From Here, Now Away
In the Midcoast, we’ve gotten quite a bit of the “From Away, Now Here” influx. So, this is a new feature to highlight people who’ve grown up here and are on a journey elsewhere to shine their creative light. Carter Smith grew up in Maine and still has a family cabin on Bailey Island. He left for New York City when he was 19, started working for modeling agencies, and traveling the country doing model scout tours. With an eye for offbeat and unusual, he took portraits of the people he met along the way, such as carnival workers and gas station attendants who wanted nothing to do with modeling. Because of these portraits, Smith got the attention of iD magazine. Within 24 hours, he was offered to shoot for a Levi’s campaign. Within six months, he was working for Vogue and W. The camera has been his window to dark, strange and haunted worlds. As a successful fashion photographer who has worked on locations all over the world, he moved on to filmmaking. Obsessed with ‘80s horror movies and Fangoria magazine as a kid, (the movie Brood was probably his favorite) he adapted a script from Bugcrush, a foreboding short story by Scott Treleaven about a high school crush that goes horribly wrong. The 37-minute short filmed in Bowdoinham, Maine, won Best Short Film Prize at Sundance and went on to show at the Cannes Film Festival. Since then, Smith has directed the horror/suspense thriller The Ruins and is now reaching a point in his career where he wants to make more personal movies involving troubled relationships. This winter he’s working on producing and filming a movie he adapted from Christopher Barzark’s novel, One For Sorrow, a haunting coming-of-age story about a murdered teenage boy a la The Lovely Bones. Q: When you were growing up on Bailey Island, what kind of photographs would you take as a teenager? CS: As a teenager, I used to dress up my sister and her friends, drag them into the fields behind our house, drape them in gauze and Army blankets and paint their faces with haunting make-up. I thought I was being very avant-garde at the time. Q: Your work seems to gravitate toward stories with dark coming-of-age themes and disquieting relationships. What about that attracts you to this material? CS: I think I’m probably attracted to dark stories because of my years as a fashion photographer, where my job was to make everything look perfect and beautiful. Q: Are you still doing fashion photography? What are some of the best photo shoots you’ve ever been on, in terms of location, people and the purpose of the campaign? CS: I’m still shooting stills, because I shoot mostly on location. Earlier this year, I went on Safari in South Africa for two weeks, shooting a campaign for Louis Vuitton. I’ve gotten to travel the entire world for work, but some of my favorite jobs have happened out on Bailey Island. Q: Tell us a little more about the film you’re working on this winter and what about it fires you up? CS: The film I’m currently shooting is called “Jamie Marks is Dead” and it is a heart-breaking high school ghost story I love, about a boy that no one cared about, no one noticed, when he was alive. It’s about how difficult it is to be a lonely kid and how desperately we all need to be close to someone. Q: What about Maine stays with you in your work and in your life? CS: Maine stays with me in the form of my little cottage on Bailey Island. I think of it every day, always counting the days until I can be there next. It’s my favorite place in all the world.
Whitney Carpentier, 22, a Camden resident all of her life is a writer, a baker, and a candlestick maker. (Okay, sorry about that, it just seemed to flow). You can usually find her working at French and Brawn when she's not dreaming up escapades to get out of town or organizing zombie walks. Her hair changes color like most of us change socks and one thing this girl loves is a good tattoo. Her latest, an old-fashioned burlesque queen, was inked by a friend, who goes by the pseudonym, Gordon Alexzander. Alexzander, a young surrealist artist also from Camden, has shown exhibitions at CMCA and is known for exploring fantastic creatures and cyberpunk landscapes in his work. Carpentier already has a sepia-toned three-masted ship on her shoulder and explains why she chose this tattoo. "I've always had a fascination with pin-up girls. I love the ridiculous sexuality of pin-up girls mixed with the innocent surprise." Her inspiration for this particular artwork came from a well-known tattoo legend, Norman "Sailor Jerry" Collins, who integrated his lifelong love of sailing with intricate naval tattoo designs. As such, the schooner on her shoulder is also inspired by Sailor Jerry and this new tattoo is a companion piece. "Without Collins," Carpentier says, "tattooing wouldn't be where it is today. He died in the 1970s, but was was an innovator of his time." She felt Alexzander would be the best artist to emulate Sailor Jerry's style. "[Alexzander is] a truly gifted artist, and someone I trust more than most, so I felt it only right for him to do this work. He's working on his tattoo skills, and what better way to do that than to get back to basics and work on something traditional. I felt comfortable with him doing my tattoo because he knows me so well and is easy to bounce ideas off. Together we worked on a color scheme, line width and placement." As Alexzander has recently taken off to do some traveling, he was unable to finish the piece, so Carpentier says she is "between tattoo artists" and is looking for someone with as much traditional and artistic insight as Alexzander to finish it up.
