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!