Expanding the Art Narrative – Part 2

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Welcome back! Today we are going to step in the door of Danforth Gallery in Livingston, Montana, where my son and I encountered an exhibit on Ledger Art. The art form has evolved from sketches of symbolism on cave walls to modern day ledger artists who draw on antique journal pages which long ago recorded information about land use and sale, acreage, harvest productions, weather and the like.

As my son and I made our way around the walls of the Danforth Gallery in Livingston, the town said to be “The Heart of Art in Montana,” looking at the images, he turned to me and said, “Mom, I feel like you and I have come full circle together.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Don’t you remember the book you bought me when I was a little guy that we used to pour over? It was an example of ledger art. “

“Ah yes, it was. How could I forget? One of our legendary favorites! But Marc, I can’t remember the full name of it.” We both batted around different titles getting close but not quite right. Then of course, he pulled out his cellphone and looked it up.

“Here it is,” he said, as he showed me the cover of the book on his cellphone. “Hey, whatever happened to that book, we spent so much time looking at it?”

“Don’t you remember?” I did!

“Oh, yeah, I loaned it to someone and never got it back.”

“It’s too bad. It would have been a great book to pass down to your daughter!” He loved it so.

I’m a very blessed Mom! When I am with him, my son shares my passions with me, and is almost always game for going to art galleries and art exhibitions, visiting libraries, and even discussing my faith beliefs. From the time he was a little guy he has had a very curious, active mind who tunes in well to other people’s stories.

Expanding the Art Narrative – Part 1

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This summer I visited a town which is referred to as “The Gateway to Yellowstone.” Never one to pass by an art gallery that seems as if it has the kind of art I truly enjoy, my son and I stopped into two galleries in Livingston, Montana on South Main Street. The first was Medicine Bird Gallery. Unfortunately, our time was limited so I may not have captured the best images of what I explain below, but, the gallery became food for thought.

Plein Air Painting of downtown Livingston, MT. On display at Medicine Bird Gallery.

The way in which the art was displayed was so uniquely different. Gallery Director Jinny Lee Story has made little narratives within the space, which in my mind helps tell the tale of early settlers heading west to the great unknown through the vignettes of carefully curated vintage items and antiques which are perfectly placed throughout the gallery. The accessories such as antique suitcases, antique globes, vintage cash registers and bellows cameras typically found in the Victorian portrait studio expands the whole narrative of what the art represents. The items accentuated the art and looked like scenes in old western movies. Fascinating! Draws you right in. Well, well done.

Medicine Bird Gallery, Livingston

Medicine Bird Gallery

Medicine Bird Gallery

Jinny Lee Story, it was a pleasure to meet you! The gallery was indeed medicine for my soul and it offered a great deal of what I like in art and culture.

This painting is titled “Susan’s house.”

Come on back on October 15, 2022. The second of this two part series about art in the “Gateway to Yellowstone” will be posted.

Stimulating Art Interests in Youth

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Please hop on over to SowtheHeart.com to see two posts about a fabulous wheelhouse of stimulation for very young artists located in Montana at the State of Play. Children are creative beings right from the start and the key is to keep young minds active and engaged in using their imaginations. All things fulfilling for parents who would like to see their children find their true interests. Wait! There is much, much more. Head on over to the two links which will take you to more pictures and the full story.

Wheelhouse of Stimulation – Part 1

Wheelhouse of Stimulation – Part 2

Artists Gather – Part 2

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Literary enthusiasts were not forgotten in the All Arts Week which is still happening throughout the weekend in Harford County, MD. On Wednesday night, there was a living history performance of poet/writer Mary Oliver presented by storyteller Colleen Webster at the Armory, where the night before it was the venue for ballroom dance lessons as part of the All Arts Festival..

Webster, whom I have seen several times previously playing the parts of Freda Kahlo and Georgia O’Keefe was convincing playing the role well of a shy poet, Mary Oliver, who did not particularly like to share her private life but was full of words when it came to the natural world around her. Besides her many books of poetry which were published, her claim to fame was a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for her writing. Read more about this poet who was greatly influenced by Edna Vincent Millay through the Poetry Foundation.

Mary Oliver lived most of her life in Provincetown, Massachusetts and she left three points of wisdom for all of us – #1 Pay Attention, #2 Be Astonished, #3 Tell About It! On a daily basis, she followed her own advice as she found ideas for the basis of her writing while spending time in nature.

