Saturday, December 31, 2011

it was a very good year

What a year 2011 was! When I look back on everything that's happened this year, I'm struck by how busy things were. Where do I start? Well, January marked my very first First Friday Art Walk solo show at the Closet Factory office/showroom on Congress Street. This was a trend that continued all year long, and I'm pleased to say that I didn't miss a single one (not even when we had that freak snowstorm on April Fool's Day). Hopefully next year will even better!

Speaking of shows, I was in a fair amount of interesting ones, including solo shows at Biddeford Savings Bank in Scarborough and Scarlet Begonia's in Brunswick, a group show at Thornton Oaks, and another appearance at the Gorham Art Fair. It was my second time running a collage workshop for kids at the Family Arts Festival (with help from Patricia Boissevain this year) and my first time participating in a benefit for The Gathering Place, a new day shelter in town.

Of course, the 10x10 Brunswick was a major event for me. My "Lemon" painting came in third place in the publicity contest, and as a result, I ended up on the radio as one of six artists promoting the show. Plus, an image of my painting ended up in the Portland Press Herald! At the end of the year, my "That Heavenly Coffee" painting was one of seven images used on the poster for the Downtown Moves Up show as well, so I think it would be fair to say that it was a good year for getting my work out in front of people.

Personally, I had a wonderful year. I was fortunate enough to share these and many other events with my wonderful friends and family members, and I was able to make connections with many new people through my art. I want to thank everyone for all the support, and I hope 2012 is filled with blessings of love, peace, joy, creativity, and prosperity for all of us! See you next year.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

year-end collaboration

The last meeting of the year for the Brunswick Art Collaborative was on Tuesday, and what a meeting it was! We had the biggest group we've had in quite a while, and it was a wide assortment of regulars, semi-regulars, and brand-new members. Normally I just work on my own stuff during these meetings, but this time I participated in the ornament-making project that was being taught by Amanda. I was having a hard time folding my paper properly, but Amanda was very patient and walked me through the process. I now have a Phish-themed ornament for my tree (I used a page from an old calendar for the images), although I have a feeling it's going to end up in my studio so I can enjoy it all year round! I started a new collage afterwards, so I feel good about that as well. January's First Friday will be here before you know it, so the more new work I can have ready, the better!

Anyone who is local and curious about the Brunswick Art Collaborative, please stop by sometime! We meet in the art room at Thornton Oaks in Brunswick (it's in the main building) on the second Tuesday of the month, 6 pm to 8 pm. We are a very laid-back group and all are welcome!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

whirlwind weekend

What a busy weekend! Things were fairly non-stop for me, as I'm sure it was for many artists. Portland's First Friday Art Walk kicked things off, and then Saturday and Sunday I was at the Downtown Moves Up show in Brunswick. Unfortunately I couldn't be in two places at once, so I missed the Friday night installment of Downtown Moves Up (and the free gelato that went with it), but that's okay! I sold pieces at both events, and I was very happy to see many familiar, smiling faces throughout the course of the weekend. This is always a crazy time of year, so it was great to be able to spend a little time with friends...thank you to everyone who stopped by to say hello.

Jennifer of Interactive Tarot was offering readings at First Friday, as usual, and one lucky woman in particular who hadn't been able to get a reading previously was able to take advantage of the fantastic discount. To say this woman was excited is a bit of an understatement! It's always fun to see people emerge from the space where Jen does her readings.

I should take a minute to say thank you once again to Lee Cheever of Five Rivers Arts Alliance. Lee once again helped me to transport my hanging racks from the Five Rivers office to the Lincoln Building and back. This isn't a long distance as the crow flies, but there are lots of stairs involved in each building, so it's not exactly easy to do. She also let me borrow a rack from Five Rivers once again (I used it during last year's Arts Downtown and All Around show), and she helped me to set things up and break things down. Lee, you are my hero!

Friday, November 18, 2011

movin' on up

I was disappointed to find out a few weeks ago that the Arts Downtown and All Around event would not be happening this year; however, I was very pleased when I found out shortly afterwards that a group of artists were getting together to organize an alternative group show for the same weekend ADAA would normally take place (which is the first weekend in December). This new show is called Downtown Moves Up, and it will be right smack in the middle of Maine Street in Brunswick (#98 Maine Street, right between Nest and The UPS Store, to be specific). There will be at least twenty different artists participating, and it looks like it will be a fun, diverse group.
I ran into Lee Cheever of Five Rivers Arts Alliance at the grocery store today and we got to talking about the show. I told her I had gotten an email earlier in the day saying the posters were in, but I couldn't find any when I went to pick them up (I'm sure I was looking in the wrong place). She said, "Oh, I have a stack in my car! Would you like some?" Of course, I said yes, and we agreed to meet by the entrance when we were both finished with our shopping. We checked out at the same time and walked over to her car...and lo and behold, one of the seven images used on the poster was my painting, "That Heavenly Coffee"! I was so excited to see that one of my pieces had been chosen, and I was very happy about how great the poster looked. Whoever designed it did an excellent job: the fonts look good, it's well-composed, and it's very eye-catching. I set aside a big one for myself and two small cards (one for my mom, one for my dear friend Julia), and then proceeded to bring the rest to various shops and businesses in town. I will need to pick up more at some point because I managed to get rid of them all in a pretty short amount of time!

