To most of the world, Lois Dodd is an important realist painter, a founding member of the legendary Tanager Gallery whose work is in museums and major collections all over the country and if you want to know more about that there are bios at Alexandre, her New York Gallery, and Caldbeck, which shows her work in Maine.
But to me she’s family, the dear friend on whose land I’ve lived and worked since 1973. Her house is right across the field and she is our nearest neighbor in all ways: co-proprietor of the garden, babysitter for the cats, indefatigable fruit tree pruner and major companion for walks, meals, gallery hopping and grousing about politics.
Fittingly, we met over wild mushrooms my very first summer in Maine. Knowing zip at that point, I collected something I thought was a chanterelle and asked sculptor friend Blackie Langlais (my then landlord) if he could identify it. No, he said, Lois is the one who knows mushrooms, “ go ask her.”
The rest, as they say, is history. The earlier parts are recounted in The 3000 Mile Garden. Later parts are and will be recounted here.