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Gabe Smith’s “Gray Planet” at the Gafney Library, Sanbornville, New Hampshire

This show exemplifies ALL of the reasons this blog came to exist, all of the reasons that I champion libraries in the area for showing really fine regional work, and finding and seeing work by a total unknown. (In a small place-like Sanbornville.)

Gabe Smith graduated high school in 2010, and is demonstrating in his show at the Gafney called “Gray Planet” sophistication in an art vocabulary that goes far beyond his years on the planet Earth and his scholastic art training.

His theme for his work is both very personal and universal. He has dealt with friends who have committed suicide and acts of self-harm. He approaches this theme with mediums, like motor oil and drywall, which are also very temporary and unstable, things that will chip and eventually fall apart. Much like us “gray people”. His mediums rarely are traditional and he relies on mixed medium, found objects and spray paint.

Gabe Smith at the Gafney

Gabe Smith at the Gafney

He was very gracious and walked through the show with me, explaining the inspiration of some pieces and the collage elements in others. Again, for a first-timer, extremely ready to face this art world.

"Hobo", (c)Gabe Smith

“Hobo”, (c)Gabe Smith

“Hobo” has among it’s materials used, old maps of Maine-they are the hobo’s face.

"Gray Planets" on the mantel, "Space and Stuff", large piece above, all (c) Gabe Smith

“Gray Planets” on the mantel, “Space and Stuff”, large piece above, all (c) Gabe Smith

Now, remind me again-where is this show?

So, Gabe is a multi-talented artist and also performed at the Wakefield Opera House tonight. The opening reception at the library was followed by his performance which I opted out of.

Find Gabe Smith Pop Culture Icon on YouTube, and check out for library and show hours. This show is up until the end of the month.




More art from last night

On to the Kittery Art Association, since I had a meeting of the Seacoast Moderns to attend there.

A drastic difference from 100 Market, not so much in quality of execution, but in depth. “Color Palette” offers a great deal of eye-candy. And, much like the “candy food group” is to the body, there is real no nutritional value  to the brain in this show.

This is another venue where I am a member and regularly show, as well. I joined this art association four years ago to have an outlet, and for many of us, it does provide that in a lovely two-story building on Kittery Point. I couldn’t make the drop-off for this show, since I was hanging the Berwick Art Association show at Sole City, at the same time. There are some very technically skillful members, which was also my “draw”. And, it is not nearly as expensive to be a member as the Ogunquit Art Association or the New Hampshire Art Association-though, they look better on the resume since you are juried into them. KAA has no jury process.

Here are a few of my “picks” from “Color Palette:

"Lost Claw" (c)Cleone Graham, oil on canvas

“Lost Claw” (c)Cleone Graham, oil on canvas

"Chip", (c) Max Johnson, MM

“Chip”, (c) Max Johnson, MM

"Kayax" (c)Jennifer Chamberlain, oil on canvas.

“Kayax” (c)Jennifer Chamberlain, oil on canvas.

As with the Gallery at 100 Market Street, the KAA shows are always very well-hung. Judith Bryant has a remarkable eye for making very diverse work, in medium, theme and quality, work together. And, she has no prior knowledge what she will have to work with until it arrives!

Not as challenging or thought-provoking as the Portsmouth show, but definitely worth the drive to Kittery Point his week-end.

The Kittery Art Association is located at 8 Coleman Avenue, Kittery Point, Maine. They are open from 12-6 on Saturdays and 12-5 on Sundays.



In lieu of successful framing

All is not lost when I have an additional few hours to make things work!

Since I have joined the piece-a-day challenge, I actually feel an obligation to fulfill that. And, I am.

I like these 3 little collages. Again, I am reworking mediums “from old” into some new work. Not museum quality, but gettin’ there!

"What Remains", (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, mm, 6" x 6"

“What Remains”, (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, mm, 6″ x 6″

"Cyembra", (c) Dcaryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, 2015, mm. 6":x 6"

“Cyembra”, (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, 2015, mm. 6″:x 6″

"Crazy Dreams", (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, 2015. mm, 6" x 6"

“Crazy Dreams”, (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, 2015. mm, 6″ x 6″

So, the frustrations of framing today at least manifested itself in some pleasantly fun collage work. And, I do feel mildly accomplished for the day.

I also started by creating texture, a larger canvas (18″ x 24″), but I will not have a chance to start adding paint to it til later in the week.

Tibetan Wash

This is Day#6 of 30-Day Painting-a-Day challenge. I am not a formal participant, but this is giving me a bit more steam to delve back into styles and mediums I haven’t worked in a long time, and a little justified experimentation.

I got off to a late start tonight, so this one is smaller than last night’s-5.5″ x 7.5″. It is watercolor and acrylic, and a few MM elements.

"Tibetan Wash" (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, 2015, MM on Arches watercolor paper, 5.5" x 7.5"

“Tibetan Wash” (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, 2015, MM on Arches watercolor paper, 5.5″ x 7.5″

“Tis the season!

Blackdird Dtudio with my small watercolors  and one of my smaller realistic pieces.

Blackbird Studio with my small watercolors and one of my smaller realistic pieces.

A group from the Blackbird Studio show including my Mongelati series in the corner

A group from the Blackbird Studio show including my Mongelati series in the corner

I stopped by Blackbird Studio today because a good friend wanted to check out the new show-and show her support by making a few small purchases.