Who is Norman "Sailor Jerry" Collins?
(reprinted from his website www.sailorjerry.com)
Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins enlisted in the Great Lakes Naval Academy in his late teens and spent the better part of the next ten years sailing all over the globe on schooner ships. As tattooing and the sailing man go hand in hand, it was no great coincidence that this time at sea fostered a deep love of naval culture and the art and tradition of tattooing for young Jerry. Traveling deep within the China Seas, Collins would occasionally tattoo while in various ports of call, studying not only the work of some of the tattoo masters he encountered there but Asian philosophy and storytelling as well. Heck, he even learned a bit of Chinese! These encounters definitely influenced Jerry, as he brought their style and traditions back to Honolulu where he worked in the arcades of Chinatown pre-WW2.
image courtesy of www.sailorjerry.com
The Story Behind...The License Plates
(to see the whole story)
Holly Sherburne is the founder of Plate Poets Publishing and the author of The Maine Plate: Maine Vanity License Plates and Their Meanings
She is a self-described “serial entrepreneur” whose active career has included stints in microbiology, toxicology, web design and newspaper publishing. She published The Maine Plate, a book of more than 250 Maine vanity license plates through Maine Authors Publishing. As for her inspiration she says, “Well why not? Who among us didn’t spend time as a kid looking for ‘cool’ license plates on long road trips?” The book took two years to finish and includes the stories behind these hilarious, unique, and sometimes heartfelt personalized plates, plus Maine anecdotes, trivia and more. Sherburne captures the words of what she calls “plate poets,” people who have the gift of poetic thought, imagination and creation, together with the eloquence of expression in seven characters or less.
Sherburne offered the following plates and stories, courtesy of Plate Poets Publishing.
Originally, I got the plate when I sobered up almost twenty years ago. I haven’t had a drink since. Also, I was unhappily married at the time, and friends laughingly changed the meaning of the plate’s name to reflect my upcoming divorce. I get many comments on the plate, and I like to think that people define it to suit their own fancy. HADENUF looks good when I’m covered in a snow bank, in a traffic jam, the definitions are endless, but the original meaning always stays the same. I’m retired now, but my plate used to greet me after a grueling shift at the hospital—HADENUF!! When people offer me a drink, I say, “HADENUF, thanks!”
I have a 1984 Mercedes Benz 300TD (turbo diesel) that I converted over to run on waste vegetable oil (fry-o-later oil) from local restaurants. She gets the same horsepower and miles per gallon that she gets when on diesel, but I get to lower my carbon footprint and cruise for free without supporting foreign oil.
The story behind the name is that in 2001, when I bought this PT Cruiser, the first model on the market, I immediately thought it looked like the cars in an Al Capone movie from Chicago mobs, so the most obvious name should be “GNGSTAH.” It is bright red and I still get quite a bit of attention for that name. People smile and nod when they see it. My family insists I should mention I am 75 years old and very young at heart and appearance!! So, there you have it.
