Mimi White at the Schoodic Institute

Mimi White recently sent word about her participation at the artist retreat / Schoodic Institute in the coming fall. Details follow.

In her award-winning book, The Last Island, Mimi has a beautiful poem from her time as a resident artist, one of my favorite:



Schoodic Peninsula


When the moon hung its nail

at the end of the world

we turned off the lights

and let the stars

replace what we had been saying.

Then a deer (which was once

darkness) stepped

across the road

and became forest

again. If I practice

walking I am footsteps

on the lively fungus.

When I gaze at the white

lichen I am the moon.

When blackberries

print seeds on my lips

I am the sweet season

that houses summer,

fragrant, waiting to close.






Join other artists for a creative adventure at the rocky shores and rich maritime forests of Schoodic Point at Acadia National Park. Six well-known former Acadia Artists-in Residence and several ranger/naturalists will be your program leaders for a week of inspiration focusing on the maritime ecology and autumn colors in this quiet yet spectacular area of the coast near Winter Harbor, Maine.   We invite you to enjoy this unique opportunity to learn more about the ecology of the natural subjects you paint, and also to gain inspiration from associating with other environmentally oriented artists. A variety of comfortable housing and a meal package is available so that you can concentrate on your art.

Guest Artist Program Leaders:

  • Michael Boardmanhttp://www.mboardman.com/Outdoorsman and nature illustrator Michael Boardman’s session will be sketching and painting wildlife in watercolor with a focus on birds, a salute to the many who pass over Acadia in October.
  • Jana Matuszhttp://janamatusz.com/leads a workshop on plein air painting, with tips about strategy, equipment, and composition for all drawing and painting media.
  • Colleen Miniuk- Sperryhttp://www.cms-photo.com/focuses on how incorporating individual knowledge, passions, and perceptions can help you transcend the cliché with your photography and art. Gain detailed insights into the creative process and learn specific techniques for consistently developing new ideas and recording fresh images.
  • Mimi Whitehttp://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/mimi-white Conversations and close readings of poems that celebrate where we live—the earth.  Participants will look at a few select poems for enjoyment and enlightenment.   Just bring a willingness to pay attention and to be open to words.
  • Gary Hoylehttp://garyhoyle.weebly.com/ teaches how to make studio models of plants and flowers. Collect leaves of a plant that you want to reproduce.  Color photocopies, wire, waxes, crepe paper and possibly thread and string will be used to fabricate model plants.  Previously prepared silicone molds may also be used.
  • Ard Berge http://www.ardberge.com/.       will explore drawing, composition, and careful looking as a means to learn from as well as interpret nature.  Following an artist’s presentation, workshop participants will compose drawings that explore their own perceptual experiences and understanding of the park’s landscape.


SCHEDULE: Arrive on the afternoon of 10/6/2014 with the option to participate 4, 5, or 6 nights and 7 days


MEAL PLAN: $50/per day (Breakfast, AM snack, lunch, PM snack, dinner)

LODGING: $40-$200/per person per night, costs relating to your preference for shared or private bedrooms. There is also an opportunity to share a 2 bedroom (sleeps 3 for $100 total housing per day) or 4 bedroom (sleeps 8 for $150 total housing per day) apartment with friends.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:   Kate Petrie, Artist-in-Residence Coordinator, Acadia National Park 207-288-1312



The life of metaphor.

met/a •phora n. a figure of speech containing an implied comparison, in which a word or phrase ordinarily and primarily used of one thing is applied to another.

In This Craft of Verse chapter two, Jorge Luis Borges cites the Argentine poet Lugones as saying, “every word is a dead metaphor.” According to Bruges this appeared in the forward to Lunario Sentimental, an eclectic, and evidently scandalous in its time, “volume of poetry, short stories, and plays by Leopoldo Lugones (1874-1938) that revolve around the theme of the moon.”

There is much to find about Lugones, and what Borges writes about his work, but I want to look at the statement, which appears in the chapter Metaphor, in This Craft of Verse. I think the chapter and this statement is inspiring.

Think of it, abstractly speaking, every word is, in a sense, originally a metaphor. Something to consider. (Borges says “consider” originally meaning “being with the stars,” “making a horoscope.”) That we have to forget that words were metaphors, is one of an imaginative or creative repositioning, that art is all about. This is what struck me, what I think is so interesting about Brushstrokes and glances by Djelloul Marbrook.

Take for example imagining the beginning of language, wherever it may have been, very early man painting on cave walls, then vocalizing their experience, describing things by implied comparison. For me, the nature of reading poetry, the experience conjures up realizations, emotions, evokes spirit. When read or recited aloud some would say words become spirit. It is why yogic knowledge or teaching was and is spoken, whispered, if you will, into the devotees ear.

But I don’t want to get side tracked by Vedas, actually an early form of poetry, just as Rap has it’s roots in slave poetry and song. We must accept verse as something ancient and valuable, nothing new. Art and poetry together have a history and place in the exchange of ideas.

The abstract is something to keep in mind when contemplating the origins of words and metaphor, which, with this statement by Lugones, hit me as a desirable escape from the mundane, and an example of the wonderful power of reading, to inspire. Even as a foundation for other art forms such as painting, metaphor is rich, especially when it is fresh and stimulating (in 1909 Lugones “wrote that he thought poets were always using the same metaphors. . .”) so readers of poetry enjoy finding writers that stimulate the mind with new and interesting language.

I know I sound like I am blowing my own horn here, but in fact I am taking another opportunity to mention why I like Djelloul Marbrook’s writing, and why I published his book Brushstrokes and glances. His is a fresh new voice. And I won’t go on and on trying to describe it, but please, if you don’t find enough about it on our website deerbrookeditions.com, visit Djelloul’s blog.

You can now purchase our books directly at our web site.

Let me also say how grateful I am for the wonderfully art embellished review by Tom Holmes on The Line Break.