Friday, December 24, 2010

art under the tree

When I was at the Arts Downtown and All Around festival a couple of weeks ago, I spoke to a guy (named Bud) who came by my booth. He and his family were checking out my work and he stopped in front of the "Zen" collage. He said, "This would be perfect...if only it said 'Zhen' instead." I was confused, so he explained to me that a good friend of his has a dog named Zhen: "This would be a perfect Christmas gift for her...if only you could change it." They all left the booth after looking around for a while, but a few minutes later, he came back. "Do you ever do custom pieces?" he asked. I said, "Well, I haven't yet, but I don't see why I couldn't." He told me a little bit about his friend; I told him that it wouldn't be the same piece at all but that I could do my best to find images and materials that would give it the same feel. I took his information and agreed to get in touch with him before too long. Not only was this to be a Christmas gift, but it was getting sent to Colorado, so a trip to the post office and shipping time would need to be factored in (not to mention actually making the piece) so it could make it on time.

A few days later, I was talking to my good friend Jen about this. "I'm a little nervous," I said, "I've never done a custom piece before." She quickly contradicted me and said, "Yes you have! Don't you remember that fiddlehead painting you did for me?" "Oh, yeah," I said, "and I did that Strength collage for Julia, too!" I was starting to feel better about things, but these were pieces made for people who I know and love (and who know and love me back), rather than for a total stranger. Jen reassured me and I decided to just do what came naturally and not to overthink things...just make it the way I would any other collage.

I had to go on a Scrabble tile hunt because I was a letter short (the "H" was the one I didn't have, interestingly enough) but that was successful, and then I got to work. The piece came together fairly quickly and I put the finishing touches on it a couple of days after I started it. I contacted Bud to let him know I was going out of town (this was right before my trip to New York City) but that I would be around early the following week. We agreed to meet, and thankfully he loved the piece (entitled "Zhen", of course).

So, here I sit on Christmas Eve, knowing that one of my collages is wrapped and under someone's Christmas tree, waiting to be opened (and hopefully enjoyed) tomorrow morning. That's a pretty cool feeling. Happy holidays, everyone!

Friday, December 17, 2010


Last weekend, my friend Heather and I went to New York City. We had a blast! We stayed with my very dear friend Julia at her new place in Brooklyn. We arrived on Friday night and went out for a late dinner followed by drinks. We didn't get in until 4 am. None of us realized how late it was! Businesses were still open and people were still out and about, so it felt normal. The energy level in New York City is palpable and it is impossible not to get swept up in it. We got a late start the next day (obviously!) and after a delicious breakfast, Heather and I headed out to do touristy activities while Julia tended to previous obligations.

We went to Strawberry Fields in Central Park to see the Imagine memorial to John Lennon. I have seen countless photos of this spot, and none of them come close to conveying the power that I felt standing there. Our trip fell just after the 30th anniversary of John Lennon's death and there was a large crowd of people there paying tribute: some left flowers, some left handwritten notes, some left lit candles. I found myself getting choked up, and I was surprised by the wave of emotion that overcame me. We stayed for a little while before walking over to the Dakota, and then we headed into the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met is one of my favorite places ever, and it was fun to be there with someone who had never been there before. We went to the Egyptian wing, the European paintings and sculpture section, the Modern Art area, and the Asian wing (where I had never been before). The next day, we went to the Statue of Liberty and the Immigration Museum on Ellis Island (another place I had never been before). As we stood there looking at pieces of walls with writing and drawings on them made by immigrants waiting to pass through, it struck me how strong and how universal the urge has always been in human beings to make their mark. Whether it has been through hieroglyphics, pottery, paintings, sculpture, jewelry, music, or simply graffiti, people have always felt the need to express themselves. I felt grateful to be witness to so many types of self-expression in one weekend by tons of people who I will never meet or know otherwise. Later that day, we headed into Greenwich Village for some shopping and some of the best pizza I have ever had (Two Boots on Bleecker Street), and as we sat there eating our slices, I found something else to be grateful for!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

long overdue update!

I haven't blogged in quite a while...hmm...seems I've written that before! Hopefully it will be a while before I write that phrase again. Anyway, things have been busy, and that's the reason for my lack of recent blog entries. Last weekend was the Arts Downtown and All Around Festival (sponsored by Five Rivers Arts Alliance), and it was a really great experience for me. I met a lot of cool people (shoppers and artists alike), I sold a painting and a collage, and I had a bunch of people take my business card and sign up for my email list.

Lee Cheever had her booth across from mine and she was an enormous help to me. As I wrote in my last entry, Lee outlined specific directions for me to build my own display (and found another display that I could borrow). I am happy to say I was able to finish building the display and it ended up working perfectly, although I did have a minor setback. When Lee came to pick up my display the day before the show (she has a truck, I don't), things started coming apart: screws broke through wood, staples started popping off, and I started freaking out. Lee was calm and assured me it would be easy to fix. I brought my tools to the set-up period before the show (which was noon on Friday; the show opened at 5pm) and hoped I could get everything done in time. It turns out I only needed my hammer and my staple gun, because Lee fixed the broken parts for me beforehand! All I needed to do was put in a few more staples and hammer the loose ones in. Whew!

I got to Fort Andross early on Saturday morning, and I'm glad I did. The place was packed, thanks to the Winter Farmers' Market going on next door. There was live bluegrass music and the mood was fun and festive. My friend Heather hung out with me for a little while (she is my art show MVP!), and I saw some other familiar faces as well. That evening, my husband Terry came by with his brothers Jerry and Patrick (who were visiting from Colorado and Rhode Island, respectively) and it was great to see them. It meant a lot to me that they could stop by and see my work in person (since Jerry and Patrick live out of state, they have only seen my work online). Also, Peggy from the Brunswick Art Collaborative came by with her husband Mark and two friends, which I really appreciated. It's so nice to have the support of friends and family!

I am really happy that I had the opportunity to participate in this event, and I look forward to next year's Arts Downtown and All Around. Thank you to everyone who stopped by, who helped out, and who made the weekend a fun and exciting experience!

