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Creativity Still Pulling into the Dilworth Artisan Stationby Susan Tompkins on July 3, 2020
The Dilworth Artisan Station’s hundred-year-old building on East Kingston is known for being packed with creativity every day. Before COVID-19, 24 artists were paying rent and putting out their art for sale in their studios. Now, according to painter Paul Hastings (known as “Mayor” by his creative colleagues), only about six are leaving home to come into the studio to work.
Here is a look at three artists whose creative fire can’t be quenched by the current conditions.
“I wouldn’t mind turning into a vermilion goldfish.” – Henri Matisse
Hastings says, “It’s still great having even a fraction of the normal interaction with the artists that come regularly to create. Before COVID, our monthly gallery crawls brought art lovers flowing throughout the building. I need interaction. Hearing the visitors’ critiques stimulates my imagination.”
Hastings’ theme is nature. His massive clouds and volumes of water that sweep across “McClennanville” – a commissioned oil painting – depict nature’s power on-the-move. A viewer can almost see the tide moving in.
Hastings leads other DAS artists regularly to volunteer at The Levine Children’s Hospital teaching art.
“…[W]hen we leave their rooms after leading them into the world of creativity, they are thrilled and overjoyed. Just several hours there is magical.”
More About Paul Hastings
“Art is a line all around you.” – Gustav Klimt
Mariam Durkin is a figure painter. She says “My brain is drawn to the challenge of rendering the human form. This call to health and distancing has me more focused.
Durkin says, she asks herself every day, “What do I want to create? What projects have I put off?”
“I respond to the challenge of rendering the human form with emotional resonance. I paint images that invoke relaxation — as in that painting above of a girl by the sea reading a book.”
Recently, she was painting a nude on a 40″ x 40″ canvas with acrylic. Durkin says she’s able to continually revise thanks to acrylic’s ability to dry quickly. That opportunity to take different directions on the fly is integral to Durkin’s process.
“I decided my exploration didn’t work – she was too realistic – I wanted her abstracted,” she said. “On the last day, I took grey paint and painted out her entire body except for her feet. That was very satisfying. I don’t know if she’ll “grow back” from the feet left behind on the canvas. But the possibility of exploration is still there. That’s exciting.”
More About Miriam Durkin
Claire Jacobs earns her living making fine art jewelry. Ten years ago, she studied to be a metalsmith at The Penland School of Crafts.
“Before the pandemic, I bought a lot of gemstones. My inspiration kicks in immediately when I sit down here at my workbench surrounded by my precision tools,” says Jacobs. “I am most creative when I’m experimenting. The fact that now there’s less noise and fewer distractions is wonderful!”
While Claire works for hours at her studio she’s glad that the only thing she can hear now is the sound of the light rail whistle coming through her open window.