Friday, November 4, 2011

first friday recap

What a fun night! Once again, First Friday Art Walk was great. Things were a bit slow early in the evening, but then things got busy and stayed that way until after 8. People were friendly and I got a lot of wonderful feedback, especially for my newest painting, which is called "Sole Mate"'s a painting of my favorite shoe, the Fluevog "Mini Gorgeous".

I'm sorry to report that Jen of Interactive Tarot ( couldn't make it tonight, but I was very happy to have my dear friend Heather Goulette of Monarch Massage ( there for the whole evening! Heather was offering discounted chair massage (first 5 minutes free, $1 per minute after that, 15 minute minimum) and people were really enjoying it. There was a very cold wind blowing tonight, but Heather had a heated pad on her massage chair, and boy, was that nice! She is planning on coming in December as well, so if you're curious, please stop in. Who couldn't use a massage during the holiday season?

Monday, October 31, 2011

gorham art fair recap

I had a lovely time at the Gorham Art Fair this weekend! I met a lot of cool people who were browsing/shopping, and I had a chance to connect (and reconnect!) with some wonderful artists. Lots of people signed up for my email list, and I was able to promote First Friday Art Walk as well...I was surprised to find out that a lot of people didn't know what that was! Plus, I sold a mixed media piece entitled "Let Love Rule". The woman who bought my piece is an art teacher for kindergarten through fifth grade, and she bought it to show her students! She made a point to tell me that my piece (and my website) would be used to teach kids. How cool is that?

Friday, October 28, 2011

el camino

I'm going to start this blog post with a re-post of this month's Art In Focus column from my website (this decision will make sense if you keep reading), so here it is:

"An artist chooses his subjects...that is the way he praises." -Friedrich Nietzsche
I found this quote the other day and I thought it would be a fitting way to begin this month's Art In Focus, because it perfectly describes the way I feel about one of my most recent paintings, "El Camino". El Camino is my favorite restaurant, and I wanted to pay tribute to it by doing a painting. They specialize in Mexican food, and they use local, organic ingredients whenever possible. To me, El Camino equals fun. I always have a great time when I am there. The decor is fun and funky, the food is fantastic, the service is friendly, and the mojitos are the best I've ever had anywhere (plus, the bartenders know exactly how I like them, and they
always have fresh mint). Whenever we have friends or family visiting from out of town, we go to El Camino. Whenever I want to celebrate selling a
painting, we go to El Camino. Whether we just go for drinks or we stay for dinner, we laugh, we enjoy each other's company, and we have a blast. There is something very special about that place, and El Camino is another one of the many things that make me grateful to live in Brunswick, Maine. I hope I was able to convey all of these feelings in my painting. If you are reading this and you have never been to El Camino before, do yourself a favor and go...and tell them I sent you!

So, I am very happy to report that Paul, one of the owners of El Camino, bought my painting this week! He said that of all the paintings, photographs, and pictures he's seen of El Camino, mine is the one that captures it the best. What a compliment! He said he really wanted it because he knows that someday he won't own the place anymore (to which I said, "I hope that's not anytime soon!") and he wants to have the painting to remember it by. It feels good to know that "El Camino" has gone to a good home where it will be loved and appreciated for many years to come. I couldn't be happier.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

do your homework

I had an interesting experience on Friday night! A nursing student from SMCC came in and said he's taking an art history class. His assignment was to go to First Friday Art Walk, check out the work, talk to the artists, and choose someone to write about. Well, he told me he had done the entire Art Walk, and that my work was the only stuff he found now I'm going to be the subject of his homework assignment! How weird is that?

We chatted for a little while and I gave him my card, which is something he said his professor would be happy about. At one point he asked, "How did you know you wanted to be an artist?" Before I could think about it, I said, "How did you know you wanted to be a guy?" He seemed to get a kick out of that answer (even though he was initially startled by it)! Before he left, I gave him my email address in case he thinks of any follow-up questions. I don't know if I'll hear from him, but I hope I do because I would love to read what he writes!  

Monday, October 3, 2011

10x10 recap

Well, I am happy to say that "Lemon" was one of the first pieces to sell on Friday night at the 10x10 Brunswick! The buyer actually sent a proxy to wait on line and pick it up for her...she couldn't be there when the doors opened, but she didn't want to take the chance that someone else might buy it first. I walked in to St. Paul's at around 5:15 and saw a big blank space on the wall between my two other paintings. Thankfully, I also saw Trish nearby, and apparently she had just said, "Oh, I wish Maria was here to see this!" I walked right up to her and she told me the proxy was actually her friend Catherine, a local acupuncturist who she used to work with at Bayview Gallery. What a coincidence! Trish suggested I ask Catherine if we could hang the piece back on the wall for one last picture. Naturally, she obliged, and I was thankful for her courtesy, her connection to Trish, and my timing. I asked Catherine where her friend had seen "Lemon", and she said it was the image 10x10 preview page on the website that grabbed her attention. I was surprised since the images on the site were all fairly small, but I'm glad "Lemon" made an impression on her. What a fun evening, and what a great cause! Thanks to everyone involved in the Brunswick 10x10!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

i'm gonna go get the papers, get the papers...

I got an email first thing this morning from Lucy Cooney of the 10x10 committee that contained some good news: I'm in the paper! Page E19 of the Portland Press Herald's GO section has a small column advertising the Brunswick 10x10 show, and they used a picture of "Lemon" (my painting that came in third place in the poster contest) to promote the event! Naturally, when I went to the store today, I came home with a small stack. I was already looking forward to tomorrow night's event, but now I think I'm even more excited. I hope the turnout is good!