Friday, November 19, 2010

handy dandy

I've been feeling handy the last day or so. Okay, maybe not "handy," about "handy-ish"? I'm not one who is generally comfortable with tools, but I'm working on changing that, thanks to Lee from Five Rivers. Let me explain: about a week and a half ago, I stopped into the Five Rivers Arts Alliance office to drop off my membership renewal and my fee to participate in this year's Arts Downtown and All Around festival. While I was there, I asked Harriet and Lee if they knew anyone who had display racks for sale or rent (the ADAA group show takes place in an area where we cannot use wall space to hang work). They said no, but Lee mentioned that she had been trying to figure out how she was going to display her work for that show as well...then she started thinking out loud and described a setup that she would probably construct herself. She tried to explain how she would do it and what type of material she would use, but I just wasn't following her. Then she cheerfully said, "Well, once I do it, I can show you how to make one." I was excited and intimidated at the same time. I said that the idea sounded great, but that I would need a lot of help since I am pretty clueless about this sort of thing. We agreed to check in with each other in a day or two and go from there.

Sure enough, I heard from Lee the next day. She told me about the material she had just purchased to make her racks, but that she was just too tired to start working on the project tonight (which worked out well for me because my day was crazier than I had anticipated). She also told me that their office neighbors had a large wooden display unit that they were willing to let me use for free! It would need to be cleaned up and repainted, but it was mine for the asking. I told her that everything sounded great and that I would come by after the weekend to check things out.

Two days ago, I stopped by Five Rivers and looked at the wooden display. It looked good to me, but it was really big. "This will never fit in my little car," I said, feeling a bit deflated. Lee said, "Oh, don't worry, I'll throw it in my truck and bring it over to the show for you." That got me excited again, and I decided I would stop by the next day with some paint to clean it up. Lee started telling me about the display units she built, and when it was obvious I wasn't following what she was saying, she drew a diagram...much clearer, but not completely understandable to me. Then she said, "Well, what are you doing right now? Let's take a ride over to my house and you can see exactly how I built them." I followed her and I really liked what I saw. The units were large (so a lot of work would be able to fit on each one) and they seemed pretty sturdy. I started asking questions about the process, and when Lee saw how nervous I was getting, she sat me down and wrote out clear, step-by-step instructions that someone as inexperienced as myself could understand. She took some photos of the units so I could have them as a reference, she reassured me that I would be able to handle it, and told me to feel free to call her in case I got stuck.

I bought the supplies the next day (after spending two hours removing nails from and repainting the free wooden display), laid everything out that night, and started the construction process today...and I have to say that so far, I feel pretty good about things. I'm not done yet, but that's just because I had a bunch of other stuff I had to do today. I don't want to jinx myself since something can always go awry, but I think I might actually be able to handle this. Don't worry, though: I have both of Lee's phone numbers right in my purse!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

weekend update

What a great weekend it was! I had so much fun at Blue and at the Gorham Art Fair. My sister Addie, her husband Marc, and their daughters, Hayley and Ella, made the trip up from Boston so they could attend both shows. My friends Heather and Rebecca made it to Blue on Friday (I think Heather may be tied with Terry for most appearances at my openings!). The three of us enjoyed some wine and split a Mediterranean Plate (hummus, bread, olives, stuffed grape leaves: YUM) before they left to check out the rest of the art walk. My sister and her family arrived shortly after Heather and Rebecca left. We hung out for a bit longer, and then headed up the street to Dogfish Cafe for dinner and live jazz (they have a kids' menu that appealed to my nieces). Blue is such a beautful venue to have artwork on display. I thought it looked good while I was hanging during the afternoon on Tuesday, but the atmosphere after hours is even better. I am really excited to have my work there for the month.

The Gorham Art Fair was even better than it had been the year before, and last year was better than the previous year. I got a lot of very positive feedback from other artists and fair goers alike (which is always nice to hear), and not only did I sell two paintings, but I sold two collages to a woman who had bought a collage from me last year! My friends Sabrina and Jeremy had a lot of success with their booths ( and, and my friend Jen had an extremely busy day of Tarot readings ( Terry stopped by after he got out of work and it was great to have him there for moral support as well. Breaking down my booth and packing up was considerably easier than usual: I had a bunch of helpers who were willing and able to assist me!

After the fair was over, I was ready for some relaxation. My family and I headed back to Brunswick to enjoy a fabulous dinner and excellent drinks at El Camino (my favorite restaurant). After dinner, we walked over to the historic pedestrian swinging bridge for some stargazing (Addie and I were both lucky enough to see shooting stars). I feel so fortunate to have so many people in my life who are supportive of me and my work, and last weekend was chock-full of reminders of that fact. Thank you to everyone!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

hanging out

I hung my solo show at Blue today! I am really glad I asked Anna Low about her experience at Blue because her feedback made choosing my work a lot easier. I had initially considered having both paintings and collages on display, but when Anna mentioned that large pieces worked better in that space than small pieces, I decided to stick with just paintings. I ended up hanging 9 pieces (8 along the long wall next to the performance space, and one on a little wall "bump" across the room and above a table), all of which were either 16" x 20" or 18" x 24". I brought along two small paintings just in case, but after trying them in a couple of different spots, I decided to save them for the Gorham Art Fair this weekend.

The hanging process itself went pretty quickly; in fact, Terez said I was able to put my work up faster than anyone has in the past. The setup at Blue is different from any other place I've ever shown, and I really liked it. Rather than having artists put holes in the wall that will need to be spackled and painted over and over again, they have a long metal rack mounted along the wall, close to the ceiling. This rack has a series of movable S-hooks; each S-hook has a long piece of framing wire suspended from it with a picture hook attached at the bottom. The painting hangs on the picture hook, and this allows the artwork to be displayed without holes, nails, or pushpins. A little fun-tak helps unruly pieces stay in place...thankfully Terez had plenty on hand so I could do just that and still hang my tags and my artist's statement. I did forget one tag, though, so I will need to make sure I have it ready to go on Friday. All in all, it was a smooth process...I even managed to score a parking spot right across the street, and the meter still had about 40 minutes left on it! Woo-hoo!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

busy, busy, busy

Things are getting very busy around here. I will have artwork on display in three different places next week! First, I have my solo show at Blue in Portland (which runs for the month of November); I will be hanging my work on Tuesday, November 2nd and the opening is on Friday, November 5th. Second, the Gorham Art Fair is on Saturday, November 6th, and I will be hanging that show right before I go to my opening at Blue on Friday evening. Third, I recently found out that one of my collectors has donated my "Buddha" painting to an upcoming auction: The Siddhartha School's 15th Annual Celebration takes place on Saturday, November 6th, from 5 pm to 8 pm at Frontier Gallery and Cafe in Brunswick. In addition to the silent auction, there will be food and live music; tickets are $10 and reservations are recommended. Please check the show listings page on my website ( for more information on these events. It's going to be a crazy week, that's for sure, but I am looking forward to it!

