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Ellen Babcock. Inspired by Maine history, this artist celebrates Portland’s working people

A history lesson comes with this profile of artist Ellen Babcock. Ellen lives in New Mexico, where she is an assistant professor of sculpture at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. She also founded the organization Friends of the Orphan Signs. Ellen got her BFA from the Portland School of Art (MECA) in 1984 and makes regular visits to Maine to visit her family.

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Painting by Diane Dahlke

Diane Dahlke. An artist who finds inspiration in play

When she’s not at her easel, Diane Dahlke is encouraging and mentoring aspiring and developing artists. She teaches painting in MECA’s Continuing Studies Program. That’s where I first met Diane. I took her Practice of Painting class several times. Couldn’t get enough!

Because her lessons still roll around in my head and in the hand that holds my paintbrush, it is only fitting that I include her in my series of Profiles of Maine Artists. (more…)

Pastel by Lucy Ellen Smith

Lucy Ellen Smith: Artist who teaches us how to draw to learn

Lucy Ellen Smith is not only an exceptional artist, she is an exceptional teacher.

I met her several years ago when she and her husband Carroll moved to Maine from Chicago to take care of her mother Fran. Thinking about that, I need to add that Lucy is simply an exceptional human being. She and Carroll left their home, jobs, family and friends to move in with Fran and care for her until her death seven years later.

They are now back in Chicago, where Lucy continues to create beautiful art and nurture other artists in her drawing and painting classes at the Center for Life and Learning.  (more…)

How we are leaving our marks on the world

Presumpscot River Trail Collage

One night after class last week, I went for a leisurely stroll along the Presumpscot River in Gorham.

My drawing professor, Michael Shaughnessy, had told us to be prepared to spend our next class making as many marks as possible using graphite on a large piece of paper. At the beginning of my walk, I was contemplating the array of marks and textures and designs I might create. Suddenly, as I came around a bend in the trail I realized that I was surrounded by marks and texture and designs. (more…)

Graphite marks

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