Wednesday, May 17, 2017

VANtastic 2 wrap up boogaloo

I had my 18th Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" (entitled VANtastic 2!) on Saturday, May 13th at Wild Oats Bakery and Cafe in Brunswick- and it was a blast! I set up my work on Friday evening and took it down on Sunday afternoon...and let me tell you, that place was busy, busy, busy - all day, every day!

This was my second time having a "Paint-a-Thon" at Wild Oats: the first time was in March 2016, and I was set up near the door to the patio (that month's cause was the Coastal Humane Society, in case you're keeping track). This time, I was set up in the hallway next to the dining room (and the cause was ArtVan), and it was the perfect place to be! I was in the middle of the action without being in the way, and the lighting was wonderful, thanks to the beautiful atrium and the sunny weather.


my racks


Wild Oats is one of the many places that makes Brunswick cool, and I'm grateful that I was able to be painting all day and showing my work at such a wonderful community hub. Plus, the friendly, helpful staff at Wild Oats could not have made me feel more welcome! I'd like to extend a special thank you to Valerie (who agreed to host me, who helped to coordinate the event, and who did a great job promoting on social media) and to Jen (who took care of anything else I needed, including raffle ticket pulling duties)- you guys are awesome!


the e-newsletter...thanks, Valerie!


I know that Wild Oats Bakery and Cafe is famous for their carrot cake (and who doesn't love carrot cake?), so I used that as the inspiration for that day's painting...I give you "14 Carrot Cake"!


"14 Carrot Cake"


The eight hours flew by (as usual), and soon it was time to draw the winning raffle ticket (drum roll, please):



Jen pulling the winning ticket...



...congratulations, Amy! 

Amy Finnen has purchased raffle tickets for many of my past Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" events, but this was her first time winning! Thank you, Amy, for giving my work a good home (and for your friendship)! 


VANtastic 2 was a successful event all around: I met some cool people, I had the opportunity to chat with friends and friendly acquaintances, I sold a ton of magnets, 4 prints, 2 tote bags, and a bunch of raffle tickets...I even sold a painting for $900 (*gasp*) - a new record for me, by far! 


"Strawberry": SOLD!

Thanks to everyone's support, we were able to raise $181.50 for ArtVan! Woo hoo! What will happen next month? Stay tuned...

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

it's VANtastic


I’m having my eighteenth Brushstrokes With Impact™ “Paint-a-Thon” (entitled VANtastic 2)! On Saturday, May 13th, I will be setting up my easel at Wild Oats Bakery & Café (149 Maine Street, Brunswick) and painting from roughly 8:30am-4:30pm. At the end of the day, the completed painting will be raffled off, and 50% of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to ArtVan. Raffle tickets can be purchased in person for $5 each or 3 for $10. I will also have a small “pop-up” show of my art at Wild Oats Bakery & Café and 10% of all my art sales (excluding magnets, but including totes) from this show will be donated to ArtVan. Please contact me via email (maria@brushstrokesbymaria.com) for raffle information. Here's the link to the Facebook event page:


*cue announcer voice* "But wait, there's more!"

Here’s a NEW twist (due to popular demand from people who want to participate from a distance): Would you like a print of the painting I will be creating on Saturday? Do you like surprises? For $20 plus $5 shipping, you can get a signed, unframed, 6” x 6” giclee print mailed right to your door! Please allow 30 days for the prints to be made and shipped. The painting won’t fully exist until the end of the day, so I can’t tell you exactly what it will be, but if you’re reading this, chances are, you have an idea of what my work looks like! Prints can be purchased via PayPal (https://www.paypal.me/BrushstrokesByMaria), and of course, 10% of all print sales will be donated to this month’s cause, ArtVan!




Wednesday, May 3, 2017

catching up once again

It's May! A lot has been going on, and this blog post is overdue...

I've been spending a lot of time at Curtis Memorial Library lately! For eight hours straight on Friday, April 14th, I was painting in the library's lobby, raising money for Curtis. Rather than repeating myself, here's a link to the blog post I wrote for Curtis Creative Spaces about it: http://curtiscreativespaces.com/winging-it/


photo credit: Chris Tucker



Curtis Memorial Library also had me back on Thursday evenings in April for a repeat of "Playing With Paint," and once again, it was a blast!  Here's a link to the blog post I wrote for Curtis Creative Spaces about it (hmm...is there an echo in here?): http://curtiscreativespaces.com/playing-with-paint-part-two/. I'm happy to say that so far, the feedback has been positive, and I'd like to share a quote from one of the class participants, Betty McNally: "Mike and I loved the class. We will cherish the memory."


The McNallys and their Pollock-inspired paintings!



Speaking of repeat performances, on Wednesday, April 26th, I spent an hour painting faces at the Gelato Fiasco for the Brunswick Area Teen Center "Scoop-a-Thon". It's hard to believe, but this is the fifth year I've participated in this community event! Here are a couple of pictures of some of the many faces I saw that day:


a colorful kitty!


forehead bat through the window! (photo credit: People Plus)


One more thing before I end this blog post: I'd like to thank the lovely and talented Erica Kingston

for featuring my artwork in the brochure for SMCC's 2017 Preceptor Appreciation Seminar, entitled "All The Colors Of Nutrition"! Erica, you are awesome! Congratulations to you for all of your hard work (and your kick-ass GPA), and congratulations to Jennifer Moscone for her stellar speaking performance at the seminar ("Post-Bariatric Waistland")! 



eat the rainbow!