Friday, October 15, 2010

odds and ends

I feel like a lot of little things have been happening lately, so I will try to hit everything here!

First of all, I finally wrote and emailed in my statement for my upcoming solo show at Blue in Portland (I will have my paintings there for the month of November). I had to give the show a title; thankfully I told Heather about this struggle, and she immediately said "Spreading Light." It popped out of her so quickly and naturally, I figured it must be the right title! My next task was to write the statement itself. The email Terez from Blue sent me said the statement had to be 350 characters or less. This didn't immediately register with me (when I originally glanced at the email I thought it was 350 words or less) but thankfully I realized my error before getting too far into the process. It was a lot more difficult than you'd think to whittle a show statement down to 350 characters, not to mention how strange it was to sit and count each and every letter, space, and punctuation mark! I think I know which pieces I'll have on display at Blue, but I'm not positive. I guess I'll know for sure on November 2 (that's the day I'll be hanging everything)! I have to thank Anna Low for letting me know what her show at Blue was like (and for the suggestion to use mostly larger pieces) helps to have a little guidance sometimes!

I've already sent my check in to reserve my booth at the Gorham Art Fair (which will be on Saturday, November 6th, the day after my show at Blue opens). In fact, I sent it in quickly enough to qualify for the "early bird" discount. I am excited about participating again, and I am really hoping my friend Jen Moscone will be a part of this year's event, giving on-the-spot Tarot readings and selling gift certificates to those looking for a unique holiday present ( Last year's turnout was better than the previous year's turnout, so I'm hoping that trend will continue this time around.

The Brunswick Art Collaborative met again this past Tuesday, and even though it was a small group, it was a fun evening. Two different people brought friends along, and it's always nice to have new faces around the table. I was working on three different collages that night: one that needed to be fixed, one that needed a "finishing touch", and another one that really started coming together. I feel good about the progress I made, and I am happy to report that the glue I picked up at JoAnn's (Beacon 527) seems to work really well. At first it didn't appear to be strong enough for what I was doing (the heavy rock I was trying to glue down kept sliding around), but later on that evening it bonded nicely. That was a relief because if that particular glue didn't work, I didn't know what would. Whew! I'm trying to get some more new collages ready to go for the Gorham Art Fair next month (and for the Arts Downtown and All Around festival in December)...hopefully things will keep moving in the right direction!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

10x10 recap

I participated in this year's 10x10 Brunswick show, and I'm really glad to have been a part of it. The one-day show (a benefit for Arts Are Elementary) featured some very diverse work by 125 local artists, and the food at the opening was provided by 25 different Brunswick restaurants and caterers. I was fortunate enough to be standing in the exact right spot when someone brought over a giant plate of guacamole and a basket of fresh chips from my favorite, El Camino...YUM!!! The show was in two neighboring buildings (Curtis Memorial Library and St. Paul's) and the path between them was illuminated by little paper lanterns; volunteers with giant umbrellas escorted people back and forth through the rain. It was a beautiful evening and the rain only added to the atmosphere. Thankfully, it didn't seem to keep people away from the show.

I ran into my friend Trish and her boyfriend Damian, as well as Emily who was volunteering as a greeter. I also spoke with Lee from Five Rivers, who told me that when her husband saw my paintings, he said that it looked like "the work of the woman who was at Pecha Kucha". It's great to know that someone who doesn't know me was able to recognize my artwork! Bonnie, a 10x10 committee member, told me that one of my pieces had been in serious consideration for the poster advertising the event, so that was nice to hear as well.

I have to say, I was extremely impressed by how well-organized the 10x10 show was, from start to finish. The emails were informative, the drop off and the pick up ran smoothly, and the event was very well- advertised. I hope to be involved next year!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

one door closes

Today I picked up my artwork from the soon-to-be closed Community Wellness Center in Farmingdale. Lia Angelini will be moving her practice to "A Healing Place" in Gardiner, and for now it doesn't look like the other tenants in the new office building are very into the idea of participating in the community's art walk. I am a little bummed to hear this news since Lia has been so great about supporting local artists, but I am a firm believer in the "one door closes, another window opens" theory. I am sure another opportunity will come along soon, and I am grateful to Lia for having provided a regular venue for artists such as myself.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

festival express

The Family Arts Festival was today, and WOW, did I have fun! It was a beautiful day to be on the mall in Brunswick: warm, sunny weather, good music, and lots of creative, positive energy everywhere. The collage workshop was a big hit, and I was impressed with the work that kids of all ages were turning out. There were a number of Bowdoin students volunteering at the festival and a lot of them spent time making collages side by side with the kids and their parents. I was so happy to see everyone having a great time and expressing themselves in their own unique way. The two hours flew by before I knew it. I hope to be able to participate in next year's event, and if that happens, I think I'd like to extend the workshop by about an hour or so. I felt bad having to tell people to stop working!

Today was so successful because of the help of many people. Harriet and Lee at Five Rivers were wonderful and I really enjoyed working with them throughout this process. They hooked me up with boxes, tacky glue, Mod Podge, brushes, mat board, old jewelry and decorative paper. A good portion of my supplies were generously donated by people in the community (Brunswick Plaza Dry Cleaners, Sherwin-Williams, Hancock Lumber, Morning Glory Natural Foods, and Elegance Interiors) and I am thankful for their kindness. My friend Heather was an absolutely amazing assistant and I am so grateful for her help. It was her idea to put the tables in a snake-like shape, which flowed really well. She was also able to delegate authority and direct people to keep things running efficiently and productively. Heather also took a bunch of pictures, which was great because I forgot my camera! She made a great day even better and I feel lucky to have such a wonderful friend.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

one man's trash

This past Tuesday was the monthly meeting of the Brunswick Art Collaborative. While I was there, I brought up the fact that I'll be doing a collage workshop for the Brunswick Family Arts Festival next weekend. Some of the members have attended past events and some have even led workshops there, so they were giving me advice regarding what I should expect. "You don't want to run out of supplies," advised Heidi. "It can be a mob scene." Those sentences got me a little nervous, because I started thinking about what supplies I had collected so far...and how it wasn't going to be nearly enough for a possible mob of kids.