Friday, September 23, 2011

family arts festival recap

When I finished my last blog post, I remembered I hadn't given a recap of the Family Arts Festival as I had promised. I know this technically makes two posts in one day, but with the way things have been lately, I figured I'd be better off writing it now instead of waiting for another time. So, here goes...
The Family Arts Festival was, of course, tons of fun. It was a beautiful, sunny day and people were out in full force. The collage workshop this year ran from 10 am to 2 pm, two hours longer than last year's event. My friend Trish joined me this year, and it was great working together. Kat Logan was kind enough to help me set up, and Heather Gelwick came by when Trish needed to leave to work at Northeast Noodle (the bright orange food cart new to the mall this year). There were also volunteers from Bowdoin College pitching in, carrying supplies to and from my car and cleaning up. Everyone helped out and it was greatly appreciated!

Once again, kids of all ages made really beautiful work. We had quite a crowd for a while, so much so that I think next year we may need to add another table for a larger workstation! This year, we had two and a half tables for supplies and one and a half for workspace, which is more room than we had last year. It's hard to believe it got crowded, but it did! The time went by quickly and I hated to have to make the announcement that we needed to clean up to make the space available for the next workshop.

I am so happy to be a member of Five Rivers Arts Alliance, the organization responsible for this and many other wonderful arts events in the Brunswick area. They did a fantastic job from start to finish, once again making the Family Arts Festival a great experience for everyone involved...and I'm already looking forward to next year!

radio, radio

I was on the radio on Wednesday! I was one of six artists interviewed on "What's Up", an arts-related show on 91.1 WBOR (Bowdoin College's radio station), hosted by Barbara Duff. The show's focus this week was on the 10x10 Brunswick show, and I was chosen to speak because my "Lemon" painting came in third in the poster contest. I found out I'd be doing this on Tuesday night, which is good because the show was Wednesday afternoon and I didn't have lots of time to dwell on it or get myself all worked up. I was next to last to be called into the studio, but I'm really glad that's how it worked out. Don't get me wrong, I was nervous sitting in the green room and listening to the other artists going before me, but rather than making things worse, it gave me a little time to settle down, breathe deeply, and get used to hearing what the rhythm and the pace of the interview would be like.

First of all, Barbara Duff is a fantastic interviewer! She made it an extremely pleasurable experience. I had so much fun, and Barbara completely put me at ease (even though I was nervous). To my surprise, my time in the studio time flew by and I found that I could have spoken to her for a lot longer. We chatted about lots of things, including when I first knew I wanted to be an artist, the pieces I have in the show, my love of color, and the fact that I try to put positive energy out through my work...I even got to plug my website and my monthly solo shows at the Closet Factory office!

Really, I had a blast, and I never would have guessed that at the end of the interview, I would be wishing I had just a few more minutes in the studio. I am so grateful for the experience, and I'm very happy that friends and family were able to hear me through the live stream on Now I just need to get a copy for myself so I can hear how it sounded!

Friday, September 16, 2011

bad, bad blogger

It's been over a month since my last post (*slapping wrist*). As you might have guessed, things have been pretty busy. I'll try my best to give a brief recap:

-The 10x10 show is coming up soon! My last post mentioned that I was the second runner up in the contest for the show's promotional materials. I haven't seen any articles in the paper yet, but I'm hoping that something will come out in the next week or so and that my painting will be included; if so, I will post it here.

-"The Community Paints: Summer In Maine" show at Thornton Oaks is still going on (through September 22nd). I am happy to say that both paintings I submitted were chosen. The opening reception was quite packed (as is usually the case with shows at Thornton Oaks). I ran into some other members of Brunswick Art Collaborative and it was great seeing them and their art. I met a man named Rudy at the opening ("like Rudy Vallee", as he said) and he was collecting signatures from all the participating artists! I laughed as I signed his card (the announcement for the show) and said, "Well, I hope someday this will be worth something!"

-I am very happy to say that my First Friday Art Walk listing has made it into the Portland Press Herald two months in a row! I made it into Portland Monthly magazine's September issue as well (they did a "First Friday Art Walk Guide" feature; Patrick Dempsey is on the cover), but I was a bit bummed about the way that turned out...they didn't mention my paintings (only my mixed media pieces) and they listed the Closet Factory website instead of They did get the address right and they spelled my name correctly, so right now I'm trying to focus on the positives (although I must admit that when I first saw it, I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach).

-Speaking of First Friday, the September Art Walk was absolutely fantastic! Jen was busy doing Tarot readings for most of the evening, and I sold four pieces: a collage, an oil pastel, and two paintings! The crowds weren't as big as they've been in previous months, but those who came were interested and engaging...and thankfully the number of people who walked in and went straight for the food was minimal.

-Tomorrow is the Family Arts Festival in Brunswick! I will be doing a collage workshop with my friend Trish (from Brunswick Art Collaborative and Northeast Noodle) and I'm really looking forward to it. We have tons of great supplies and the weather is supposed to be beautiful. I will fill you in on all the details!

