Adventure Art

 

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This spring there is a frenzy of action, movement, and change in all directions….

1. I had an awesome time as artist in residence at the Portland Childrens Museum, and got to watch the spring blossom on long bike commutes and afternoon sketching sessions. There is an exhibit pulled from my time there which will be showing in their gallery space though July.

Arrow62. My new book Arrow to Alaska hit the shelves… Find it at your local bookstore, or on my etsy site when i’m back from #4 and #5

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3. Last weekend I celebrated summer weather during a Nature Journaling class put on by Cedar Root Folk School. We sketched and rambled and wrote and enjoyed Marrowstone Island. Above is a fish-head  collected during my drift exercise.

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4&5  Not one but two trips up the Inside Passage to Alaska! Tomorrow I steam off on the  mighty salmon tender  Chichagof, for some kids on boats fun and a week of pouring over charts and current tables in preparation for trip two. The “R2AK” or race to Alaska is a wild idea dreamed up by the head of the NW Maritime Center in Port Townsend, WA.  For its first year in existence, 40 teams will sail or row or paddle (no motors allowed) from PT to Ketchikan. The first team gets 10,000$, the rest just aches and glory. Its a crazy field of boats and competitors. Check out www.r2ak.com for full hilarious details. I’m team GRIN.  Ill also be posting a bit on instagram when service allows (@hannahviano).  Look for field sketches done along the way, and hopefully a show of artwork inspired by the journey in the months to follow.

Art is adventurous work these days, and i hope to keep it that way. Wish me luck.

 

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Seaworthy

Due to a storm off the Azores, I nearly forgot to pick my son up from preschool.

Ann Davison was the one sailing, the first crossing of the Atlantic by a lone woman sailor. I was the one reading her book “My Ship is So Small” in the back yard grass and musing  too long over the rigging of a passing catamaran while waiting to cross the locks.

A series of inspiring projects have been causing me to loose myself in sea-fever after a good few years of being content to play at the very edges.  Ann Davisons’ tiny boat, the Felicity Ann has just landed in Port Townsend and a group of amazing ladies have taken up the charge and plan to work with the NW school of wooden boatbuilding to create a series of empowering opportunities for women and girls starting with the restoration. Felicity Ann Boat Project.

“Go North, Go Simply”

Also in the works is a sweet little documentary being made by an old Outward Bound friend of mine, Teresa Carey, who has her own small fame these days for blogging about her experiences as a singlehander and striving for simplicity. The movie is called One Simple Question and documents an expedition she made with her partner on their own tiny boat  in search of  icebergs and answers. Watch the trailer, I love how she can ask big questions with the winning charm of a rosy cheeked girl from the great lakes.

Maybe not so much of the Sea but at the heart of Seattle, the Center for Wooden boats just opened their North Lake workshop and warehouse, next to Gas Works park in what used to be the mysterious and wonderful land of sea squatters and schooners called Metrodock. I made a piece that fits in panels between the old wooden studs and looks toward the buildings long and happy future as a community anchor for the North end of the lake.

Lucky me lucky me if only i could go to sea.

For the moment it is  well enough to be involved with some wonderfully seaworthy endeavours.  My own current show called “Hydrodynamics” is up at CLICK in West Seattle.  In this series of papercuts  I have been playing with the many qualities of  water  and the different types of linework  and form I can use to tell the seas’ stories.

Current Line 25″x35″

Ill be on hand Thursday June 14th for West Seattle Artwalk.

What a good excuse to see the citys best sunset.

Seastack 20″x16″

homestead

 

“Sandy Point Shipyard” papercut 2011 12″x18″

Recently, we all went home to Sandy Point, Maine.

My parents, who sold the family house on Mill Cove at the mouth of Penobscot Bay to spend a retirement running around on boats and changing lots of minds,  my son who had never worn a rockweed crown on a sprawling mudflat,  my husband who got beaten to the proposal punch on Monhegan island, and me (who cried while reading the childrens book “Miss Rumphius” at the park by the library befor departure).

It had been five years. Befor that there was always some seasonal work, or important reason for at least a few weeks visit each year.  I was worried, that coming back would tear at me, loading on acres of regret and confusion about where i want to be.
The house is now in the hands of a cousin and is bigger and better and tidy around the edges in a new way that suits it fine.

It was all ok. There was nostalgia, but no regret.

I had more emotion (and maybe the hint of a tear) during a ferry ride out into the islands, passing by North Haven, and Hurricane.  An archipelago where i lived and taught in boats and on the bald faced granite for many summers.

The places always change, the shells that hold us come and go. A boat fire for one friend, sales and foreclosures for others, and the creep of the elements and wild mountain rose for our cabin in Curlew. But even when those things lost were built with our own hands, i think it is the land that holds the heart. A warm pine island wafting through the fog, or the canopy of live oaks lousy with squirrels, even the ethereal light of my neighborhood in the urban checkerboard.

In the early 1900s Sandy Point boasted a busy shipyard churning out 3 and 4 masted schooners on two railways, I grew up down the beach in the old boarding house that once lodged the lumbermen from the mill.  Now Sandy Point is a sprawling sandy beach and a straggling of pilings. Sand is reclaiming the traces of the past all along that coast.

“Sandy Point Shipyard” will be included in my Shared is the Sea exhibit at the Northwest Maritime Center (see EVENTS page for details).

ALSO COMING UP!!!

This Saturday is the opening of Columbia City Gallerys’  Paper,Rocks,Scissors group show. My piece “Rock #1” is looking big and bold, along with my friend Emma Levitts fine print “Cave” and an interesting assortment of other quirky artists in a cute little gallery. As if you needed another excuse to hop on the lightrail and play in this up and came neighborhood.  Details on my events page.

fast and light

 Looking north from Saddlebag island, the high ridge of Lummi island looms in the distance. The current lines wind their way, following underwater bathymetry and their own fickle whims. In eddies at dusk we found porpoise and sea lions, salmon and seabirds. (12″x18″)

I have a family that still fits in a 15′ sailboat.

In the rest of life we have, what feels to me, like way too much stuff. Boat trailers, bikes and bikes, a weedwacker, a motorcycle, and even what constitutes a second home (its off the grid on a mountain and has no hot water but we have and do sometimes live there).

Some days it bogs me down, all those things.

When I was my sons age we lived on a 30′ sailboat with no standing headroom, and depending on my dads temperament, no motor.

So it is blissful freedom to pack food and the fewest things in our tiny boat and head out into the islands for a few days adventuring. To be out all day long and sleep under stars and be lulled by the waves, to have almost nothing and need even less.

To be reminded that if that was all i had, my family, their love, and a wild bit of space, it would be plenty.