I started racking my brain for possible free (and/or cheap) supply resources...and I am happy to say I have gotten some great stuff. I called Brunswick Plaza Dry Cleaners to ask if they had any old buttons lying around that may have fallen off customers' garments...they gave me a big cookie tin filled with buttons of all shapes, sizes and styles. I visited my friend Trish at Bayview Gallery...she gave me a stack of old art magazines. I stopped by Sherwin-Williams...they gave me three wallpaper books. I went to Hancock Lumber...they cut enough scrap wood for me to fill a plastic tote. The biggest score of the day was at Elegance Interiors on Pleasant Street, though. Ann filled my trunk with wallpaper and fabric sample books, all the while saying that I was doing them a big favor by taking this old stuff off their hands! I am so blown away by the kindness and generosity of the people in this town. Everyone has been so eager to help, and everything so far has been absolutely free! My sincere gratitude goes out to all of you. Thanks!

Friday, September 10, 2010


I was angry the other night. I mean, really to be tied, as they say. "Incredible Hulk" angry. Anyone who knows me knows that this is not the norm. I am typically a fairly laid-back, happy person...but I am a human being, and humans do get mad. Sometimes they get so mad that their neighbors might wonder if they're actually living next door to a lunatic. Anyway, after I was through ranting and raving, it dawned on me I hadn't yet painted that day, so I marched myself right up to my studio. I stood in front of the easel with my trembling hands and looked at the placid Buddha painting I've been working on. "Not tonight," I thought. I took out a piece of primed paper and attacked it. I filled it with slashing strokes of different colors, jagged and fully charged with the primal emotions running through my veins. I let the anger run its course, and then I enjoyed the sensation of release. I'm quite sure that piece will never be finished and it will never see the light of day, but it was important for me to get those feelings out of my system...and I am grateful to have an outlet that is both immediate and constructive.

Friday, September 3, 2010

fun with planning

I met with Harriet from Five Rivers Arts Alliance on Wednesday to discuss the Family Arts Festival, and I am happy to say I left our meeting feeling excited about participating. We brainstormed about supplies (and how to get them), techniques, and possible themes for collages if people are stuck and can't think of one on their own; plus, she showed me pictures from past festivals to give me a sense of what to expect. It looks like the event typically draws quite a crowd, and there is a lot to keep people busy: live music, dancing, demonstrations, and art workshops of all kinds. I went home that evening and immediately started going through a bunch of supplies to see what I would be willing to donate (old greeting cards, magazines, etc.). I also filled a bag with mini-pine cones right from my backyard.

I was telling my friend Heather about it the next day over gelato and I asked her if she had any old craft supplies she would like to get rid of. Her face lit up and she emphatically said, "Yes! I have a ton of stuff like that and it's just sitting around." We went to her place and she found a jar filled with beads and buttons, a bag of pom-poms, another bag of pine cones, a small stack of nature magazines, a tube of confetti glitter, and a package of feathers. As if that wasn't enough, Heather volunteered to help me at the festival itself! She has a ton of experience working with kids and I know that will make things go a lot more smoothly. I really do have the greatest friends!

Friday, August 27, 2010

stuff, stuff, and more stuff

I got an email yesterday from Harriet at Five Rivers Arts Alliance asking if I would be interested in doing a collage workshop at the Brunswick Family Arts Festival. I am flattered that Five Rivers thought of me, and even though I've never done anything like this, I'm excited to try it! Thankfully, it's not supposed to be a lesson per se, but more of a hands-on, drop-in experience for anyone who wants to participate. That sounds fairly low-key to me, which is a very good thing! The Family Arts Festival will be held on Saturday, September 25th, from 10 am to 4 pm on the mall in Brunswick (rain location: Brunswick Junior High School gymnasium). Fingers crossed for good weather!

Tonight I had the pleasure of attending the opening reception for "Two Visions", a two woman show featuring the work of Susan Mills and Natasha Kempers-Cullen. This show was just amazing! There is something very powerful and primal in Susan Mills' artwork (I love her "Elementals" and her "Shields"), and I really enjoyed the color and feeling in Natasha Kempers-Cullen's tapestries ("Vortex" and "The Tower" were among my favorites). Their work goes so well together and the show is very cohesive. If you have a chance, stop by the Chocolate Church Arts Center in Bath sometime before October 3rd and check it out before it's gone.

Tomorrow is the drop off day for the Arts Are Elementary 10" x 10" show, and I am very excited to be participating. The deadline to sign up for this show was quite a while ago, and I remember the drop-off date seemed so far away. The show is October 1st and I'm sure that date will be here before I realize it as well! Time flies...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

i can now exhale

Last night was Pecha Kucha Brunswick Volume 4, and I'm happy to say it was a very positive experience for me! Five ladies from the Brunswick Art Collaborative showed up to give me moral support and Terry was there for me as well, so I had a lot of friendly faces in the crowd. I was slated to be the second presenter, which I was very excited about...I was hoping to go early so I could just relax and enjoy the rest of the evening, and the second slot was perfect for that. The emcee managed to pronounce my name correctly (which is no easy feat) and I was able to get through my presentation without really stuttering or stammering.  It was another sold-out event, and the crowd was attentive and responsive. Honestly, I was surprised at how quickly time seemed to go by while I was up there, and I was happy to experience a sense of excitement rather than nervousness during my time on stage. Thankfully I managed to get in a fair amount of practice during the two weeks between finding out I had been accepted and the event itself, and I think that helped my confidence level a lot. I started working on my statement the day after I found out I was in, and I'm really glad I got right on it.

I'm extremely grateful to my friend Jen Moscone ( and her dad, Jim. Jen helped me with my statement to get accepted into this Pecha Kucha event, and she was a wonderful sounding board when I was working on my presentation. Jen also sized down my photos to meet the Pecha Kucha requirements (which I am clueless about), and Jim took a bunch of new pictures for me in a very short amount of time. Thank you both (once again) for helping me out! I couldn't have done it without you. I'm also thankful for everyone who came to the event (the ladies of the Brunswick Art Collaborative never cease to amaze me), and for all my friends and family who sent me well-wishes and support through the ether. Thank you all!

