Abstract paintings based on artist's unborn child

Neighbors

July 13, 1998|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ARTIST MARK Hatfield and his wife, Hilary, are expecting their first child and, like many soon-to-be parents, they're picking names (Ethan Blake, if it's a boy, and Emma Blake, if it's a girl) and trying to make use of minimal space in their town home.

He's painting the sky on the nursery ceiling, and she is making a quilt before the baby arrives in early October.

It should be of little surprise that the child of an artist and the former executive director of the Carroll County Arts Council is also the inspiration of a series of abstract paintings by Mark at the cafP pangea in Baltimore.

The first painting, a 5-inch-by-5-inch abstract, was Mark's Mother's Day gift to Hilary, and it is a painting of the child's soul.

Symbolic of the nine-month gestation period, the series has nine paintings, and in each Mark grapples with the abstract nature of the soul and its relationship to physical being.

"The early ones are intense in color, and as they progress they get a lighter hue," Mark said. "The colors are subtle and refined as the soul has gone from nonbeing to being -- as the soul is coated over with human physicality."

Inspiration for this series came also from a quote by poet Rumi Jelaluddin, which made an impression on Mark. Jelaluddin states: "The soul lives like a drop of mercury in the palm of a palsied man."

"While I painted these, I felt there was spiritual connection between our child's soul and my soul," Mark explained. "This wasn't just something I wanted to pass on, it was also something to receive. I hope to gain from this child a better understanding of the hows and whys of life. Many of these things are spiritual. They are not learned like learning how to play the piano."

Titled "Love Lit a Fire in My Chest," Mark's paintings premiered Saturday at cafP pangea, a cybercafe/wine bar off Falls Road in Baltimore. The exhibit will run through next month.

Mark's work is also part of a group show that runs through this month at Tatiana Ltd. in Glenelg. If you don't have time to travel, walk into the Hair After on Main Street, where Mark works during the day and where his drawings are on display.

Information: 410-662-0500.

Common Ground groupie

I have a confession -- I'm a Common Ground groupie and I want to recruit more people to the incredible experiences available at Common Ground on the Hill.

"Isn't that a bunch of hippie types floating around at Western Maryland College campus for a week pickin' the banjo and doing arts and crafts?" a friend asked me.

All types of people enjoy the weeklong series of workshops in everything from Celtic carving and jewelry-making to songwriting and lessons on how to play the fiddle, harp and hammered dulcimer.

If your budget is tight, you can volunteer during the week or the weekend festival in exchange for a workshop or two.

Another inexpensive way to enjoy the Common Ground experience is to stroll around campus and listen to teachers and students play in impromptu nightly jam sessions.

For more information about Common Ground or to volunteer, call Lisa or Bill Spence at 410-857-2771.

Downtown promotion

Westminster Business Association's promotional push for LTC downtown Westminster continues with the recent release of a slick brochure that encourages folks to "Slow down, shop, enjoy, take it all in."

Twenty-six businesses are featured in the brochure, which offers a map of downtown, a schedule of events and directions to Westminster from Washington, Baltimore and Gettysburg, Pa.

About 10,000 brochures are available at WBA member stores, the Carroll County Office of Tourism, local hotels and visitor centers.

"Avoid the hectic fast lane and join us on easy street, Downtown Westminster, Maryland," the brochure states.

"We got the idea after several people came in and asked about other locations to shop and eat in town," said Sandy Scott, WBA president and owner of the Hickory Stick. "We were constantly taking out little pieces of paper, drawing maps and giving directions. This gives people something to hold onto -- or give to a friend."

Lisa Breslin's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 7/13/98

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