As we sat drinking our beverages and gossiping in the gallery, the light snow fell softly outside. We watched it through the window, rimmed with a pine cone swag, as the fire crackled in the wood stove.

Yes, a very different kind of gallery and Christmas shopping sort of experience.

As Steffanie was about to leave, I was going to make an exit as well, but a car pulled into the lot, so I decided to stick around. A family had driven from Canterbury, New Hampshire-quite a hike from North Berwick, Maine, to visit.

I hope more people like them take the time to pay a visit as well.

The art/fun of curating

My youngest sister is a curator.  A well-recognized one in Native American art. For the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Oregon.

When she walked into my apartment for her visit, the first thing she said was, “Wow, look at the art!” My work, as well as a few choice pieces that I have traded for fill my walls. I like art-a lot of art-other people’s as well as my own.

I have hung many of my own shows, and I have argued with a gallery owners. I don’t always get my way. I have also been involved with art coops and associations where I have been part of the hanging committee. Last year, I curated the art at the Stone Church, which actually involved studio visits, and the like.

I have two shows to orchestrate the hanging of coming up. I will have a team for both shows, and both shows will be 40-70 pieces strong, 15-16 artists. I am getting images for press releases and the art is very solid!

So, I am not really curating, but I am managing a group of accomplished artists at the Kittery Art Association. And, I have taken on the responsibility of making sure that not one, but two shows, are good. It’s one thing to have good work to hang, it’s another to hang a good show.

I will be showcasing throughout the next few months, much of the art for both “Mettle” shows at the York Library and the Kittery Art Association gallery. As we get closer, I will also post any related events, opening dates, etc. But, right now, I am into the fun of curating—and that is sharing art.

"Harvest Moon", 2013 (c) Anne Strout. Mixed-media, encaustic.

“Harvest Moon”, 2013 (c) Anne Strout. Mixed-media, encaustic.

Anne refuses to work in mediums that aren’t challenging. She carries her wax pieces in temp-controlling lined bags so they don’t melt.

“Mettle”, the Seacoast Moderns at the York Library, September 3-October 27.

Stay tuned for more info—and a lot more images.

Eventually, it all makes sense…

Eventually, it all makes sense….

Eventually, it all makes sense…

It’s been an interesting exploration of materials and sensibilities, but I think I am starting to hit the destination of this part of my artistic ramblings.

I’ll make some comments per piece:

Link (originally called Mettle), 2013. @Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst. MM on canvas, 12" x 12"

“Link” (originally called “Mettle”), 2013. (c)Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst. MM on canvas, 12″ x 12″

This is not 100% finished, but it made some very impressive leaps right out of my control today. I am finding that palette knife application is helping with some of the grit and spontaneity I want to show. Though I love working with the plaster, this is also more stable, and I will get enough of the desired surface. I expect to add more paint, copper foil and wire to this. This is one of the 14 pieces that will be part of the Seacoast Moderns collaboration piece that will be displayed during the “Mettle” show at the Kittery Art Association,September 19-October 13.

"Replanting", 2013. (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst,  MM on canvas panel, 9" x 12"

“Replanting”, 2013. (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, MM on canvas panel, 9″ x 12″

I love that I don’t automatically discard “failures”. The photography on here originally buckled, but this has been sitting under other art for a few months, and nicely flattened out. I added a lot of paint today-and there will be more to come. This is part of the “Razing the Garden” series.

The next two pieces are part of the “Rural Contracts” series, but are referencing a very different part of rural peoples’ realities. Much more to be done on these!

"Reservations 1", 2013 (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, MM on particle board, 18" x 14".

“Reservations 1″, 2013 (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, MM on particle board, 18″ x 14”.

“Reservations 2”, 2013 (c)Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst



In the prep for having my sister here for the week-end, I have up-ended the apartment to find places to store art that I did not want on the floor, and rearranged the walls to accommodate more of the recent work that hasn’t sold.

I have found canvases, in the process, that have images that do not work. Bonus!!! I tend to get like a mother when I paint something, only to realize that if I saved all of these children….landfills would overflow.

Let the repainting begin. An 18″ x 24″ canvas has a coat of Zinc Oxide. There are canvas panels waiting for me to wipe off their original images.

A bad 18" x 24" getting a rehab so it can be something else

A bad 18″ x 24″ getting a rehab so it can be something else

Canvas panels that I inherited that will be repainted that fit behind.

Canvas panels that I inherited that will be repainted that will fit behind the iron roses.


Plaster, old wood, twigs, recycled cabinet doors and repurposed frames

"Just Another Brick", (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, 12" x 9 1/2", mixed media.

“Just Another Brick”, (c) Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, 12″ x 9 1/2″, mixed media.

Finished, and I am very happy with it. Using oils on the plaster yesterday, I was able to get subtleties in color that were not coming out with acrylics. I added a few touches a little earlier, and I am calling it.

So, I have been incredibly productive in this newly refound mix of mediums. Onto the next:

"Random Sculpture", (c) 2013, Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, mixed medium.

“Random Sculpture”, (c) 2013, Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, mixed media.

This is first phase. I am not sure if the plaster is snow or concrete yet-TBD. There are also a number of technical challenges in this piece that will need to be solved.

The two “Canyons”, one of which I showed last night, now have color. More to go on.

The newest plaster piece is waiting for the plaster to dry. It’s more “poetic” and “landscapey”. I was able to locate in my arsenal of frames, two wooden 11″ x 14″ ones that have Masonite backs. That is in one of those.