Friday, August 6, 2010

big doings

Okay, I've been slacking...I haven't blogged in a while, but it's only because a lot has been going on. I've been meaning to write about how great it was to go to Vermont a couple of weekends ago to see the fun and inspirational Bread and Puppet theater ( I've also been meaning to write about Freeport Creative Arts asking me to write a short bio (including some pictures of my work and one of myself) and send them 12 copies for inclusion in binders around town for people to see (as well as a digital version for their website)...I also meant to write about FCA using one of my images in an email they sent out to members advertising the group show that opened last weekend. I also wanted to mention that I recently spent some time with the wonderful artist Kat Logan ( that I won't soon forget. Yes, all that has been on my mind, but the biggest thing that has been on my mind can be summed up in two words: Pecha Kucha.

I was accepted to participate in the next Pecha Kucha Brunswick event (at Frontier Gallery on Monday, August 16) and I am so excited. I have been scrambling to figure out what pieces to show, what to say about them, and what to say about myself, but it feels really good. For those of you who don't know what Pecha Kucha is, you can check out the Five Rivers Arts Alliance page ( for more information. In a nutshell, 10 presenters speak; each person shows twenty slides and they have twenty seconds per slide to speak. It's fast-paced and lots of fun, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. Reservations are recommended, so if you want to be there, contact Five Rivers to save your spot. Wish me luck!

Friday, July 23, 2010

inspiration strikes

Inspiration shouldn't have to hurt, but sometimes it does. Last night a canvas fell off my easel due to overcrowding (I had two 16" x 20" in progress paintings side by side; one was perched a bit precariously) and landed squarely on the top of my foot. This has never happened to me before, and boy did it hurt. In fact, it left a black-and-blue mark. Ouch. I bent down to assess the damage and rub my foot a bit. When I did, I noticed how cool the pattern in my studio's plywood floor was, so I immediately took out a blank canvas panel and got to work on a new piece based on what I saw. I feel more than a little silly walking around with a giant bruise on the top of my foot, but at least I can say I've taken something positive out of the experience. Hopefully the next time inspiration strikes it won't be quite so literal.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I've been giving my website address out to a lot of people lately and it dawned on me that the link to my collage pictures was buried in an old post here it is again! Hopefully I will be adding some new photos soon, but until then...

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Last night's Brunswick Art Collaborative meeting was so much fun! We were a small group, but Amanda led us in a lesson on how to work with wire. I have a piece of quartz that I found while hiking with my friend Heather and I have always thought it would make a nice necklace, but I didn't know how to make that happen. Thankfully, Amanda came prepared and had all kinds of different wire to choose from and tools to use. She helped me to select the proper gauge and then showed me how to wrap my quartz. It was much easier than I thought, and soon I had a beautiful new pendant. I even finished it off with a tiny spiral in the center. I enjoyed doing that so much, I figured I could use a little wire in one of the collages I've been working on, so I got to work twisting some copper and red wire into loose rectangles with little spiral-type shapes at the corners. The trick now will be getting them to stay put...perhaps some nails will be in order. Thanks Amanda for the lesson and the supplies!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

all the art that's fit to print

As I write this post, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for a wonderfully generous person in my life. My friend Jim (who is the father of one my dearest friends, Jen: has done me yet another amazing favor. Not only has Jim taken all of the photographs of my paintings on my website, but he just gave me his old printer...and it's a really nice one. I have seen the photos he has printed using it and they look excellent. This printer uses pigment ink, so it won't fade over time, and it produces what Jim refers to as "low-level giclee prints". This printer has the capacity to open up a whole new world to me. Soon I will be able to sell prints of my work, and people who like my stuff but perhaps can't afford an original piece of artwork will have an option available to them that I couldn't offer before. I am so excited...and I am so grateful. Now I just have to figure out how to work it!

Friday, June 25, 2010

have art, will travel

It's been two weeks since I last posted, but once again, I have a good reason. Terry and I did a little traveling and went to three Phish shows in the span of six days. The shows were great, and we were able to sneak in some time with friends and family as well. I knew we were going to be gone for a while, and I didn't like the idea of being away from artwork for so long...normally I just give myself a break from my daily time in the studio whenever we go away, but usually we're only gone a couple of days at the most (and I try to make up for it the best I can before we go away and after we get back). This time, I decided to try something new: I brought along some watercolor pencils and a little sketchbook. I have had these pencils for years and I only recently picked them up to work on Tim's tattoo design (they had been sitting in a drawer in my studio before then). I had the impulse to pack them the night before we left, so I followed it...and I am glad I did. It was great to be able to whip out a quick drawing or two each day while we were gone, and since things were so portable, I could do it in the car while we were stuck in traffic or while waiting for dinner to be ready at my sister's house. I even did a little sketch of the clouds overhead while we were in the parking lot before one of the Phish shows, and now I am working on a painting of that very drawing. I think this may change the way I approach going away for the weekend!

Friday, June 11, 2010

tattoo you

My friend Tim is a nurse in Ohio. We were very close during junior high and high school, then we lost touch (the way many old friends do), and we've recently reconnected through Facebook (again, the way many old friends do). We went through an interesting period of our lives together and I am grateful for it. I can still picture us walking around the suburban streets of Long Island with our spiked hair, our respective dads' military-issue jackets (mine was Army, his was Air Force), our combat boots/Converse All-Star high tops, our new wave/punk t-shirts, our black nail polish. We must have been quite a sight because we turned more than a few heads. We'd spend our time talking, laughing, listening to music, doing all the things teenagers do...we were just in slightly different packaging from everyone else (and that was part of the fun).

Tim has quite a few tattoos and he asked me if I would design one for him; he said it would be more meaningful to him to have the work of someone who had been important in his life, rather than just having his usual tattoo artist work something up. I was extremely flattered and more than a little nervous about the prospect. Designing a tattoo is something I had never done before. Tim said he wanted something based on "The Dance of the Pleiades", which I had to admit I wasn't familiar with. He emailed me an image to use as a jumping off point, and we spoke on the phone to bounce around some ideas. He gave me the date for his appointment and the exact dimensions he needed the work to be, which I found very helpful...a deadline and parameters can be great when you're not sure what you're doing. I told him repeatedly, "Now, if you don't like what I come up with, just tell me..."

