28 September 2013


(Lake Kivu, Rwanda)

21 September 2013

Premiere! Quinoa Soup

The Island Film Festival opens tonight with the PREMIERE of Quinoa Soup, a documentary film by acclaimed filmmaker Kate Kirby shot in Bolivia.  If you're anywhere in New England, you've probably got time to head on over to Minsky Auditorium in Orono, Maine for the 7pm showing, which will highlight what our consumption means for Bolivia growers.  Really wish I could attend -- I'll look forward to a screening on this part of the island later on.  We'll be sure to feature much more about this film and its intrepid filmmaker in the future as part of our Island Artists in Residence feature.  Congrats Ms. Kirby!

18 September 2013


12 September 2013

10 September 2013

Rachel Van Wylen - Artist in Residence

Thunderstorm in Sparkill, 2013, Oil on panel, 24” x 18”

Today on the blog we are very happy to present the artist Rachel VanWylen as part of our reinstated Artist-in-Residence feature. Rachel and I met at Gordon College several years ago, and she is currently Assistant Professor of Art at Spring Arbor University. This month Rachel has generously given us a glimpse of some of her latest work as well as a statement (below) about her new series set in New York and Michigan. Stay tuned for an interview in the next couple of weeks. For more of Rachel's work please visit her website.

"I started this series of landscape paintings this past June when I was doing an artist’s residency at the Vytlacil campus of the New York Art Students League, which is in Sparkill, New York, about forty minutes north of the city. The Hudson River Valley is a visually stunning area, and after about a week of staying indoors and painting portraits, I felt the pull of the landscape and ventured out with a plein air (portable, outdoor) easel to paint the area. The temptation in a situation like this is, at least for me, to be overwhelmed by history, to look at the paintings of the heroes of the Hudson River Valley school – men like Thomas Cole and Frederic Edwin Church - and see their paintings as the final word on the area. So it was with some trepidation that I set up the spindly legs of my old, borrowed easel and began to paint.

By necessity I worked quickly. Tides come in, thunderclouds gather, and the light constantly changes. For some paintings I could only work for a couple hours at a time, because I was trying to capture the look of the evening light right before the sun goes down. My tendency as a painter is to want to be exacting, but I had to learn to loosen up and use fast, gestural marks in order to capture my ephemeral surroundings. Ultimately, this proved a healthy exercise, and I realized if I used those few, expressive marks well, I could finish a painting more rapidly than I would have once thought.

When my month-long residency in New York came to a close I drove home to Jackson, Michigan. Unlike the Hudson River Valley, this is not a famous destination for painters, and so a part of me wondered how my landscape painting practice would fare outside of the aura of the Hudson.

I shouldn't have worried. Since getting home I have painted the Huron River, Lime Lake, and Cascades Park, all Southeast Michigan sites and each one arresting in its own way. My desire show nature in flux – rippling water, the setting sun, darkening skies – is sated here as well, and I look forward to continuing to paint this beautiful area."

-Rachel Van Wylen, September 2013

 Constitution Marsh, 2013, Oil on panel, 18” x 24”
  Bear Mountain, 2013, Oil on panel, 24” x 18”
 Pond in Cascades Park, 2013, Oil on panel, 18” x 24”
 Lime Lake Zephyr, 2013, Oil on panel, 24” x 18”
 Over the Huron River, 2013, Oil on panel, 18” x 24”
 Clouds Over Lime Lake, 2013, Oil on panel, 18” x 24”
 Sunset at Vytlacil, 2013, Oil on panel, 24” x 18”
 Evening on the Huron River, 2013, Oil on panel, 24” x 18”
Morning on the Hudson River, 2013, Oil on panel, 18” x 24”

09 September 2013


07 September 2013

SpongeBob SquareSchool

I want to go to there.

Duck duck duck duck duck

(Camarones, Ecuador)

05 September 2013

04 September 2013

Sculpture Road

There is an undeniable sense of progress on the island, with brand new (and hopefully safer) roads going in amidst the usual buzzhum of activity.  Sure it may be slow-going, but sooner or later we'll get there.  In the meantime, the landscape is a surreal modern sculpture and installation mecca.  (All of these photos were taken from our car window -- credits to Mr. Chris for such stable driving.)
(Kisumu-Kakamega Road, Kenya)

03 September 2013

Holiday weekend

Had a bit of a random holiday weekend with good friends, food, and beautiful land.  I'll be sure to share some pics of the safari expedition, but in the meantime, here are some randoms. 
(In order from top to bottom: Corsica, Paris, Alaska, Maine, Kenya, San Francisco)