Well, I think I've touched on most of what's been happening art-wise over the last month. I will try my best to not let this much time go by between posts again!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

the second runner up is...! I got home yesterday from a hit-and-run trip to NY and an email from Lucy of the 10x10 Brunswick committee was waiting for me. I called her as soon as I saw it, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear that my "Lemon" painting came in third place in this year's publicity contest! Lucy said the image won't be on the poster or the other show materials (that's only for the first place piece), but it will likely make the paper when the article advertising the show comes out. I am really happy to hear that my piece was considered at all, and the fact that it made the top three is exciting. Last year's 10x10 show was a lot of fun: the turnout was great, there was plenty of yummy food, and the work was diverse, interesting, and beautiful. Now I have something extra to look forward to this year!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

interactive art walk

Well, another First Friday Art Walk has come and gone! Last night's art walk was busy...not quite as busy as last month's, but busy nonetheless. It was a beautiful evening and lots of friends and familiar faces stopped by to say hello. I'm happy to say I sold a little painting, but the big star of the evening was Jen from Interactive Tarot! She was non-stop last night, doing reading after reading for curious art walkers. We arranged a private area for readings, using a folding screen and a hanging rack with fabric draped over it, which worked perfectly. I am so happy that Jen was able to join me, and I look forward to many more First Friday Art Walks with her. If you are curious, please check out for more information, or just stop by next month to see what all the fuss is about!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

create art, incite community

Isn't that the phrase I see on bumper stickers: "create art, incite community"? Well, it happens to be true. I am very happy to be taking part in a group show at Thornton Oaks in Brunswick entitled "The Community Paints: Summer in Maine". It should be a wonderful show, with 31 artists participating...several of whom are Brunswick Art Collaborative members! The show opens on Thursday, August 18th and runs through Thursday, September 22nd. I have had the pleasure of being involved in shows at Thornton Oaks before (the "Sixty Minute Expressions" events as well as "Flow", my two-woman show with photographer Anna Low) and I can tell you, they really know how to put on an opening reception! They put out a nice spread, they get their residents and the community of Brunswick interested, and they do a great job with publicizing the event...check out the beautiful invitation posted here! Just click on the image to see the full-size. What a nice way to be able to come together.

Friday, July 29, 2011

it's in the cards

I am very happy to announce that my dear friend Jennifer from Interactive Tarot ( will be offering discounted readings during my First Friday Art Walk opening receptions! If you have been to some of these openings, you may already know Jen. She is wonderfully supportive and frequently comes to my shows when her schedule allows. I am so excited to have her be an official part of the festivities, and I encourage you to get a reading if Tarot is something you are curious about. Her rates are already very reasonable, and the discount she'll be offering will make things even more accessible. Please check out her website if you have any questions, and we hope to see you on Friday, August 5th!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

what a difference a year makes

July 2nd, 2010, was the first anniversary of my dad's passing. I wanted to do something fun that day to take my mind off of things, so when my friend Erica called to invite me to Portland's First Friday Art Walk, I jumped at the chance. I hadn't done the art walk in a long time (and I'd never done it in the summer, for that matter) and I could use some time with a friend, so when she asked, I said yes. I spoke to my friend Heather shortly after that, and it turned out that she had plans to do the art walk with her friend Rebecca. Heather and I decided to drive into Portland together and meet up with Erica and Rebecca there. As it turns out, I knew Erica and Heather, but not Rebecca; Heather knew me and Rebecca, but not Erica; Erica knew me and Rebecca, but not Heather; Rebecca knew Heather and Erica, but not me. Well, we all got together, and to say we had a blast is an understatement. We walked, we talked, we ate and drank, we looked at lots of art, and most of all, we laughed like lunatics. I hadn't laughed that hard in a long time and it felt was exactly what I needed.

It was a beautiful summer night, and Portland was loaded with art-lovers...they were everywhere, and it blew me away how many people were out and about. As we walked in and out of galleries, Heather and Erica kept saying to me, "You should be involved in this. Why isn't your artwork here?" I said I would love to be a part of it but I wasn't sure how to go about making that happen. Heather kept saying, "You're spreading light with your artwork...people need that. They need to see something that will uplift them. You should be here."

Who would have thought a year later, I'd be holding my own First Friday reception (my seventh one, to be exact, since I started in January)? The Closet Factory office was packed the night of July 1st, 2011. Tons of people came out and there they were, looking at my artwork and enjoying food, wine, music, and each other's company, just like we had done a year before. Heather, Erica, and Rebecca were all there for me that night, along with two of my oldest and dearest friends, Jen and Julia...and Julia had driven all the way up from Brooklyn as a surprise. I feel like my dad had a hand in all of this good fortune...he always loved pulling strings for the benefit of people he cared about when he was able to do so. I think he was listening that night last year and got to work. Thanks, Dad, for the assistance (again!), and thanks to all of my friends, whose support means more than I can possibly express. I love you all!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

thinking inside the box

I love my cats, Cosmo and Althea. They are very sweet and, of course, very curious. I have had cats before, but Cosmo and Althea are the only cats I've had who like to hang out with me while I'm painting. They see me going upstairs and they get excited, running in front of me and into the studio. I get a kick out of this and the company is nice...until they start screwing around with my stuff: knocking over brushes and water cups, using collage supplies as toys, getting underfoot when I'm stepping back to look at a painting's progress. These are all minor annoyances that aren't worth getting worked up over. A big problem, however, is when they jump into boxes containing blank canvas and/or finished paintings. They love boxes, like most cats, and they love the protection and privacy they get from the extra height of the canvases. Unfortunately, they have sharp claws, and they have damaged canvas in the past (thankfully, no finished paintings have been harmed). They especially like to hide in these tall boxes when we have company...and this weekend, Terry's brother Jerry and his daughters, Sylvia and Tiffany, will be visiting from out of state. I'm quite sure a lot of hiding will be taking place during that time period, and this prompted me to start thinking about better storage options.

