Thursday, January 31, 2019

color and energy!

It might be cold outside, but my heart has been warm all month long. On Friday, January 11th, I had my 38th Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) “Paint-a-Thon”. It’s my first event of 2019, and I can honestly say that it has gotten my year off to a big start!

this card feels fancy! 

On Wednesday, January 9th, I drove to Meriden, New Hampshire, to hang my solo show (entitled “Color And Energy”) at Kimball Union Academy’s Taylor Art Gallery; two days later, my “Paint-a-Thon” happened (from 8am-4pm), followed by the show’s opening reception (from 5:30pm-7pm). It was a whirlwind, to say the least! On paper, it was a long day, but instead of being tired at the end, I was energized. I was so wound up, I didn’t want to sleep until the wee hours of the morning! I was originally planning on setting up my easel and painting just outside the Taylor Art Gallery, but KUA’s Ursula (Ursi) Fries-Herfort (Arts Instructor and Gallery Director) suggested the dining hall instead - and I’m so glad she did. On a side note, Ursi also helped me to hang the show, which was huge, because walking into that empty room was intimidating! Anyway, the dining hall at KUA is a major hub for the school community, and it allowed me to connect with students and faculty alike while I was working. Rather than distracting me, the steady hum of conversation and foot traffic allowed me to focus on the painting at hand. It also gave me a strong impression of what life at KUA is like, and I was struck by the culture of kindness that permeates the school. There was a friendly and respectful tone to every conversation I overheard, no matter who was doing the talking: students, faculty, or staff. Everyone who took the time to chat with me while I worked was friendly, curious, and welcoming, and those feelings were only magnified during the opening reception later on.

the beginning 


Love Light Lotus”: finished! 

The day of painting flew by, as it always does, and the opening reception was no different. The
turnout was fantastic, especially considering the frigid temperatures! I didn’t take many pictures because I was so busy chatting, but here are a few to give you a sense of what it was like.

The winning raffle ticket was drawn at the end of the opening reception, and despite the fact that I sold a lot of tickets to the KUA community, the winner of “Love Light Lotus” was Rosie Johnson from Arizona. This is the second time Rosie has won one of my paintings, so she has earned official collector status! This month’s cause was the Janie Chase Cozzi ‘19 Memorial Fund...I don’t have an official total as of yet, because the show is still up until February 9th, but as soon as I have that information to pass along, I will do so.

I feel so grateful about my whole experience at KUA. It’s a real treat to have my work on display in such a beautiful room, and it was incredibly gratifying to connect with students and have them “pick up what I was putting down,” if you will. Getting people to leave their warm homes on a cold night isn’t easy, so if you were one of the people who attended the opening, I thank you! I’m also grateful for my brother-in-law, Jerry Usery, not only for making the introduction between me and the KUA Art Department, but also for taking time out of his work day to act as my “pit crew,” helping me to set up and bringing me coffee, juice, and snacks...thanks, bro!

If you happen to find yourself in Meriden, New Hampshire, before Saturday, February 9th, please stop by KUA’s Taylor Art Gallery!

Monday, December 31, 2018

just in time!

It's New Year's Eve! I still have time to get in one last blog post for 2018! I haven't posted since October, so I have some serious updating to do. I'll try to keep it as short and sweet as possible (but don't hold your breath)!

I've had three Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon"s since my last blog post here. All three were at the Tontine Mall in Brunswick, just outside of Indrani's (I love that space! YAY!).

October's cause was Midcoast Humane (

October's "pop-up"!

"Cat Gods" : won by Chris Rose!

I FINALLY got a sign! 

a visit from lovely Lee Ann!

work in progress...

"Orb Of Love" : won by Callum Christopher Siegel!

and December's cause was the Press Herald Toy Fund (!

December's "pop-up"!

I'm excited about my sign- it feels so professional!

"Know Peace, Snow Peace" : won by Kathleen Meade!

I'm also excited to share that Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) made the paper in December! Here's a link to the Portland Press Herald article:

woo hoo!

You may or may not remember that I started Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) in December 2015...that means we've officially passed the three year mark! Thanks to everyone's support, over $5600 has been raised for local and national charities! Small efforts certainly add up, don't they? I am thrilled about this, and I'm looking forward to keeping it going through 2019 and beyond. No one is too small to make a difference!

Here's another cool thing that happened this year: I've been commissioned to paint a series of panels for a chicken coop! Here are some photos of my new collector, Dr. John Joseph, with his chicken coop, the panels I've completed so far, and his dog, Beauregard!

John and "Miriam"!

John, Beau, and "Eggs"!



Say hello to "Cruella"! 

2018 was chock-full of awesome and interesting experiences, both personally and professionally. In June, I quit my "day-job" of designing closets for Closet Factory (which I did for almost 16 years) to focus more on my art, and thanks to the fabulous Christine DeTroy, I picked up a new "side hustle" of cleaning houses, which has proven to be fun and satisfying - and it's led me to this chicken coop project!

I've made some new friends, I've gotten some new collectors, and my work has made it into places I previously only dreamed about, including the Chris Robinson Brotherhood tour bus! WHAT???

Here's proof! 

I never could have imagined the way 2018 turned out, and I'm filled with optimism and hope about 2019. My heart is overflowing with gratitude for my family, my friends, the many blessings that I have, and the many blessings that are on their way. If you're reading this, thank you for sticking with me, thank you for your support, and thank you for being a part of this ride. May the coming year be filled with joy, peace, love, good health, creativity, and good fortune...and don't forget to eat your grapes at midnight! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

it's never too late to catch up

It's been just over two months since my last blog post here - yikes- but rather than beat myself up about it, I'm just going to pick things up where I last left off...or maybe, I'll go in reverse...but I guess it doesn't really matter, as long as I'm writing!

