Friday, February 10, 2012

Linger in the Newport lobby. It's Freewheelin' Friday.

 ❄ Dedicated to Artistic Endeavors of all Sorts  ❅

The stars have aligned in Newport, Rhode Island

❋   ✯  ✬
      About this time two years ago I had the chance to watch shell artist Blott Kerr-Wilson at work on her installation ~~the mural of haliotis assinma (ass's ear) abalone in the foyer of  41˚North, Newport's marina hotel.

      She applied every shell by hand, building patterns off mounded surfaces to play off the shadows. Thousands of abalone shells shimmer in the diffused light as if they were underwater. Mesmerizing.

Benjamin Krebs photo

Her website says Blott travels the world with seashells in her suitcase. (France is home base.) Thanks to her generosity I left Newport with a healthy amount of haliotis assinima in mine. 

      At home I propped a stretched canvas, plugged in the glue gun and played with placement. As a writer, I recognize false starts but it's tougher pulling glued abalone shells off canvas than deleting a bad paragraph.

      Just the way characters in my imagination eventually  take on lives of their own, shells of various sizes & shades began to create patterns as they caught the light. You might say they spoke to me. Or you might say I finally got the hang of it & stopped burning my fingers. 

Either way, rhythm developed & patterns emerged.

      And after 14 years the awkward blank space over the fireplace has been filled. 
(Hanging that sucker is another story) 

❄  ❈ Thank you, Blott! ❅  ❆

      Last week The Today Show recommended 41˚N (Forty 1˚North) as a Valentine getaway destination. This coincides with The Newport Film Festival's "Friend-Raiser"
food & film samplings on the premises 
Saturday evening, February 11.

Linger over Blott's website.
And put Newport on your agenda. Linger in the lobby of  41ºNorth

Both ventures are worth the trip.

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