was too astonished/ excited/ scared but you'll just have to trust me and if you don't I have 3 witnesses!

This year I even had the chance to take a class! I took Natalie Miller's weaving session as I had never done anything like it and it was so great to have the chance to try something totally new. She had come all the way from Australia and had brought looms, beautiful hand dyed yarn and roving, and raffia. The morning of my weaving class a group of us decided to hike up Rattle Snake Mountain, and we found lots of amazing things (including birch bark and tiny pinecones) which I added to my weaving. The views at the top were wonderful, and I learnt a huge amount about the local nature ...



My time at the lake was full of chatting, laughing, snacking, drawing, swimming, s'mores and hanging out with with the lovely creative people that Squam always attracts, both old and new friends.



I had the best time and although it was hard to leave, it was great to get back to Steve and the cats and to be back in the studio, drawing (literally and figuratively) from all the amazing things I've seen.

Have a great weekend and I'll be back soon (hopefully less jet lagged!) xxx

1 comment:

Katheen said...

Wow, I'm so glad you had so much fun! The glass flowers at Harvard are amazing - the collection is one of my favorite Boston destinations.