Thanks Colleen Webster for another wonderful performance and to the Bel Air Cultural Arts Commission and other sponsors for including this event in the weeks line-up.

This poem called Praying is By Mary Oliver. (September 10, 1935 – January 17, 2019)

Artists Gather – Part 1

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It is All Arts Week in Harford County, MD. Wednesday’s beautiful weather could not have been written more perfectly by prescription by Dr. Howard A Kelly for plein air painters who love Liriodendron, his historic home and grounds in Bel Air, MD. Throughout the day, approximately a dozen painters came with their easels, watercolors, oils or pastels and enjoyed translating what they saw before them on their canvases.

It was great fun to walk the grounds and talk with each artist about the composition of their paintings and why they picked the viewpoint they chose to paint. Some for the perspective of the shadows cast on the building, others for the architectural interest such as a shapely balustrade or arch and yet others for the positioning of an urn of beautiful flowers. One painter chose a particular tree, a chestnut, that he was fond of because of his memories of zipping by it on his sled in the winter. Jonathan West grew up next door to the home of Dr. Howard Atwood Kelly, one of the founding four physicians of Johns Hopkins Hospital. The nearly 100 acres of the mansion, built in 1898, was his playground.

A couple of artists came from out of state but they are often seen in Harford County painting because they have historic, ancestral homes or farm land here in the county.

All artists have given me permission to post pictures of their works in progress, and they look forward to exhibiting their completed paintings on Saturday at the Armory in Bel Air after the two-hour paint out which will have even more artists at various locales lining historic Main Street.

I finished my day with a special event for literary arts enthusiasts. More will be posted about the evening literary event in a few days time.

Diane Gibson – Past President of Baltimore Watercolor Society

Cultural Travels – Part 3

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As I mentioned in my last post I was not quite ready to leave Bucks County, PA without completing the last place on my list – the home of an author whom I have long admired.

The spring blooms, the sunny, warm day and a surprise arts and craft show set up under tents made for a wonderful visit. Photos will show the best overview that I could give you.

View through the pagoda to the welcome center and gift shop
Pearl S. Buck Welcome Center and Gift Shop
Pearl S Buck Sculpture with a Child
Pearl S Buck Conference/Cultural Center

The last stop of the day was at the request of my sister, Jan. The Aldie Mansion built in 1927, in Great Gatsby style of the roaring 20’s, is now under the auspices of the Heritage Conservancy. It is used primarily as a historic wedding venue. From the exterior, it is impressive and beautifully maintained as are the fabulous grounds and patios surrounding it.

Front of the Aldie Mansion
Backside of the Mansion
Aldie Mansion gardens and stone patios.

Aldie Mansion Teahouse

As we said our good byes to Bucks County, PA, both of us felt the same sentiment, “Oh, what we would have missed if we hadn’t fully satiated our hunger for these last two places of interest!”

Jan and Sue inside the Mercer Museum. Thank you to our excellent docent, Gloria for offering to take this picture. Greatly appreciated.

Cultural Travels – Part 2

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Cultural Travels without visiting at least one church in a town filled with notable history is like leaving an area unsatisfied or not completely fulfilled. We passed by this beauty, Salem United Church of Christ, on our way to Henry Chapman Mercer‘s home, Fonthill Castle and to the Moravian Pottery and Tileworks, a place on the National Historic Register where Chapman made a good deal of his bread and butter during the Arts and Crafts Movement. Inside the church is the tilework of the man of whom our focus is on.

The Bible in Mercer’s Tile “The Baptism of Jesus”

Quite unexpected was the Spanish Mission Revival architecture of Mercer’s Moravian Pottery and Tileworks which was built to “master the potter’s art and establish pottery under personal control.” The working history museum lies adjacent to Mercer’s home – another enormous castle named Fonthill.

Moravian Pottery and Tileworks, Doylestown PA
Vase – Moravian Pottery
Moravian Tiles of Henry Chapman Mercer from the Arts and Crafts Movement Era
Henry Chapman Mercer’s home

Our visits to Mercer Castle, Fonthill Castle and Mercer’s Moravian Pottery and Tilework led me to ponder the enormous amount of energy and brainpower it took Henry Chapman Mercer to conceive his vision for all three structures and bring them forth. Fortunate that he bequeathed it all for public enjoyment of future generations and for those who like to learn and have cultural experiences in their lifetimes.