I told Terry about my concerns, so we went to Home Depot and bought a bunch of wood. Neither of us could be described as particularly handy, so we asked for advice and the very patient clerk told us what to do and how to do it. I am happy to say that this past weekend, Terry built me a giant box with a lid so I can store my paintings without fear of Cosmo and Althea getting inside! I am very relieved. My paintings will be protected, there's a lot of room inside, and even though the box is huge, it makes my studio look neater and more orderly...which is always something I can use. The solid lid of the box will provide a tall perch for the cats, and they will still have plenty of hiding places to choose from (including some now-empty cardboard boxes I am hanging onto for transportation purposes), so everyone wins. Bring on the company!

Friday, June 3, 2011

just keep walking

What a great turnout it was for the art walk tonight! So far, this was the best one yet. I lost count of how many people stopped in to look around and check things out, which is a great sign. A lot of those who came in commented on how busy Congress Street was: there were artists, musicians, dancers, and art-lovers out in full force, enjoying the beautiful Portland night. I met a bunch of interesting people of all ages and I got a lot of compliments (on both my artwork AND my Fluevogs!), which always feels good. I also got to spend some time with friends and family (thank you Rebecca, Jen C., Sarah, Rachael, and Xander...and thanks for the beautiful lilacs, too), and I even sold a piece to boot! It's nice to know that my work is speaking to people and they are connecting with it. I stayed well past 8 o'clock since people were still roaming around; in fact, I think it was nearly 9 pm when I finally locked up. Things stared out a bit slow (and I brought a book along just in case), but it picked up as the evening went on, and time ended up flying by. I was stunned when I looked at my phone and saw that it was past 8:30. I'm hoping for a repeat performance in July!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

three to get ready

I am happy to report that I hung my show at Scarlet Begonias today and it went up without a hitch! They don't want to make any more holes in their walls, so I had to use the hooks that were already in place. Thankfully, this wasn't a problem at all. Everything went up smoothly and quickly and things look good. I got positive feedback again from Doug and Colleen (the owners), as well as their very friendly, upbeat hostess (whose name is escaping me right now, I'm sorry to say). The skies were threatening rain, but I got there in plenty of time to avoid any kind of nastiness, and I was able to park right out front so the crazy wind that was blowing didn't have much chance to give me any issues. Also, I brought in a price list as requested (they prefer the look of a list to individual tags) and Doug was able to correctly match all the paintings to their titles, so I feel fairly confident that there won't be any confusion for potential buyers.

Tomorrow I will be hanging my next show at the Closet Factory office for Portland's First Friday Art Walk, and my show at Biddeford Savings Bank in Scarborough runs until June 24th, so that means I'll have my artwork on display in three different places this month! It feels good to say that, and I'm happy to have enough pieces to be able to make that happen. I wanted to make sure I had a decent amount of new stuff for First Friday, so between yesterday and today, I cranked out four new oil pastels, which I haven't done in a long time. I also managed to get two new collages done within the last few days, and I finally finished a painting that I had been working on for a couple of months. Whew!

Friday, May 20, 2011

she had rings on her fingers & bells on her shoes

Scarlet Begonias in Brunswick wants to display my paintings! I met with Doug and Colleen (the owners) yesterday and I am happy to say they really liked my work. I brought a bunch of pieces for them to see and as soon as I started unpacking, they got excited by my use of color. Yesterday was pretty overcast, but my paintings will be hung on walls that usually get tons of natural light (for those of you who haven't been to their new location, Scarlet Begonias has big windows in the front part of the restaurant). I wasn't sure when they might want me to hang my show (I figured maybe later this summer), but Colleen said, "How about June 1st?" When I said, "great," she said, "How about July too?" They want seven pieces for June and then a different seven for July. I am so excited about this opportunity! Scarlet Begonias has good food at reasonable prices and they are a fixture in this town. They participate in Brunswick's Second Friday Art Walk, so I'll be at First Friday in Portland and then Second Friday in Brunswick two months in a row. Good thing I didn't have any other plans!

Friday, May 13, 2011

you say it's your birthday...

I wanted to take a moment to wish a very happy birthday to my friend, Patricia Boissevain. Trish is the founder of the Brunswick Art Collaborative, and she is also the reason why I'm working with mixed media/collage today. It started on a Tuesday evening a couple of years ago. The Brunswick Art Collaborative decided to work on card-making for our project that month. The whole group was really into it, sharing supplies and getting inspired by one another. We laughed, we had fun, and we came up with some really nice work. We enjoyed it so much that we decided the next month's meeting would be another evening of card-making. After surveying the consistently good work the group was turning out, Trish piped up and said, "You know what? I think it's time we took this to the next level. These are not just cards, they're really nice collages and mixed media pieces. Next month, let's mount them on wood and see what we can do with them." The rest, as they say, is history. I have had so much fun working with this new medium, and I don't think I would have ever started exploring it if it hadn't been for Trish's encouragement and the Brunswick Art Collaborative. So, happy birthday, Trish! I hope this coming year is filled with inspiration and creativity. Thank you for inspiring and encouraging me.

