Monthly Archives: July 2011

Portland, Maine arts


The town of Portland, Maine really is an up-and-coming art community that has experienced its fair share of economic insecurities. Since I moved to the east coast in 1986, I have watched galleries open and then close. As the area has become less a seasonal destination, more stability has become inherent to some businesses. Art is one though that truly relies on the best economic environment.

I was in Maine to meet a friend for dinner, and I really wanted to stop at the museum in Portland and possibly hit a few galleries before wandering south to the mall.

The Portland Museum does a nice job for a small space (relative to, let’s say, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts). Along with Picasso, Braque and Cassatt, a decent collection from the Ash Can School which are in their permanent collection, they also deliver some rather respectable traveling exhibits. “John Marin” was no exception. And, I have taken a few hints from what I learned from his early-1930’s work and applied them to pieces like “Graphix”.

Alfred Stieglitz assembled a group of artists and sent them to Maine from New York to work in a few locations on the coast of Maine. Marin’s works developed a sense of greater non-representational characteristics as he worked in Maine in 1933. Steiglitz was fonder of Marin’s watercolors than his oils, as was I, though watercolor at the time was regarded as a medium to be strictly used for sketches.

Taking that bit of information and inspiration, which it certainly was, I wandered across the square and down the street to Fore River Gallery. And, since this research now has a dual-purpose, I apologize that I did not take more concrete notes about the work and conversation that I had with Mike Marks, the co-director of Fore River. He told me that the present show is retrospective for himself and his wife who own the gallery, and that they represent regional emerging artists, as well. The work represented was beautifully executed and I was impressed that the jewelry was displayed in a way that it looked more like small mixed-media pieces than necklaces.

I asked him about the seasonality of his business and he told me that there really isn’t a great connection between the weather and the business. He said that the First Friday Artwalk is very busy, and that weather also plays little into that traffic amount.

I left him with my card, and a promise to send him a CD when I get more of the “Art in Small Places” work ready to show.

I strolled down Congress from there. The art school had a show up that I breezed through. Though well-reviewed, I have seen too much like it, done more eloquently, in larger venues. Let’s face it folks, found objects, everyday stuff elevated to art…been there, done that.

My overall impressions are that I need to go back and dig more deeply into the pulse in Portland. It is there, and it does beat.

Daryl-Ann Hurst, artinsmallplaces


"Graphix", also from the "Art in Small Places" series

So, it’s getting late on Sunday, and I am still messing with my own art and I have not taken the time to think about writing.

In the meantime, I am adding more visuals:

Watercolor, prismacolor, acrylic, graphite.

From the "Art in Small Places" series



The Art of Compatibility

I said I would keep this about “art” and “small”. Microchips are small, internet program exchanges even smaller. Or, bigger-the scope of the above is so monumental to even try to give any of the above a physical size description is absolutely pointless.

IE9 is not compatible with my system, and I spent a rather frustrating evening resurrecting it and myself from a non-Internet situation rendered by installing IE9. I am back on 8, and , thank you, everything works. So, Art In Small Places will rely upon that.

As I am starting all of this up, I would like to invite one and all to visit my ArtId website and all of my previous listings on Google, Bling and Yahoo. Just type in Daryl-Ann Hurst, and that will link you to the Gulf of Maine Council archives, the New England Antiques Journal Archives, and some show information.

The next post will include some observations, conversations, etc. in my wanderings over the course of the last week. I visited the southern-most section of the Lake Winnipesaukee region last week-end, and I had a short chat with an antique store owner on the fringe of Alton. Today was spent in Portland, and though I only conversed with one gallery owner who seemed positive about their potential, the empty store fronts in the “arts” section of town did not tell a similar story.

So, consider this a further introduction to the direction that I am hoping to take this. I also plan to continue to include photos with posts.




watercolor/mixed media on paper, 6"x6" unframed, 2011

This will be a blog that hinges on “art” and “small”, and places that combine the two.

My recent work has gotten quite petite at 6″x6″ unframed. There has been a recent trend toward smaller pieces due to the fact that they are much more affordable. I see them as not only intimate but a way to make more personal statements as an artist. They require closer observation.

Working in this scale also allows me to more easily work whenever and wherever.