Play the “Guess What It Means” game on Sherburne’s website http://platepoets.com and Facebook www.facebook.com/platepoets. Upload your own license plate and provide your story on her website or by emailing email@example.com
The Story Behind Kelly Hailey's Tattoo
Robert Dyer is an eclectic Rockland artist who advertises on his website he’ll draw on anything, “paper, canvas, skin...” That led to a request from a friend, Kelly Hailey, to have Dyer give him a tattoo. Both happened to own a particular graphic novel, Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware and appreciated the visually stunning artwork in the book, particularly around the innocence of the panels that depicted a kid using a mini microphone to record a bird in a tree.
Hailey explains, “The reason why I was drawn to this piece is because it had very modern, yet very antiquated, old world visual aesthetics. I went to school for sound design. To me, hearing is one of the most beautiful senses and this image that he tattooed on me from this book is all about that.” It took about two or three hours to sketch it out in black and white and add layers and color to the first panel. It is still unfinished and a work in progress.
“For me it was a homegrown, very organic, a beautiful piece,” said Dyer. “It was just a couple of hours with us talking about our lives as I tattooed. We became close—dove into our personal sides.”
Hailey chose to have the tattoo located on his right side from under his arm to just above the waist line. “I feel so many people are getting tattoos,” said Hailey. “I’m at a place where it’s much more of a private thing at this point. I don’t feel the need to show it off. This was just a conscious decision where I put it. I think if you are going to get a tattoo, it should resonate with you personally more than anyone else viewing it.”
For more of Robert Dyer’s artistic work go to www.dyerink.com
Panel 1 is a bird in a tree.
Panel 2 is an image on an old fashioned cassette recorder.
Panel 3 are the kid’s fingers pressing “play” on the recorder
Panel 4 is the kid holding up the mini mic as the bird sings in the tree.
From Here, Now Away
In the Midcoast, we’ve gotten quite a bit of the “From Away, Now Here” influx. So, this is a new feature to highlight people who’ve grown up here and are on a journey elsewhere to shine their creative light.
Don't forget--Nathan is performing TONIGHT, November 19, at Bowdoin College. Included below is the Longfellow Poem "The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls" which inspired this choral composition. (I've heard it--it's awesome.)
Click to read the story of Nathan Scalzone, choral composer in Village Soup's thescene titled "From Here, Now Away"
THE TIDE RISES, THE TIDE FALLS
The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
Along the sea-sands damp and brown
The traveller hastens toward the town,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.
Darkness settles on roofs and walls,
But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls;
The little waves, with their soft, white hands,
Efface the footprints in the sands,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.
The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls
Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;
The day returns, but nevermore
Returns the traveller to the shore,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.
Henry Wadworth Longfellow
from Ultima Thule - 1880
Now we're into November with the clock rolling back this weekend and darkness descending. As one woman said, "I go straight from my work clothes to my flannel pajamas at 5:30 pm" But it doesn't have to be that way! Starting this Thursday you can go to Alexis Pastuhov's The Roaring 20s film and party at The Strand on Nov 4 at 7:30 pm--or--Roots & Tendrils' special evening of music with award winning songwriter Emilia Dahlin at the historical Colonial Theatre in downtown Belfast, also on Thursday Nov 4 at 7 pm. Friday kicks off The Island Institute's Sustainable Island Living Conference 2010 (Nov 5-7) including including "Building a Business: from Passion to Paycheck." Or you may want to hit the Arts In Rockland First Friday (Nov 5) Art walk before you go to Pecha Kucha (see more details below). There's also The Where Do I Go Now, Home-less Teen Awareness Project (Rock City Books and Coffee Saturday, Nov 6 at 6 pm)
See lots to do! Don't let the dark keep you in your jammies!
The Killer Convo
This blog is a is a killer roundup of all arts, entertainment, brewery & distillery, food trucks, happy hour happenings in the Midcoast Maine. Feel free to email me anything about Midcoast arts, entertainment & the creative economy.