Friday, May 6, 2011

(art) walk this way

Well, another First Friday has come and gone! Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by tonight (Jen, Heather, Erica, Rebecca, Linda, Jeremy, Sabrina, and Eric, just to name a few). The evening started out slow but got busier later on. I'm trying to think of ways to get more foot traffic to come in...I have a sandwich board sign outside, I have a sign in the window and signs on the doors, but I feel like people still don't know I'm there (either that, or people are clustered together on one part of Congress Street and just don't venture outside that area). I'm listed on Portland's First Friday Art Walk website (, but perhaps there are other places I should look into. Anyone out there have any ideas or suggestions? I would greatly appreciate it! Hope to see you next month...same bat time, same bat channel.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

love that dirty water

This is a picture of my brother-in-law Marc's office. He is a patent attorney in Boston, and he bought "Rocks, Gloucester" from me last summer. It finally got hung today (he wasn't allowed to do it himself) and I wanted to post a picture of my painting in its new home. Check out the view of the Charles River!

Friday, April 22, 2011

bye bye buddha

I parted with another painting today, "Flea Market Buddha". I have to say, it's a little weird selling a painting. It's SO exciting and great and thrilling, but there IS that moment when you think, "I'm never going to see this again..." but the good stuff far outweighs the separation. I know "Flea Market Buddha" is going to a good home where he will be appreciated by lots of new people. Plus, I have great photos, and that painting will always be a part of me, no matter where it goes (just like any artwork I've made). The woman who bought it, Jenny, is very nice, and she told me that this is the first painting she's ever purchased. What an honor! I consider it a major compliment when people connect with my work, especially when someone feels strongly enough about it to put it in their home...and then to be someone's first on top of that?! Quite a bonus. I hope "Flea Market Buddha" witnesses many wonderful events in Jenny's life (and the lives of those she cares about). Bon voyage!

Monday, April 11, 2011

collaborative effort

Good news: I just learned that the bowl-painting fundraiser that the Brunswick Art Collaborative participated in raised $1500 for the Gathering Place (Brunswick's new day shelter) and the Women's Alliance! Many thanks to Heather Gelwick for letting us know about the cause, and for bringing all the supplies (and then firing all the bowls) to make our participation possible. Tomorrow night will be the next meeting for the Brunswick Art Collaborative, so I'm sure this will be a big topic of discussion. I wonder if this will inspire our group to get involved in other causes in the future? By the way, the Brunswick Art Collaborative is open to anyone who would like to join us! We meet on the second Tuesday of each month from 6 pm to 8 pm in the art room at Thornton Oaks in Brunswick. Bring along some art supplies to use (and to share) and have some fun!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

it's not nice to fool mother nature

Ah, April Fool's Day in Maine. Mother Nature had quite a prank up her sleeve: heavy, wet snow mixed with rain. Now, I have to say, I have totally been at peace with all the snow we had this winter (thanks to snowshoeing, which has completely turned my head around). That being said, when I heard the forecast for this storm, I freaked a little bit. "First Friday?! Why does it have to be on First Friday?" I started begging for different scenarios. "Well, maybe the wind will shift and there will be nothing, or maybe it won't be as bad as they're saying, or maybe it will all be over on Thursday, or maybe it won't start until after Friday night."

Friday morning came and so did the snow, but I heard birds- and I took that as a good sign ("if the birds are out, it can't be that bad, right?"). I planned on still having my opening, but I was a bit worried about the drive. Schools were closed, state offices were closed, various events were cancelled, etc. I decided to head out just before 3:30 and said to myself, "Well, if the roads are bad and it seems dangerous, I'll just turn around and go home." I got on the road and I was pleasantly surprised. The highway speed limit was down to 45, but the roads were just wet (not icy) and people were flying past me. I got to Portland a lot faster than I thought, and again, I was pleasantly surprised at how clear the sidewalks were. I set up the food, the wine, the battery-powered candles, and my signs as usual and hoped I wouldn't spend the entire night alone reading the book I packed (just in case).

I am very happy to say that the turnout was pretty darn good, all things considered! The people who came were happy to see me and lamented that many galleries had closed due to the weather. They all said it wasn't nearly as bad as it had been earlier in the day, and many mentioned that they were feeling stir-crazy and were happy to have the Art Walk as an excuse to get out of the house. I met a lot of nice people, had some good conversations, and got a lot of positive feedback on the new show. There were lulls, of course, but all in all, I'm really glad I opened. Thanks, Mother Nature, for at least making things better by the late afternoon! Perhaps that was my reward for not complaining about the snow all winter...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

...not exactly out like a lamb

This has been one crazy busy month! Lots of good stuff has been happening, most of which I've already blogged about (participating in the Empty Bowls Supper, my solo show at Biddeford Savings Bank, this month's First Friday Art Walk), but there's even more news: I am very happy and proud to announce that I have a brand-spanking-new-and-improved website! The address is still, but the site itself has been completely overhauled and I am extremely excited about it. I want to take a moment to thank my very dear friend, the lovely and multi-talented Jennifer Moscone (, for designing and building my new website. Jen has brought passion, creativity, and a seemingly endless amount of ideas to, and I am eternally grateful for her help, her patience, and her guidance. We hope to add new content all the time, so please check back often!

Monday, March 28, 2011

you can take that to the bank

My three-month long solo show at Biddeford Savings Bank in Scarborough is up, and it looks really good! I know it looks good because I ended up having to go back to bring a piece I had forgotten at home. DUH!

