Jessica DeFrenn of Swan’s Island was the featured artist at Spruce and Gussy for Friday’s Art Walk in Bar Harbor. ISLANDER PHOTO BY LIZ GRAVES

Painting the town

BAR HARBOR — It doesn’t seem like anything in Bar Harbor is slowing down just yet. The streets were hopping Friday; artists, musicians and refreshments were on hand at 15 businesses participating in the final Art Walk of the season.

Jessica DeFrenn of Swan’s Island, who has begun marketing her artwork online as Antlers and Milk, was the featured artist at Spruce and Gussy. Her collection included paintings, drawings and prints. The drawings are done in Copic marker and other micron pens and markers. Others are painted with coffee.

Several drawings are from a series of abandoned women, which were featured at a show earlier this year at the Shaw gallery in Northeast Harbor. The figures are all posed with nests and eggs and other symbol-rich images from the natural world. In “IV,” a woman’s figure sits in what appears to be a tree or giant fern, decorated as if for Christmas, which rests on top of an owl’s skull. Her long hair forms a nest for three eggs.

The block prints are carved, not from wood or linoleum, but from rubber.

“I just picked up carving in April,” DeFrenn said. “I went to Carroll Drug in Southwest Harbor one day and bought a pack of blank greeting cards. And I had a piece of rubber sitting around,” which gave her the idea to try her hand at illustrating the cards with block prints.

Some of her drawings depict wise-looking old fishermen. DeFrenn’s brother has worked as a stern man on lobster boats, she said, and “I think there’s just this wisdom about them; there’s a story to tell.”

At Choco-latte, Amy Schwartz of Bar Harbor exhibited a collection of resin casted windows. She starts with reclaimed window or picture frames and creates an illustration inside using sea glass, mosaic glass, shells, and wire. Then she casts the whole thing in resin to suspend the pieces inside the frame. In one, a turtle and a pair of seahorses made of brown and green sea glass swim over sea grasses. The turtle seems to be cheerfully making his way to the surface in search of snacks.

Glass is also central to the wire sculptures of Judith Rose Lacadie Hill of Greenfield, which were on display behind the counter at Island Artisans. Some are part of a body of work that focuses on Maine industries, in anticipation of the upcoming Maine bicentennial.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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