I got to work eventually (I was too daunted to start right away for some reason) and came up with a simple interpretation. I kept looking at it and wondering: Will he like it? Is this what he's looking for? What if I need to rework it and I run out of time? I colored the design two different ways, scanned what I had, took a deep breath, and emailed everything to him. I heard from him within minutes...and he was thrilled. WHEW! The images reached him at the end of a rough day, so it was all the more gratifying for both of us. I am really excited to see how it looks when it's actually on his wrist/forearm, and hopefully I will have some pictures to post before too long. Thanks for the memories, old friend. I am honored to have my artwork be a permanent part of your life.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

show time correction!

I just checked the Freeport Square Facebook page, and it turns out that the "Two Year Anniversary" show runs the entire month of June (the 3rd through the 30th). The artists' reception is still on June 18th; they chose that date because that's their exact two year anniversary. So, if you're in Freeport at some point during the month of June, please stop by and check things out! The show (as is always the case at Freeport Square) is pretty diverse.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

what goes up must come down

My show at North Star Music Cafe came down yesterday, and I have to say I really enjoyed having my work on display there all month. The place is so fun and funky, the food is good, and the staff couldn't have been nicer. The young woman behind the counter called out as I was leaving, "I'm sorry to see your work go!" I was truly knocked out by the kind words of support and encouragement I got from some of the patrons there as well. I hope to be able to show at North Star again sometime in the future!

On the way to pick up my work from Portland, I dropped off three pieces at Freeport Square Gallery for their "Two Year Anniversary" group show. When I walked in, Sebastian (one of the owners) said, "We were just talking about you!" I told him to get out of town, but he insisted that it was the truth (they hadn't seen me in a while and were wondering what I had been up to...fortunately I've had a few shows to keep me busy). The three pieces I chose for this show are pretty different from one another, they are all older works (two from 2002, the other from 2006), and they haven't been shown in a while (one piece has never been on display). I'm not sure when everything goes up and comes down, but I know that shows at Freeport Square tend to run for two weeks...and the opening reception for this particular show is Friday, June 18th.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

the road less traveled

I am thankful for flooded roads. I know that sounds odd, but if it weren't for flooded roads, I wouldn't have a painting on display at The Giving Room in Southold, NY this weekend. I was on my way to my mom's house early last month (when I picked her up to go to Frank's Change of Command) and there had been several days of heavy rains. Many of the roads on the east end of Long Island were completely washed out, as I discovered when I got off the ferry at Orient Point. There was a detour set up, so I followed it, and that's when I spotted The Giving Room. Their sign really jumped out at me: the words "Yoga", "Art", and "Philanthropy" were prominently featured. I scribbled down some information and told myself to look them up when I got home.

"Giving Hope" is the name of the event happening this Memorial Day weekend. There will be four days of community events (including yoga classes, live music, poetry readings, and an art auction) and part of the proceeds raised will be to benefit The Retreat, a local domestic violence service. I am so excited to have one of my paintings ("Seated Mountain Pose") up for auction, and I am happy to be involved with such a worthwhile cause.

Friday, May 21, 2010

turn that frown upside down

I had a bad day last week. I won't get into the whys and hows of what made that day not-so-stellar. What I will mention is that my day got infinitely better when I retreated to my studio for my daily discipline of painting. I picked up my brush and got lost in one of my current pieces. Half an hour went by in what felt like a fraction of the time, and then I got inspired to begin a new collage. I dove into it headfirst and next thing I knew, over two hours had gone by. I ended up spending at least another half hour up there even though it was getting very late. It is such a wonderful feeling to get lost in the process of creating artwork, and that experience completely turned my whole day around. Of course, it didn't change what had happened earlier, but it sure did make me a whole lot happier...and it's so nice to end on a positive note.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

name game

I had an interesting experience today. I was wrapping up an appointment at a client's house in Winthrop, ME. Since we had an enjoyable time working together, when I gave her my business card, I wrote my website address on the back and told her I was an artist. She looked at it and said, "Brushstrokes By Maria...I've seen this somewhere! How do I know this? Where did I see it?" I was so surprised I immediately assumed she was confusing it with something else and that there must be another site out there with a name similar to mine. I thought for a minute and then it dawned on me. I said, "Have you been to the Community Wellness Center in Farmingdale?" She said, "Yes! I saw your work there! I really liked it!" It's always great to get positive feedback, and having someone recognize my website's name from a good-sized group show they had attended is a completely new experience to me.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

four new collages

Here are some more new collages! Three of these ("Bliss Bliss Bliss", "Pennies From Heaven", and "Woman Energy") are on display at North Star Music Cafe this month, and one ("Open Your Heart") will be at the Community Wellness Center.

Friday, April 30, 2010

three is a magic number

My work is going to be on display in three different places during the month of May! Tomorrow, I will be hanging a solo show at North Star Music Cafe in Portland (; thanks to Katie "Megaphone" Diamond for all the help!); this show will feature both paintings and collages and it will run through the entire month. When I emailed out announcements for this show, Lia from the Community Wellness Center in Farmingdale responded with an invitation to participate in her next show, which begins next week and will run for about two months (I will have at least one painting on display and a few collages...I still have to decide which ones). I have also donated a painting (entitled "Slice", which I have posted a photo of here) to the Big Brothers Big Sisters fundraising auction (thank you, Tania, for the opportunity to participate), and that one-night event takes place next week as well. In fact, the opening reception for both shows and the auction are all on the same day: Friday, May 7th! I can't be in three places at once, naturally, but I will be at the North Star that evening, enjoying the wonderful food and wine they have there...and enjoying being a part of Portland's First Friday Art Walk.

Friday, April 23, 2010

are we there yet?

I signed a painting yesterday. I don't know what took me so long to do it. I hadn't touched it in well over a week, and it wasn't because I needed to step away from it for a bit. I knew it was done, but a small part of me doubted myself. I have another painting that I'm pretty sure has been finished for well over a month, yet I haven't been able to bring myself to sign it. I look at it and I am happy...there's nothing I would change. Why does it take me so long to take that final step sometimes? What am I so afraid of? Does anyone else have this problem? Usually I just listen to my gut feeling to determine if a painting or a collage or any other piece of artwork is finished and that seems to work for me, but after I have made the decision that my work is done, why is there still a hold up on that final finishing touch? It always feels good to sign a piece, so why not go for it if the time is right? I need to nip this behavior in the bud, pronto. I will sign that other painting tomorrow...I feel better already.