Here's the story: Lori Rae Curole is the woman running the show (,, We have been communicating via email for several months now and she has been extremely patient and helpful, answering every ridiculous question I may have had. Saturday, March 26th was the day she would take down the work by the previous artist and the day she would be hanging my show. The bank opens at 8:30 (which is when Lori would be arriving), so she asked me to get there at 8:45. I was super-paranoid, and despite having been up very late the night before taking care of last-minute framing issues (isn't that always the way?), I decided I would get my ass in gear early and arrive at 8:30 as well. Lori was shocked when I pulled up and mentioned that no one is ever early; in fact, many are quite late. This made me feel good, so I proceeded to unload my car quickly and efficiently. As I lined up all my pieces and started matching them up with the tags Lori had printed, a sinking feeling overcame me...oh no...I forgot a piece! My mind started could I have done that? I set my work aside weeks ago! I double checked everything! Why did I have to pull a flaky artist move? I went up to Lori and told her about my realization. "Don't panic," she said calmly. "If you can't get back here by noon when the bank closes, just bring it to my house and I'll come back on Monday morning and hang it then." Now, I didn't want to inconvenience her, and plus, it was my mistake. Showing up early doesn't negate forgetting a piece at home in my mind. I had a work appointment I had to go to as soon as I was done at the bank, so I started doing math in my head ("it should take 15 minutes for me to get to my appointment, and it's roughly 45 minutes to get from here to Brunswick; it won't take me long to grab the painting from home and an iced skinny mocha latte from the BoHo, then it's 45 minutes back to Scarborough...) and I said, "I can do this. This is feasible. I think I can get back here with the painting before noon." She said, "Well, don't worry, and don't speed." I headed out and thankfully, the traffic cooperated and my time estimates were correct. I called Lori's cell phone before leaving Brunswick (for the second time that day) and left a message saying that I was on my way. I walked through the door of the bank with my painting ("It's A Small World", for those of you who are curious) at ten minutes after 11 and I heard the bank manager (who is also named Lori) say, "Perfect timing!" Lori had just finished hanging the show and was starting to pack up her gear. She had gotten my message and knew I would be arriving at any time. She had left a spot for the missing painting and not only did it work perfectly in that space in relation to the other paintings near it, the hanger only needed a minor adjustment for the piece to be properly centered. I looked around the bank and I was really pleased and impressed with how Lori had hung the show. She made great choices and had a real intuition about certain pieces. It is obvious that she is a professional, and I am thankful for the opportunity to work with her.

At any rate, my lesson here is simple: triple-check everything! I got away with it this time. WHEW!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

bowling for dollars

I painted a bowl for this event (as did other members of the Brunswick Art Collaborative)! Here is the info:

Empty Bowls Supper to benefit The Gathering Place shelter
Event Date: March 25th, 2011
Event Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Location: Side door Unitarian Universalist Church, 15 Pleasant Street, Brunswick
Contact:-; (207) 443-4571
Event Details:
Friday, March 25. Empty Bowls Supper to benefit The Gathering Place, Brunswick’s new day shelter, and the Women’s Alliance. Come choose and buy a locally handcrafted bowl and fill it with luscious home-made soup, chowder or chili, then keep the bowl. $15 a bowl. Sponsored by the Women’s Alliance, UUCB. 5–7 pm. Side door of the Unitarian Universalist Church, 15 Pleasant Street, Brunswick.

This is one of the many reasons why I love the Brunswick Art Collaborative! At our last meeting, we all painted bowls to donate to these worthwhile causes. Heather Gelwick brought all the bowls and the glazes for us to use, and then she took the bowls home to fire. It was so much fun to get together, paint, and see how everyone chose to decorate their bowl (or bowls). Here is a photo of some of the bowls that were made that night (the one that says "yum" is mine).

Friday, March 4, 2011

in like a lion...

Tonight's First Friday Art Walk was great! The turnout was even better this month than it was last month, and since last month was better than the previous month, I'd say this is looking like a trend! It was a bit chilly but that didn't seem to stop anyone from coming out. Just think of how much busier it will be next month when it warms up! Lots of friends came by (thank you Jen, Mary, Erica, Heather, Rebecca, Jeremy, Sabrina, Echo, Jesse, Sy, and of course, my lovely husband Terry) to show their support, share some yummy food, and enjoy some lively conversation. I saw a lot of new faces too, plus some people who had stopped in last month remembered me and made a point to come by again. Jesse mentioned more than once that the food was better than what most other places had to offer, so I guess that helps matters as well! Perhaps I should have titled this post "come for the guacamole, stay for the art".

Monday, February 28, 2011

come together

Even though February is the shortest month of the year, it usually feels like the longest one because of the weather...but not this year. It has nothing to do with the weather this time, though. It has everything to do with the First Friday Art Walk. I really want to get some new stuff ready for this coming Friday and it seems like I've had less time this month to do so, but that's okay. Thankfully the last few days have been productive ones. I have been sneaking away to my studio whenever I get the chance and working on different things. I was able to start and finish a brand-new collage, start another new one (which I hope to complete in the next couple of days), and put the finishing touches on a collage that had been sitting around, waiting for the right ingredients to come along. I have also been plugging away at this year's birthday painting and, with some luck and some more time in the studio, I should have it ready for this month's show. It's nice when things can come together quickly. Fingers crossed that it keeps happening!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

made to order

Terry's friend from college, Deb, was looking for a special present for her partner, Dave. Deb had been looking at photos of my art I had posted on Facebook, and she came across a collage entitled "Get Out Of Your Head and Into Your Heart". She sent me a message asking if she could buy it for Dave, but I told her the piece had sold at the Gorham Art Fair a couple of months ago. She asked if I ever did custom pieces and I told her I've done a few, but the prospect always makes me a bit nervous ("What if it doesn't meet expectations? What if it's not what you had in mind?"). She promised (with a smile) to have low expectations, so I agreed to give it a shot.

