Collector/ Creator

As long as I’ve got you focused on midcoast Maine (see my last post on Davistown Museum and Liberty Tool Company), I wanted to give you a tour of the studio one of my most inspiring artist colleagues, Abbie Read, who lives in the little town of Appleton, Maine–just inland from Belfast.


She also happens to be the person who first introduced me to Liberty Tool Company and Skip Brack. Like myself, Abbie always has her eye out for quirky beauty. She is a gardener, a collector, and above all else an artist. You will see from these images of her home and studio that these three pursuits are all rolled together into one seamless existence. Rather than using too many words I’ll let you stroll with me through Abbie’s gardens and studio and you’ll see what I mean.


Roadside view of Abbie’s studio, surrounded by her remarkable garden.


I was paddling with Abbie in the great northern woods of Maine when she spotted this fish-shaped driftwood on the shore. It could not be left behind!

I’ll get back to her gardens before this post wraps up–but time to poke around inside Abbie’s studio:

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Here and there I recognize some great finds from Liberty Tool Company.


What I love about visiting Abbie’s studio is that you can’t quite  tell where the collections leave off and the artwork begins.



The arrangements are shape shifters, social gatherings, little galaxies of starlets.


The found objects become installations become artworks, but even so, at any moment a comfortably bedded down little object might be plucked up, manipulated,  and given a whole new context:

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So much more to see, but I promised to get back to the gardens:

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Trellises                          (no problem for Abbie who can whip out willow chairs)

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And the gardens are great homes for her collection of whirlygigs:

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The real show stoppers are the flower beds, raised bed vegetable gardens and containers spilling blooms everywhere…

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