Take a moment and explore Wilderland.Maine through the lens of my camera.
Enjoy the calm and sometimes dramatic images of my visual narrative exploring the Kennebec River Watershed, from the Merrymeeting Bay to the Gulf of Maine. I have been working on this project for 4 years.
This work has changed my life as an artist, a person and as a citizen of this planet.
All Nature, all of the time.
Wilderland.Maine, a four year study
A ONE year Artist Immersion Climate Change Project that turned into a four year study! I have fallen in love with this 10 nautical miles of the Kennebec River and its Watershed. Over the past four years I have documented more king tides, a greater number of humid days, hotter nights, and lots of erosion on the shoreline due to record breaking storms. It has been wonderful to get into the outdoor rhythm of our natural world. Getting up with the light is a gift. At that time of day the stillness and gentle quiet still hovers in the landscape. Watching a a new day unfold as the light gets brighter by the moment is pure magic. It is the reverse at the end of the day, winding down to a blue hour and stars shining brightly in the Maine sky.
I have been blessed to observe the comings and goings of our migratory birds at the marsh, forests and the edge of the sea. The bees, butterflies, dragonflies and other insects were wonderful to watch, photograph and study. The connections of the plants, flowers and grasses are perfectly timed for pollination from certain insects, birds, and other pollinators. Yes, the Divine is in all of the systems of nature.
Winter, which lasts almost 6 months this far north is always spectacular, especially in February; I like to say "The North Pole has come to visit!" It is a month filled with ice sheets, frozen rivers and creeks, the beaches are icy, frozen sea foam and a place to go snowshoeing, on a good day. Sometimes the ice sheets are just too big to tackle! The blowing snow is loud and so cold you cannot believe it. My eyes get kind of frozen and taking images without freezing my fingers is the biggest challenge!
These are a few thoughts about the last four years. Stay tuned as I do my post work and go through my vast amount of images. Look for Pop up Wilderland Exhibit/Experiences, Slideshow Presentations, Books, Paintings and Eye Spy Illustrations.
I am so excited to tell the story of this place I call Wilderland Maine.
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Thank you for being interested.~ kdb
An Artist in Residence/Immersion Project.
The Wilderland Project:
This adventure was inspired by our rapidly changing climate and the opportunity to photograph and document how the shores of the
Kennebec River and the beaches look today, creating a baseline that could be studied decades from now. The work is methodical, going
out most everyday, regardless of the weather photographing what is happening, then back into my studio, sorting, posting and making
sense of each days work. I also study maps, topo and satellite versions to try and understand this watery place that reaches out into the Casco Bay and beyond. I also work in my studio and create paintings from my images that are inspired by my images and experience of this wildly beautiful swath of shoreline.
The Wilderland Project is the visual narrative of the Kennebec River watershed from the Merrymeeting Bay to the Gulf of Maine.
A little history...
In the spring of 2014 I was reading an article published by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. The facts prompted the idea for what is now the Wilderland Project. G.M.R.I. extensive studies have shown that the Gulf of Maine is heating up 99.9 percent faster than any other ocean in the world. What does that mean, besides change is eminent? It means that our fish, and living creatures and plants may also change, shift and adapt to a warmer environment.
This is not a new concept, in 1955 Environmentalist and Writer, Rachel Carson wrote this, "Curious changes are taking place, with many animals invading this cold temperate zone from the south and pushing up through Maine and even into Canada." So it goes.
Life, the earth and every living thing (us too) are in a constant state of change.
This is when I decided to create a project that would involve going out most everyday and documenting this watery world with my camera for a full 12 months. I like to think that I am creating a photo document that can be studied 30-50 and even 100 years from now. I believe having a visual record is important. Going out and recording what will soon be a memory has been my forward motion motivator. Every year in February the "North Pole" comes to visit, it is extraordinary. The shoreline, marshes and estuaries are icy and snowy with blowing snow and sub zero temperatures. I am from the West Coast and never experienced this until moving to Maine in 2001.