Friday, April 9, 2010

it's all in how you look at it

I haven't blogged in a couple of weeks now, but it's not because I haven't been thinking about it. I was gone for a little while and that particular trip involved doing a lot of driving in a short amount of time; when I finally got home I was more tired than I realized and am only now starting to catch up. I went to Virginia (via New York) to witness my brother Frank's Change of Command. You see, my brother was the Commander of the USS Bainbridge, the ship that rescued Captain Richard Phillips from Somali pirates last year right around this time, so going to this particular Change of Command was kind of a big deal. I snapped pictures like a crazed tourist, posed in chairs I had no business sitting in, cheered at inappropriate moments, high-fived Naval officers wearing white gloves and dress blues, and generally had a lot of fun. I even got to meet a real-life hero, Captain Phillips himself (or "Rich", as he prefers to be called), his lovely wife Andrea (an ER nurse), and her sister Lea (a talented photographer and ferry captain). Combine all of this with some quality time with family members I don't get to see often and you have the makings of a very memorable couple of days.

I have never thought of the Navy as anything but an organized, disciplined group of men and women who sacrifice their lives for the benefit of our country. I found out two new things about the Navy during my trip: one, they put on a really nice spread when you're a big shot; and two, if you look at it in the right way, you can find beauty on a destroyer. Yes, I know that seems strange. The words look odd even as I read (and re-read) them. Beauty? On a destroyer? It's true. I took a lot of pictures of the ship while I was on it and next to it, and I have to say, they look pretty cool. The angles, the lines, from a purely compositional standpoint, are really striking, like a sculpture or a fine automobile. I'm willing to bet that Rich found beauty in the Bainbridge on that Easter Sunday last year. Will I try my hand at a painting or a collage based on my impressions that day? That might be a fun challenge. I don't know if the feelings I experienced will be able to adequately translate, but I suppose there's only one way to find out.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

contemplative arts festival

I am going to have my work in a very different type of show this weekend. It is called the "Shambhala Arts Festival - A Celebration of Contemplative Arts" (at the Shambhala Meditation Center, Brunswick, ME), and it has been described as the opposite of a Pecha Kucha night. Art, music, poetry, and other forms of creative expression will be featured throughout the evening, and attendees will be encouraged to focus on one piece of work at a time. It will not be a rapid-fire presentation (like a Pecha Kucha night); instead, the pace will be slower, allowing people to pay close attention to what they are seeing and/or hearing. I am very happy to be a part of this show and I am grateful to Patricia Boissevain for telling me about it. I am also grateful to Rebekah Younger for allowing me to participate. Rebekah is helping me out quite a bit because I cannot attend the show (due to a work obligation) and my actual paintings ("Rocks, Gloucester" and "Heather's Place") are committed elsewhere. She came up with the idea to project images of my paintings onto a wall (the way they will be showing photographs) and have someone read my statement for me. I wish I could be there, but at least my work (and my words) will be there and that's the most important part.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Yesterday was the opening reception for my latest show, "Flow". It is a two-woman show, featuring my paintings and photographs by Anna Low ( "Flow" is on exhibit at Thornton Oaks in Brunswick until the end of April (please see my website,, for details). The opening was great and the overall experience has been fantastic. Anna is talented and kind and I am grateful to be sharing a space with her; she even helped me at the last minute when I realized I had hung one of my pieces sideways...OOPS! I put the hook on the back in the wrong spot...I guess I was rushing during the hanging process and didn't notice. Oh well! The people at Thornton Oaks have been wonderful as well. I would like to give a big "thank you" to Fred Carr for selecting me to be in this show, and a big "thank you" to Marlise Swartz for all her hard work and patience. The crowd at the opening reception was attentive and welcoming, and they really seemed to enjoy our work. I am honored to have my paintings on display there and I hope they will have me back sometime in the future.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

fun with the brunswick art collaborative

What a great time we had tonight! Amanda led the group once again. A few months ago she did a papermaking session; tonight she showed us a resist technique using rubber cement and colored ink, then she taught us how to emboss. Amanda and Trish were kind enough to bring a bunch of supplies to share (including their heat guns). I think it's safe to say that all of us really enjoyed embossing and would like to try it again! There is a collage that I am currently working on that I think could benefit from a little embossing...if only I'd thought of it earlier in the evening. There's always next time!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

with a little help from my friends

I am so grateful for the many wonderful and generous people in my life, and I wanted to use this blog entry as an opportunity to thank a few of them, two of whom I'd bet would never in a million years expect it. Those two people are Steve and Gennadiy, the guys I work with at Closet Factory. They work in the shop, cutting wood and installing the closets and storage spaces that I design. I have a couple of art shows coming up and frames are expensive (and I've got a lot of work to display), so I asked the guys if they could come up with any ideas or solutions for me. They went right to it and quickly whipped up some great looking temporary frames using scrap wood that was left over in the shop. The only trick was trying to figure out how to get the paintings to stay inside the frames from the front in a non-labor intensive way (after all, they were doing this in their spare time). They used turn buttons in the front, which worked but partially obstructed the paintings and, to me, became distracting and made the frames not look as good as they really were. That's when Jeremy the Art Guru came in. I brought the frames over to Jeremy's shop on Main Street in Gorham ( and he came up with the perfect fix in no time at all. He had little flat L-shaped brackets and instructed me to screw part of them into the back of the frame itself and the other part into the stretcher bar. It worked like a charm and the paintings are now inside the frames in a sturdy and simple manner, without any obstructions. This solution allows the frames to look really nice and, as a result, the paintings look good too. Plus, if someone buys a painting but they want to change the frame, it will be easy for that person to do just that. So, a very big "THANK YOU" to everyone for helping me out! Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I went to Pecha Kucha night at Frontier Gallery in Brunswick yesterday and it was a lot of fun. The event was completely sold out (as usual) and I was fortunate to have gotten in. I managed to snag the last reservation that morning, and the ladies I attended with were able to get in on standby...whew! The presenters all had really interesting and diverse work to show, and the stories were equally fascinating (check out to get an idea). I left feeling very inspired, and I know the women I was with felt the same way.

