There it is, at last—a sign hanging above our front door at 16 Main Street in Seal Harbor, Maine. We found the sign—painted with the name of a funeral home—at an antique shop last winter. Pamelia and Haley transformed it, I gave it a coat of polyurethane and Spencer the sign guy hung it sturdily enough that it won't blow down next January when a Nor'easter blows through.
Now that our sign's up, it's time to sign up. That is, let us know if you, your children or a friend of yours might be interested in any of our upcoming workshops and programs. Here is a quick rundown on four of them:
• July 16: Create a Field Notebook, with Margaret Krug.
Margaret, an artist and renowned art historian, teaches at Parsons The New School in New York, writes for American Artist magazine and is the author of An Artist’s Handbook. Participants will use a variety of drawing media to create nature-based field notebooks and explore line, value, composition, volume, movement, perspective, the element of time and abstract motifs. Workshop is limited to 12 participants, age 16 or older, and runs from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (including an instant art show and reception at the end of the day). Cost: $125 plus $25 materials fee.
• July 18: First day of Kathy Coe's three-times-a-week children's art classes.
Kathy, a brilliant oil portraitist and sensitive teacher, has led our kids' art program for three years. Each workshop this summer will have a theme linked to nature or science. Schedule: Mondays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Tuesdays 1 to 4 p.m.; Thursdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost: $25 per workshop, plus $5 for materials. Participants can drop in for just an hour of the workshop if they wish. If you would like a day-by-day schedule of the workshop themes, let us know.
• July 20: Kickoff of Earth News, our be-a-reporter program for kids and teens. Participants get to play TV reporter, write fun stories and create images for a blog and a newsletter and learn what it’s like to be a real journalist. Led by Sports Illustrated's Craig Neff and College of the Atlantic film students Julie Olbrantz and Eli Mellen. Every Wednesday morning, 10 to noon, starting July 20. Free.
• July 22: First day of Kathy Coe's once-a-week portrait and drawing workshops for adults and teens. These will held every Friday from 2 to 5 p.m. Fee: $60.
• August 13: Drawing and Water-Based Screen Monoprints, led by the Fashion Institute of Technology's Cynthia Gallaher and master printmaker Roni Henning. The workshop will run from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., including an instant art show and reception at the end of the day. Limited to eight participants. Cost: $125 plus $20 for materials. Cynthia will give a free talk the night before.
Follow the blog for more on other summer events, including sketch/photo walks, Geology Day, our Sweet 16 Honey Tasting Tournament, literary agent Regina Ryan's "So You Want to Write a Book" talk, a visit by a mobile greenhouse and much more.
And don't forget that we're holding a special event this Thursday, June 30, from 4 to 8 p.m. at which New York artist Rocco Alberico will unveil two of his amazing multi-media constructions and Anne Woodman, also a New York artist with a strong Maine connection, will introduce new, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, some of them inspired by endangered species. Oh, and a volcano is going to erupt outside the Notebook at 7 p.m. Seriously.
Here's Eli Mellen on another of the more than 1,000 titles in The Naturalist's Notebook collection: Napoleon's Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History by Penny Le Couteur & Jay Burreson
The intriguing title of this engaging book brings to mind the proverbial rhyme:
For the want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For the want of a horse the rider was lost.
For the want of a rider the battle was lost.
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horse-shoe nail.
Napoleon's 1812 invasion of Russia failed in part because of extremely cold weather that disintegrated the tin buttons on his soldiers' uniforms through a chemical process called "tin pest." That molecular weakness of tin caused Napoleon's soldiers to freeze and gave Le Couteur and Burreson their catchy title. The two authors, who are chemists, chronicle how 17 different chemicals each changed the world in their own tiny-molecular way. Their book offers compelling examples of how the smallest changes can have the most profound consequences, presenting an enlightening perspective on both world history and chemistry. An excellent summer read.
Music From a Garden Hose?
Thanks to Melanie, the gifted young cellist from Connecticut, for passing along this follow-up to our recent post about people who turn carrots and other vegetables into musical instruments. Here Linsey Pollak, an Australian musician, performs on a garden hose he has transformed into a contra bass clarinet; he also cleans the cobwebs out of your ears with a feather duster clarinet.
Answer to the Last Puzzler:
The prefix paleo means ancient, very old, pre-historic.
What is the chemical symbol for tin?
William Thomson, better known as Lord Kelvin, the Belfast-born mathematical physicist and engineer who established the scale of temperature that bears his name, would have turned 187 years old on Sunday. Unless you live in outer space, you probably don't need a Kelvin thermometer outside your kitchen window. Zero on the Kelvin scale is absolute zero (minus-459.7 Fahrenheit). Ice melts at 273 degrees Kelvin and water boils at 373.16 degrees Kelvin.