The Wilderland and Seguinland…
Going out into nature everyday is a gift, it is always different and interesting. One can always discover something new while exploring, photographing, painting and writing about this magical place. In the past three seasons the Wilderland has had many lessons to share with this Curious Naturalist and Artist. If you are paying attention nature can teach you the true gift of observing. Only by being still and listening actively with your full spirit and heart can you begin to understand our living planet. The more you learn, experience and discover the more you may realize that you have only scratched the surface. I discovered that my original estimate for this project of 1 year, was not based in reality. The Wilderland Project is now in its third year! I continue to be enchanted with the simplicity of nature and the sounds, sights, vistas and colors that are a daily inspiration out in nature. To document this region through painting, photography and writings has been the biggest gift to my spirit and hopefully to those that are following and support the beauty of this Visual Narrative.
These reaches of Midcoast-Maine were once referred to as "Seguinland". Artists came up from the New York and other points south to paint, photograph and sculpt. This Summer ART Colony included the Lewiston native Marsden Hartley, Max Weber and John Marin who spent his summers at Small Point, the photographer Gaston Lachaise made his summer home in Georgetown. William and Marguerite Zorach, settled in Robinhood Cove, they later became iconic Artists and Sculptors of midcoast Maine. WIlliam and Marguerite had a daughter, Dahlov Ipcar who is a famous Artist and Author of many childrens books, filled with her whimsical and nature based illustrations. This ever changing group of creatives painted and enjoyed summers here from 1900-1940. My Wilderland was their Seguinland. Maine continues to inspire, as the landscape of this special spot is the muse and interpreting nature through many different mediums becomes art.
My Personal Journey
“Follow your Bliss”. Joseph Campbell suggests this as a way to lead a happy life.
Happiness in our own lives can lead us to places we never knew existed.
In the spring of 2014 I was happy enough. I was enjoying an interesting life without the responsibilities of family or a relationship. This is a rare moment in any ones life. I seized this as an opportunity to do something important, creative, interesting and fun. What? Well I really wasn’t sure but I had this idea. I had spent the winter of my epiphany being quiet, exploring nature, photographing and creating art. So I had this idea, what if I took a full year and explored a place in the wild that was dear to my heart and spoke directly to my creative muse? This idea had captured my imagination and the idea of doing something important with natural world for future generations. This adventure was bigger than just my personal reasons it was also inspired by our rapidly changing climate and the opportunity to photograph and document how the shores of the Kennebec and the beaches look today. The work was methodical, going out most everyday, regardless of the weather. My camera recording what was happening, then back into my studio, sorting, posting and making sense of each days work. I also created paintings from my photographs, that are inspired by this wildly beautiful spot, just 20 minutes south of Bath Maine.
“The Wilderland” , my special spot in nature that speaks to my heart and every fiber of my being. However, the most extraordinary gift was a gift to me. I was given understanding, acceptance and peace, in my mind and spirit. Most every day I go outside with my camera and capture images of the sky reflecting in the water, vast and sweeping views that seem never to end. I am also documenting little gems and beauties of rocks, shells, birdies and other living critters. One year of this project was not enough, I have extended it and have now finished in my fourth and final year! Every moment I have spent out rambling, photographing, listening and getting to know our natural world is a gift. The peace that being outdoors brings to me everyday is an elixir that has led me to balanced happiness. I am grateful, everyday for the gifts of nature and of happiness that is now a wellspring from within.
Musings and findings with featured flora and fauna, photographs and paintings. This Blog is an almanac of sorts, periodically I write about the weather, light, temperature, birds, bugs, insects, fish, wildlife, marsh grasses and many other things that are important out here on these reaches of land, that make up the shores of the Kennebec River and the Gulf of Maine. This project is driven by my love of place and a passion for my art and also wanting to share this magic spot with other like minded nature lovers.
The focused area of my Project is the Kennebec RIver Watershed, the reaches of Phippsburg and Georgetown in mid-Coast Maine. Once known as "Seguinland", this magical spot was the summer home to painters.
The landscape in this region features estuaries, mountains, hills, salt marshes, bogs, cliffs, crashing waves, islands, rock outcroppings and sandy shores. This is one of many slices of the Maine Coastline that features a rich and varied natural environment.
My affair of the heart, The Wilderland Project began on the first day of Autumn, September, 2014 and came to a close in September, 2018
the end of the 4th year. Now it is time for all of the post work, several years of work in my studio and at my desk. I am a busy gal!!!.