Even though Pecha Kucha has been very successful, no one seems to know how to properly pronounce "Pecha Kucha". According to the website, the correct way is to say "peh-chak-cha", but most people just pronounce it phonetically...and some even say "poochie-coochie", as the MC did last night (with a big smile on his face).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

more than just cookies

Terry and I had dinner with our friends Heather and Matt last night. We always have a great time when we get together: good food, good wine, lots of laughs and animated conversation. After we ate, Heather showed me a recent find from the local flea market - a 1959 copy of "The Girl Scout Handbook". I was never a Girl Scout, but I found it fascinating to be leafing through a book filled with rules and guidelines for the proper conduct of young ladies who were. There was a section on famous American women, there were tips about how to handle gossip-y situations, there was even a chapter on arts and crafts. I liked the paragraph entitled "Drawing and Painting" so much that I wrote it down (and now here it is, straight from page 118):

"Through drawing and painting you can talk to people all over the world and be understood. You paint a picture to say something about the way you feel. It is like writing a letter or telling a story, but you do it with color, form and line."

The simplicity and accuracy of these words really struck me. I wonder how many Girl Scouts over the years have gotten inspiration from those sentences...

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I had so much fun in New York! The "Putting-It-All-Together" show at climate/gallery was amazing and I'm so happy that I was involved. The opening reception was totally packed and there was a lot of really incredible artwork on display; plus, the thrill of having my work hanging in a place with a view of the New York City skyline was something I will always remember. Thank you, Julia, for sharing it with me, and thank you, Alley and Bill, for surprising me at the gallery with your smiling faces. My only regret is that I didn't take more pictures!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

i want to be a part of it...

I am in a show that opens this week and I am very excited about it. The show is entitled "Putting-It-All-Together: Collage, Montage, and Assemblage", and it's at climate/gallery in Long Island City, New York. This is the first all-collage show I've been in, so that will be a new experience for me; additionally, it's in New York and that's where I'm originally from, so that makes it exciting too. (If you're reading this and you'd like further details, please check the "shows" page on my website: I just hope the weather is clear for my trip there and back!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

one day, i'll figure this out...

I wanted to re-post this link with all of my collage photos (so far)...I noticed the last few times I've posted new work, it's just been of the new images (rather than the link to where all the images are). I am still new to this blogging thing...

Monday, January 25, 2010

oops! i forgot one!

Okay, the last post technically had only 4 collages..."Your Secrets Are Safe With Me" is photographed twice, once with the box closed and once with the box open. The spot where you can upload photos only allows you to choose five images at a time and I mistakenly left out "Discover The Divine Goddess In You," so without further ado, here it is!

five new collages

I have five new collages to share! I finished two of them in December ("Humble Beauty" and "Namaste") but just didn't post them until now; the other three ("Words of Wisdom", "Your Secrets Are Safe With Me" and "Discover The Divine Goddess In You") were started and finished this month. I'm having a lot of fun with collage and I think it shows.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

thank you agnes

I want to take a moment to say thank you to a woman I never knew but who has had a significant impact on my life. Her name is Agnes Peterson. Agnes was the little old lady who used to live in my house. She owned this house for a long time and when she went into a nursing home in the summer of '99, it went up for rent and we moved in; three years later, Agnes passed away and we bought the place.

I was never crazy about Agnes' taste or sense of style: the pale pink and robin's egg blue paint on the walls, the hideous floral wallpaper, the bathroom with the plastic pink "tile" paired with the pink wallpaper with little white hearts, the dark wood paneling in the kitchen. Thankfully, this past summer we finally made the house our own and all of those things are either gone or have been transformed.

At any rate, there are still little bits and pieces of Agnes and her legacy left behind in this little house, and I am finding myself increasingly grateful for them. Now that I have started working with collage, I have found a virtual treasure trove of goodies in the garage and the basement, courtesy of Agnes Peterson: rusty hinges, big old shingle nails, screws and hardware of all shapes and sizes, and perhaps the best of all, a giant Sanka jar filled with beautiful sea glass. I use these ingredients in my collages all the time and every time I do, I think of the woman I never knew. I wonder what she must have been like. Was she artsy? Did she make things? Every year a postcard comes addressed to her advertising a Maine craft festival, so she must have had at least an appreciation for art.

Several years ago, I found a Post-it note attached to a bird identification poster in the garage. It was faded and worn, with "old lady" handwriting in blue ballpoint ink. I read it and immediately saved it; now it's hanging in my studio. It says, "Note: use what talents you possess, for the woods would be silent if no birds sang but the best." I look at this note all the time and it inspires me. It's a nice reminder to keep trying, to keep creating, to keep finding and using my own artistic voice, to express myself in a genuine way and to be true to myself. Thank you, Agnes. Thank you for the supplies, thank you for the inspiration, and thank you for the pep talk...and by the way, thank you for the house.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

sixty minute expressions

Today was the "Sixty Minute Expressions" event/group show at Thornton Oaks and it was a lot of fun. Many of the artists who participated in last year's event came back (myself included) and it was good to see everyone again. Once again, the artwork was eclectic and the crowd was receptive. Everyone seemed to enjoy watching the artists creating in a "beat the clock" fashion...I wanted to look around myself but I was so engrossed in my own work I didn't move from my spot until I was nearly finished. I overheard a lot of positive comments about my painting of a bright pink cow ("Have you seen the cow?" "Look at the cow!"). I think my favorite compliment was the phrase "wonderfully whimsical". Throughout the afternoon, several people asked me if I was familiar with the poem entitled "Purple Cow" and I had to admit I had never heard of it...I guess I'll have to look that up.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

new year, new art

Well, so far 2010 has gotten off to a productive start. I have finished one new collage already and I am almost done with another one (which I just started yesterday). I have also been working on a new painting, and I just got an idea for another one while I was in the shower this morning. It feels good to have so many ideas swirling around in my head.

This coming Thursday (January 14th) I will be participating in "Sixty Minute Expressions" at Thornton Oaks in Brunswick (which reminds me: I will need to add the listing to my "shows" page early this week. I'd post the announcement itself but unfortunately my name was misspelled...hard to believe, right? Ha!). Anyway, I did it last year and had such a blast that I wanted to be a part of it again. "Sixty Minute Expressions" is an event where a group of artists get together and paint for a set amount of time (it's actually longer than 60 minutes, but that's okay). People wander around and watch the artists while they are working. Everyone chats and has fun, but there is also a sense of urgency involved because of the time limit. When that time is reached, the brushes get put down, the opening reception starts, and so does the bidding. All paintings are auctioned off to benefit the Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program, so not only is this a fun experience, but it's for a good cause as well. Last year the turnout was good so I'm hoping it's even better this time. Now I just have to figure out what I'm going to paint!