Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Guest Blogger: artist Frances Clements Fawcett: Loons! Maine “Memory Mailbox” Continues to Deliver Delight

I'm pleased to welcome guest blogger Frances Clements Fawcett. Welcome, Frances!

Hooray it’s autumn! Brilliant reds, rich oranges and yellows, and sizzling gold are staging their annual fashion show on the trees here at Yes and Yay HQ.  Predictably, when I spot a particularly dazzling tree, I’ll smile and declare, “Oh my, this reminds me of Maine!”

I’ve blurted this phrase umpteen times to my patient husband and friends, when some image, scent or sound sparks a childhood memory. You see, I grew up spending my summers on Barker Pond, which is about an hour inland from Portland. Embraced by the forest, water and lots of family and kids, this magical time is lovingly stamped into my heart.

And these cherished memories continue to delight and inspire me. When they pop up into my head (or “FCF’s Memory Mailbox”, as I like to call my brain), it’s like receiving a surprise postcard from the past!

One of my all-time favorites was paddling our family’s blue canoe on the pond, hoping to spot a loon. Ah those enchanting loons!  As a kid I’d hear their haunting laughs and cries between claps of thunder on a muggy summer night, or in the early morning before other sounds competed with their songs.

Loons have popped into my art in colorful ways.  I never tire of interpreting their bold markings in my whimsical paintings and hand carved prints.

 Jeff and I even designed our wedding bands with entwining loons!

Today as I tap out these words, I’m spying on a petite and feisty Douglas squirrel that is dropping fir cones from the towering tree outside my studio window. After he collects a pile, he gathers them into golden pyramid-like mounds. I imagine that he’ll save the extra-special, plump cones to unpack and savor later this winter.

And like the squirrel, my treasured cache of Maine memories continues to delight and inspire my art-filled life. (Thanks Mom and Dad!)

What cherished childhood memories are squirreled away in your heart?

When they arrive in your Memory Mailbox how do you translate them into fresh stories and art?

Why not hit that reply button and share your favorite memory sparks with us?!

In Delight and Loon-Lovin’ Gratitude,

PS  - thanks Kristina for letting me share this post on your blog!


Suzanne said...

This blog post reads like a poem. Light whimsical fresh like a delightful summer gone by...

Frances Clements Fawcett said...

Thanks Suzanne - I took a little trip down memory lane (actually Butterfield Lane) as I wrote this this piece. ; )

Vickie Martin said...

I love the rings!!!!!!

andrea wedell said...

Me too, I adore the rings and that stunning purple flower next to it. I'm also very happy to learn more about Maine and to experience your love for the place. I was there this summer and it took a bit of time for it to grow on me.
As for your question, what memories are we holding ; I've been in France so long, that I'm in an almost constant state of yearning for home for the golden hills of Northern California, the fog creeping up over the hills, the sparkling sunshine, raw beaches, singing seals and the health loving, friendly people.
Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz was right, there really is no place like home.

Robin Jane Fingher said...

What a fun and DELIGHTFUL post!
I had never heard of a Loon, so I set out to read about something crazy, like a loony tune. That has me giggling now. On a more considered note, I loved the interpretation of your Loon in your artwork. How inspiring to be taking memories and building more life stories from them - Bliss! Hugs to you both from downunder Rx

Linda Steele said...

That was a fun post, Frances could be a writer as well as a painter. Thanks for the lovely story and letting us see those unusual rings.

Frances Clements Fawcett said...

Hi Robin, Vickie and Andrea! I do adore you all - such fun that we can meet up on our blogs to continue the conversation.

Andrea, that photo of me with the rings was taken in the Pyrenees in France in 2004 - I was admiring those beautiful purple flowers and Jeff snapped the evidence!
I find the subject of home and memory to be so so rich: it pulls at us, haunts us, delights us. Andrea you paint a vivid heart-pulling description of Northern Calif. thank you for that!

Vickie: we gave a goldsmith couple (here on the Olympic Peninsula) a very rough sketch/cartoon of two loons with necks intertwined and they crafted the rings - (much much better than what I drew!).

Robin, you crack me up. You have such a clever way with words!

I'm super thankful that you all are in my life! xoxo Frances