I've had two Brushstrokes with Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon"s since my most recent post here, and I have one more coming right up! On Saturday, October 20th, I'll be just outside of Indrani's of Brunswick (at the Tontine Mall), painting from roughly 10am-6pm, and this month's cause will be Midcoast Humane (formerly known as Coastal Humane Society). Please come see me! If you can't be there in person, fear not: long-distance support is always welcome and much appreciated! Here's a link to the Facebook event page:

On Friday, September 14th, I was also set up outside of Indrani's (I just love that space- can you tell?), painting all day and raising money for a cause I really enjoy supporting: the Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program's "Backpack Program". It was a beautiful day, filled with sunshine and sweet messages of encouragement from friends and family. I also met some very kind people while I was painting, including Julie Henze, the woman who ended up winning "Cantaloupe"! Thanks to everyone's support, we were able to raise $100 for MCHPP. Here are some photos from that day:

the "pop-up" show

the beginning...

"Cantaloupe" : finished! 

the winning ticket!

That weekend was a busy (and fun) time for me: not only did I have my Brushstrokes with Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" event on Friday, but on Saturday, September 15th, I participated in Curtis Memorial Library's "How-To Festival and Block Party"! Here's a link to my post on the Curtis Creative Spaces blog in case you're interested in reading all about the day and the work that was created at my table ( here's a link to a photo album that the library put together!

shenanigans at the How-To Festival and Block Party! 

In August, my Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" (called "Trust The Process") took place at Monarch Massage and Wellness; that month's cause was the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust.
I am still knocked out by the support I received for this event from Maura, Seth, and the staff/patrons of Crystal Spring Farm: my event was listed in their e-newsletter, and some of my prints were on display during that week's farm share pickup! Thanks to their kindness, paired with the support of everyone who turned out in person and via phone/text, $151.50 was raised for BTLT! Hooray!

my prints at the farm! 

the beginning...

"Dill Explosion" : finished!

the winning ticket! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

trust the process

Well, July certainly flew by, didn't it? I took some time last month to catch a few shows and visit with family and friends...and now I'm back! Here's what's going on with me...and because I'm so excited about my latest news, I'm going to catch up in an out-of-order fashion.

First of all, my solo show at Monarch Massage and Wellness has been extended through the month of August (yay!), which means I'm having another Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" there! Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 18th...this one is called "Trust The Process," and the cause I'll be raising money for is the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust. Just in case this is your first time reading this blog, here's the deal: I'll be setting up my easel and painting for 8 hours straight; at the end of the day, the completed 8" x 8" acrylic painting will be raffled off, and 50% of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (raffle tickets are $5 each or 3 for $10). Additionally, 10% of all my art sales for the month of August (excluding magnets, but including totes) will be donated to the BTLT

I am a big fan of Crystal Spring Farm, and I believe in the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust's mission, so I'm grateful for the opportunity to show a little support. Seth and Maura from Crystal Spring Farm have been so kind to me: not only did they install my Little Free Library in their parking lot in the spring of 2017, they've already included information about my event and my mission in their weekly e-newsletter/blog! Plus, Maura has generously offered to sell raffle tickets during the CSA pickup next week, and yesterday, I dropped off some prints to be displayed inside the barn - right near their awesomely delicious veggies!


Okay, now I will back up: on Saturday, July 7th, I had my 32nd Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon," entitled "Shine Your Light!" Once again, I was at Monarch Massage and Wellness in Topsham (I love that place- had you figured that out yet?), and this time, the cause was the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. I was able to raise $100 for this very worthy cause, and the winner of "You Are The Light" was Julia Villacara! Julia's name has been on many, many raffle tickets since I started doing this back in December 2015, and I'm thrilled that her ticket was finally pulled as the winning one! Here are some photos:

from sketch... finished painting!

congratulations, Julia!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

summer summarization

YIKES! I almost let all of June go by without a blog post here! The last several weeks have been busy...let me catch up!

First of all, I'm thrilled and grateful to have my work on display at the brand-new location of Monarch Massage and Wellness (41 Main Street, Topsham)! The show went up on Friday, June 1st, and on Sunday, June 3rd, I had my 31st Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" (entitled "Transformation Time!") during the open house celebration! Here are some photos of the show (and from that day, too):


the foyer

the waiting area

the waiting area

the waiting area

the massage room!

the massage room!

the beginning...

an action shot!

"Butterfly" : finished!

The winning ticket! 

Congratulations to Quinn Griffin, the winner of "Butterfly"! Quinn is a budding artist herself, and I'm happy that she and her family will give my work a very good home. Thanks to everyone's support, together we were able to raise $223.50 for the MidCoast Hunger Prevention Program's "Backpack Program"! Since my work will be up through the month of July, my next Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" will also be held at Monarch Massage and Wellness. Mark your calendars for "Shine Your Light!" on Saturday, July 7th: this month's cause will be the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. I'm grateful to have my work on display in such a beautiful and inviting space, and I'm happy to be able to support yet another worthy cause. I hope you will join me! Long-distance support is always welcome, too...

In other news, the piano I painted last year is out of storage and back on the sidewalk in front of Cool As A Moose! It's a tiny bit dinged up, but not bad, especially considering I thought it would only last one season. My piano has been joined by a hopscotch board, too...check it out (and stop by to play if you're visiting)!