Tuesday, April 11, 2017

loving you is easy 'cause you're beautiful

My seventeenth Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" is this Friday, April 14th! It's called "Library Love Part Deux," and- you guessed it- I'll be at Curtis Memorial Library! My easel will be set up right in the front lobby, and I will be painting from 9:30am-5:30pm. At the end of the day, the completed 8" x 8" acrylic painting will be raffled off, and this month's host and cause are one and the same: 50% of the proceeds from raffle ticket sales will be donated to Curtis Memorial Library. Raffle tickets can be purchased in person for $5 each or 3 for $10. I will also have a small “pop-up” show of my art on display, and 10% of all my art sales (excluding magnets, but including totes) will be donated to Curtis Memorial Library. Please contact me via email (maria@brushstrokesbymaria.com) for raffle information.

All the talk about funding being cut for libraries makes me upset, so I'd like to help in my own little way. Libraries are important, and I'm fortunate to live in a town where the library is AWESOME. The timing works out well, too: it's National Library Week! Please stop by...support independent art and Curtis Memorial Library all at once!

Friday, March 31, 2017

shoes and bees and art

My 16th Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" was on Saturday, March 25th at Selby Shoes Etc in South Portland, and it was so much fun! As you may or may not remember, the first "Paint-a-Thon" I had at Selby Shoes Etc was in December 2016, and there was a big snowstorm that day. Well, guess what happened when I was setting up my "pop-up" art show on Friday, March 24th? WE HAD SNOW! Thankfully, the severity wasn't even close to December's snowstorm, but Dennie, Ed, and Paul at Selby treated me to some good-natured teasing nonetheless ("Do you have a snow cloud over your head?"). The forecast was clear for Saturday, though, and Friday's snow was gone as quickly as it came. WHEW!


all set up!


Besides clear skies, Saturday was filled with laughter, visits from friends (thank you, Jen, Jenn, Lori, and Heather!) and encounters with new, friendly faces. I sold a handful of tote bags, including two to a woman who purchased one, walked out to her car, and came back in to get a second for a friend. I even met Ellen from Dobra Tea in Portland, who invited me to show my work at her shop on Exchange Street. Woo hoo!


The beginning...


progress...


The eight hours flew by (as they usually do), and suddenly, I had a finished painting! The title came to me through a conversation I was having with Dennie while I worked: "Let It Bee"!


"Let It Bee" and my Fluevogs!


Ed was kind enough to do the raffle drawing honors, and sure enough, the winner of "Let it Bee" was Heather Goulette of Monarch Massage! Heather is one of my dearest friends, and she has supported many of my previous Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon"s, but this was her first time winning a painting. I'm thrilled that her name was on the winning ticket, and I know she will give "Let It Bee" a good home, because Heather is a collector of my work! Plus, I will get to visit, which is always nice. Thanks to everyone's support, together we were able to raise $100 for the conservation efforts of Maine Audubon


Hooray for Heather!



In other news, I will be hosting another four-week "Playing With Paint" series at Curtis Memorial Library! Take a look at this wonderful write-up in the library's newsletter by Sarah Brown: 


PLAYING WITH PAINT-NEW CLASSES
Due to overwhelming demand, the library will offer a repeat series of free Playing With Paint classes.  Each class will focus on a different famous artist and one of their paintings:
  •  Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh, April 6, 5:30-6:30
  •  Convergence by Jackson Pollock , April 13, 5:30-6:30
  •  Red Canna by Georgia O'Keeffe, April 20, 5:30-6:30
  •  Blue Circus by Marc Chagall, April 27, 5:30-6:30 
 Maria Castellano-Usery, a well-known artist in the Brunswick area, will teach the classes.  Maria has a wonderful sense of how art is created, what is required to dive into the process, and how to have fun while doing it.
Maria will talk briefly about the artist and their work and style and then class members will paint (and take home) their version of one of the artist's well-known masterpieces.
  The goal of Playing with Paint is to learn about painting and art, and have fun in the process!  Come by yourself or bring a friend with you - it will be an enjoyable, relaxing evening with some interesting learning mixed into the process.
Appropriate for ages 14 years and older, the classes are free and all supplies will be provided.Class size is limited to 12 attendees-so sign up early! Sign up limited to two classes per person, with the option of adding your name to the wait list for the other two classes.
Please sign up by calling the library's reference desk at 
725-5242, ext. 204.-SB



Speaking of Curtis Memorial Library, if you're interested in checking out my bi-weekly blog for Curtis Creative Spaces, here's the link to my most recent post (they go up every other Wednesday, in case you'd like to follow along): http://curtiscreativespaces.com/. I think that's it for now! 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

marching on and on

It's mid-March already! Here's what's been going on with me.