My hunger for more cultural sites from Bucks County, PA had not quite been satisfied nor had my sister’s. We each had one more place we wanted to visit before leaving the area.

Come on back on May 3rd for the final post in this three part series. If you hunger for more art and culture from your armchair, we believe we’ll have something more you’ll enjoy from AllThingsFulfilling.com.

Cultural Travels

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Culturally Fulfilling Travels

The weekend after Easter my twin sister came to visit. As always, we had a fabulous time together. Just a stone’s throw away northward to Bucks County, PA our travels took us. Our forays together usually include elements of exploring art, architecture, books and gardens and seeing landmarks of interest located in Main Street Historic Towns. It’s what floats both of our boat loads of interests.

We discovered Doylestown, PA just two hours north of where I live. What a gem, especially in terms of what we set our sites on seeing when we go on a “Sister’s Travel” excursion. Our first stop was the Mercer Museum, which was built to house Henry Chapman Mercer’s collections. He was “a noted tile-maker, archaeologist, antiquarian, artist and writer, a leader in the turn-of-the-century Arts and Crafts Movement.”

His museum is a “six-story reinforced concrete castle” designed by the man himself completed in 1916. It was built by just eight men over four years. Inside you can see artifacts from 60 types of arts and crafts of the period. Here are a few pictures outside and inside the castle walls. So impressive it was that we hope our two brothers in the building trade will someday take time to go see it and the primitive tools used to build the colossal castle.

Exterior Mercer Castle
Inside the castle walls looking out at some of the roofline
One of six stories of castle staircases – Yes! There is an elevator!
Writers loft in a castle, anyone?
As tempting as it is – this author likes brighter environments to write more lighthearted stories!
A glimpse inside a room with sewing artifacts at the castle. All 50,000 artifacts of pre-industrial tools and implements of 60 types of crafts which are stored in the Mercer Museum are individually numbered.

Our next stop was conveniently located across the street, which we enjoyed seeing with a walkabout – The James A Michener Art Museum is filled with a permanent collection of Pennsylvania Impressionistic paintings as well as a great range of revolving artist exhibits and they offer art workshops for children.

Exterior of Michener Museum of Art
Labyrinth on Michener Museum’s grounds. Bordered by spring flowering trees getting ready to pop any day! Lovely.

In the next post on AllThingsFulfilling.com I will share more information including another castle with a fantastic art attraction all on one gorgeous not so very small land plot.

There is so much to share, one story at a time, with our readers on AllThingsFulfilling.com about our visit to Buck’s County cultural and art attractions. See you back here in a few days time!

The Art Scene – Easter 2022

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The day before Easter I returned to an arts space I had visited last fall – the Gallery at Manor Mill in the small historic settlement in Monkton, Maryland. I’d gone especially to see the new equine collection of oils by Pamela Wilde. The equine paintings show horses and their riders engaged in various competitions and performances. It is a very appropriate grouping of paintings to hang in a barn that has been a historical restoration project in northern Baltimore County. Monkton is located in the heart of Maryland’s horse and hound countryside where there are many collectors of equine art.

Pamela Lofgren Wilde‘s exhibit is a total of forty-eight oil paintings also including streetscapes, portraiture and a delectable mix of other subjects. Here is a photo of artist Pam Wilde with her Easter “fascinator hat” styled to go along with the era of her vintage dress.

Artist Pamela Wllde with two paintings from her equine collection

Here are just a few more images of her oils, which will hang until May 30th.

Oil Paintings by Artist Pamela Wilde
More of Pamela Wilde’s oils

Other artists featured in the spring collection include Judeth Hawkins, Lisa Mitchell, Daniel Good,
Keith McCleary and Linda Biggs.

Other art in the featured exhibit included painted furniture and a marionette crafter/artist.
The two oils on the right are by Lisa Mitchell.

For more information on the current exhibit visit the Gallery at Manor Mill. A trip to see the pre-Revolutionary grist mill which has been turned into a fabulous art space is worth the drive, in and of itself!

Gallery Manager, Lynn Jones decked out in her Easter bonnet.
Another art enthusiast wearing a Easter Bonnet.

It was a fulfilling Saturday before Easter on the Art Scene in the Hunt Country of Maryland.