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 (http://www.alowphotography.com/). "Flow" is on exhibit at Thornton Oaks in Brunswick until the end of April (please see my website, http://www.brushstrokesbymaria.com/, 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 (www.theartguru.com) 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.