Thank you to everyone who supported my 15th Brushstrokes With Impact™ “Paint-a-Thon” on Saturday, February 25th in Claremont, New Hampshire! Together we were able to raise $105 for the Claremont Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry. It was a fun day, complete with visits from family, friends, and new, friendly faces. I even sold a painting! Here are some photos: 


The start...


...and, eight hours later, "Avocado Star" was complete! 



"Perpetual Light": SOLD! 



The winning ticket! Yay for Rebecca!  


The winner of "Avocado Star" is none other than the lovely and talented Rebecca Boothby Conley of Boco Video Pro! As you can see, Rebecca was very excited to win, and I'm thrilled that "Avocado Star" has gone to a good home where it will be loved and appreciated! In addition to running Boco Video Pro, Rebecca hosts the Evening Sun Blues radio show on WMPG! Tune in to hear her every other Wednesday from 5pm-7pm (and you can stream it online if you're not local)!


the handoff! 



In other news, I painted a Little Free Library for Curtis Memorial Library's "Booked For The Night" fundraiser, which took place on Saturday, March 4th! I wrote all about it for my Curtis Creative Spaces blog, so rather than writing the same thing twice, here's the link if you're curious:
http://curtiscreativespaces.com/in-the-books/


Speaking of Curtis Memorial Library, I'm happy to say that "Playing With Paint" is coming back in the month of April! We'll be focusing on the same artists as last time (Vincent Van Gogh, Jackson Pollock, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Marc Chagall), but we're changing up the paintings ("Sunflowers", "Convergence", "Red Canna", and "Blue Circus", respectively). Woo hoo! 


Time for another announcement: I’m having my sixteenth Brushstrokes With Impact™ “Paint-a-Thon”! On Saturday, March 25th, I will be setting up my easel at Selby Shoes Etc (220 Maine Mall Road, #5, South Portland, ME) and painting from roughly 10am-6pm. At the end of the day, the completed painting will be raffled off, and 50% of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the conservation efforts of Maine Audubon. Raffle tickets can be purchased in person for $5 each or 3 for $10. I will also have a “pop-up” show of my art at Selby Shoes Etc and 10% of all my art sales (excluding magnets) from this show will be donated to the conservation efforts of Maine Audubon. Please contact me via email (maria@brushstrokesbymaria.com) for raffle information. Here's the link to the Facebook event page:  https://www.facebook.com/events/286541395116060/


I'm excited to be going back to Selby Shoes Etc.! They were so nice to me when I was there in December...hopefully the weather will be nicer this time around! Fingers crossed...

Thursday, February 9, 2017

a recap and an announcement!

I'm overdue for a recap, but I'm right on time for an announcement!

On Saturday, January 28th, I had my 14th Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" (SOUPER BOWL II). It was a low-key affair, especially when you compare it to the other Super Bowl, but I'm not about comparing apples to oranges, and you shouldn't be, either. Tee hee. Anyway, I'm grateful to Paul Clark III from Morton Real Estate for allowing me to use the vacant space next to Believe Fitness at 25 Stanwood Street in Brunswick (thank you, Paul!) and I'm grateful to everyone who stopped by and/or purchased raffle tickets online. Together, we were able to raise $100 for the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program's "Backpack Program"! Yay!


the setup!


the start...



...and the finished painting, "Hungry For Peace"!


The winner of "Hungry For Peace" was none other than my niece, Hayley Evans, who has entered these raffles many, many times before and until now, she had never won...so congratulations, Hayley! I wonder if "Hungry For Peace" will adorn her dorm room wall when she's off to college in the fall...I guess we'll have to wait and see! 

In case you didn't stop by, you might not know that I now have "Lucky Cat, Readfield Emporium" tote bags available for sale! These are sturdy little bags, and they're $20 each, perfect for hauling groceries or anything else you might want to carry around. 

totes! 

Okay, time for that announcement: my next Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" will be on Saturday, February 25th, and I'm going back to Claremont: I'm calling it "Nourish New Hampshire"! Thanks to the kind cooperation of the Greater Claremont Board of Realtors ® Community Service Committee and the Pleasant Street Restaurant, I'll be setting up my easel once again at 84 Pleasant Street and painting from roughly 9:30am-5:30pm on Saturday, February 25th. At the end of the day, the completed painting will be raffled off, and 50% of the proceeds from raffle ticket sales will be donated to the Claremont Soup Kitchen and Food PantryRaffle tickets can be purchased in person or online (https://www.paypal.me/BrushstrokesByMariafor $5 each or 3 for $10.  Here's a new twist to increase your chances: donate 3 cans of food and receive 1 free raffle ticket for that day’s drawing (limit 1 free raffle ticket per person)! I will also have a “pop-up” show of my art at 84 Pleasant Street and 10% of all art sales (excluding magnets, but including tote bags) will be donated to the Claremont Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry. I hope to see your smiling face there... but as you know, thanks to the miracle of the internet, long-distance support is possible (and very much appreciated)! 

OH- one more thing! If you like blogs, I should also mention that I have a blog on Curtis Memorial Library's "Curtis Creative Spaces" page! Here's my most recent entry there: http://curtiscreativespaces.com/with-roses-in-her-eyes/


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