Deb prides herself on giving unique, thoughtful gifts, so I was flattered that she thought of me to provide her with one. Deb and Dave's song is "Flying Clouds" by Jorma Kaukonen, and Deb wanted the collage to represent it in some way. She sent me the lyrics and I chose a couple of lines that I thought would be nice to feature. I scrambled around looking for images, since I knew that Deb would be visiting Portland soon and I wanted to have it ready for her. I had an idea in my head what the collage would look like when I first started, but it ended up being fairly different...and I am so glad I didn't glue anything down prematurely! Deb was very happy with the finished product, and I got an email from her today saying that it had been well received by Dave also: "Your art got a 12 out of 10!" What a relief!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

simple green

This month's First Friday was great! The turnout was even better than last month's, and I got to spend some time with people I care about (thanks to Erica, Rebecca, Andy, and Terry for hanging out). Last time I just had paintings on display, but this time I did both paintings and collages, and people really seemed to respond to the eclectic mix of work. Not only did I get positive feedback regarding what was on the walls, but a couple of people commented favorably on the music I was playing as well! I'm also happy to say that I was able to get not one, but two of the paintings I mentioned in my last post finished in time for the show.

I believe one of the reasons for the improved turnout was the sandwich board sign I was able to put out on the sidewalk. Erica was kind enough to loan the board to me, and I attached some bright yellow posterboard with the word "art" and some arrows painted on it. As the evening was coming to a close, I went outside to bring the sign in...and I noticed that someone had stuck some greenery on it! I thought that was so sweet, and it really was a nice touch. It made the sign so much more welcoming and friendly-looking, and I just had to take a picture. I'll make sure to pick up some fake flowers and greenery of my own for next month's Art Walk!

Monday, January 31, 2011

let them eat cake

Once again, it's been a while since my last post. January has been a pretty busy month. I am working on three new paintings right now: one is almost finished, one is moving along, and one is in the beginning stages (although I had a really good idea for it last night). I would love to have the first two done in time for the next First Friday Art Walk (which is this week) but I don't know if that's going to happen. I think my chances are pretty good that I'll have the first one ready, but we'll have to see. There is a lot of snow in the upcoming forecast, so maybe I'll be able to spend extra time in the studio as a result.

One of the paintings I'm working on is a "birthday painting". For the past few years, I've tried to do a painting featuring birthday cake around this time. My friend Buck told me she used to do this when she was an art student. I loved the idea, so I took it (with her blessing). Normally I don't look at an actual cake or a picture of a cake when I do one of these paintings, but this year I decided that I needed an edible prop. I baked a cake, cut it up, and took pictures. The cake came out a bit lopsided and the photos weren't quite what I was hoping for. I brought almost half of it to Heather's house and begged her to share it with friends and family since I figured it would never get finished here (I'm not a huge cake fan, although Terry is). Less than a week later, I was visiting my sister and her family, and they surprised me with a birthday cake. It was a week before my actual birthday, so I wasn't expecting it. Another surprise: they sent me home with all the leftovers! At first I protested (more cake in the house), but then I thought, "Aha! A second chance to get some decent cake photos." This cake was not lopsided like the one I baked, so it would make a better prop. I photographed it when I got home and I am now currently using one of those pictures as a springboard for my idea. On my actual birthday, Terry and I went out to El Camino (my favorite restaurant!) with Heather and Matt to celebrate. Dinner was great, the drinks were amazing, and at the end of the evening, the waitress (who was also celebrating her birthday) brought us over a free chocolate dessert with a candle in it...another sweet surprise, and thankfully this time, it was not more cake.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

first things first

Friday, January 7th, was my first opening reception at the new Closet Factory first "First Friday" in this space! It was a great night and I was really pleased with the turnout. Many thanks to my dear friend Jen ( and her mom Mary for staying with me until the end of the evening! Several friends stopped by to hang out and drink a toast (thank you to Erica, Silvia, Rebecca, and my wonderful husband Terry), and a bunch of people I don't know stopped in as well...not bad for a cold night in January in a location that is totally new to the Art Walk. I had a sign in the window that read "art!" so that got people's attention; next time, I hope to have a sandwich board-type of sign out on the sidewalk to attract more people and increase traffic. I am hoping that word-of-mouth will spread as well...I got a lot of very positive feedback from visitors, so perhaps next month, they will tell their friends to stop by. We'll see!

Monday, January 3, 2011

new year, new venue!

Hello and Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2011 is filled with wonderful things for you and everyone you love. I am very happy and excited to share some news with all of you. As some of you know, I am the senior designer for Closet Factory of Maine as my "day job". Well, Closet Factory is in the process of moving their office/showroom from Presumpscot Street to the heart of Portland's Arts District, and my boss has generously offered wall space to me so I can display my work and take part in Portland's First Friday Art Walk each month! Please join me on Friday, January 7th, from 5 pm to 8 pm for my first opening reception at the new Closet Factory office. The new address is 647A Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101; we share an entrance/front foyer with Princess Nails. Start off the new year with some art, food, and wine!