Tuesday, December 31, 2013

every picture tells a story

I spent a good chunk of yesterday pulling photos for a "2013 art year in review" video project I'm hoping to work on. As I was working, I was struck by a couple of things: 1. WOW, was it a busy (and awesome!) year, and 2. I am filled with gratitude for each and every one of you who were a part of it. If I started naming names, this post would go on for three days. Thank you so much for your support: coming out to my shows, buying art, making my new magnet enterprise a smashing success, sharing links to my new Etsy page, telling friends about my work, reading my blog, following me on Twitter, giving my work as gifts, and just believing in me in general. 2013 was amazing, and I am excited about what 2014 holds for all of us. I wish you joy, love, peace, happiness, beauty, and people in your life who are as incredible to you as you have been to me. XO

Sunday, December 22, 2013

happy holi-daze

The weather outside is making today a perfect day for catching up on lots of things I need to do, including writing a new blog post! Here goes:

It's the season of giving, and I'm sure your mailbox has been filling up with letters from different charities, non-profits, and causes asking for your last-minute, tax-deductible, charitable donation. You can probably imagine my surprise when I saw a familiar sight at the bottom of the Five Rivers Arts Alliance annual fundraising letter: my painting, "Sole Mate," is one of four images being used to drum up some holiday kindness! I am really happy they chose my work, and I hope that, in a small way, I can help Five Rivers to reach their fundraising goal of $7,000. If you're looking to support a non-profit arts organization this year, please consider helping out Five Rivers: www.5raa.org

(What a nice compliment!)

Speaking of Five Rivers, on Friday, December 13th, the first group show at Coastal Orthopedic in Brunswick came down, and the second one went up! Here are the four paintings I have on display in the new show, which will run until mid-March. This time, there will be an opening reception in early January, which should be interesting. The first show didn't have a reception, but it seems like Five Rivers is really working on forging a relationship with Coastal Orthopedic, and I think having an opening will improve the connection between the two organizations, the staff, and all the artists involved. We'll see how it goes! 

(Art heals!)

My Etsy shop has been doing very well this holiday season, and I couldn't be more thrilled. I have shipped magnets to people in Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine! The thought of my artwork being included in stockings and under trees all over the country makes me smile.  Also, I received a new shipment of "Old Fat Boy Sign" magnets, so I was finally able to add them to my Etsy page as well...that means all of my current magnets are now available and represented! Yay! Christmas is three days away, so I don't really expect to get any more last-minute orders between now and then, but Etsy gift cards are a fantastic option for those who meant to order magnets but just couldn't get their act together! Are you one of those people? Do you need an Etsy gift card? Well, here's the link: http://tinyurl.com/ltylzo2
...and here's the link to my Etsy shop, while you're at it: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BrushstrokesByMaria

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

...and yet another long overdue recap

Whew! Things have been very busy lately! I've been meaning to write a new blog post for quite a while now, but I just haven't gotten the chance until now. I will do my best to recap! Where do I start?

Terry and I had a beautiful Thanksgiving with his family in New Hampshire, as is our tradition. I brought along my magnets just in case anyone wanted to see them in person...and I sure am glad I did, because I sold a whole mess of them! I had a request for two "Old Fat Boy Sign" magnets, which I didn't have on me at the time...more were scheduled to arrive on Saturday so I would (hopefully) have enough to get me through the holiday season.

(So much to be thankful for: red wine, good music, family, and magnets!)

Cat Schwenk's Creative Economy show in Freeport on Thanksgiving weekend was a lot of fun, and I'm really happy to have been a part of it. The show was three days long, and I spent much of Saturday there, helping out and connecting with others. The space was absolutely beautiful, I was able to see my friends Echo and Jesse (and their son, Sy), and I was able to enjoy some of Jesse's delicious wood-fired pizza, baked fresh from the outdoor clay oven he built! Plus, I had a very funny interaction with someone at the show: I was speaking with a woman who recognized me and my work, but she was having a hard time placing me. When I said, "I'm Maria," she said, "Yes! You're Maria Castellano-Da-Da-Da!" I doubled over with laughter and said, "Maybe I should change my name to that!" When I told Terry about it later, he smiled and said, "I guess it is asking a lot of people..." Anyway, I sold a bunch of magnets, and the shipment of "Old Fat Boy Sign" magnets arrived right on schedule. However, that shipment was quickly depleted, requiring me to place a rush order in time for Arts Downtown and All Around, which brings us to this past weekend...

("Buddha To The Maxx", Creative Economy show)

I am thrilled to say that Arts Downtown and All Around was absolutely fantastic! This was my fourth year doing this show, and for me, this year was better than all the other years put together. The musicians I booked to perform were very well-received by both artists and show-goers alike, which makes me very happy. I was in the same room as last year, but this time, I had the space to myself, and I was able to fill it with no problem. Over the course of the weekend, I had at least 125 people come into my room. I got wonderful feedback and made a lot of sales as well...and, as Terry put it, I had a "hat trick": sales on all three days of the show, plus sales of magnets, mixed media, and paintings alike! Some of these sales were to people who have bought my work in the past, including the couple who bought my "Re-birthday Cake" painting at the 2012 10x10 show, and the woman who bought my "Weathervane, Bowdoin College" painting at the 2013 10x10 show. I sold magnets to other artists whose work I respect and admire, including Susan Mills (who has several of my mixed media pieces in her home already), Robin Brooks, Catherine Worthington, and Lee Cheever; plus, one of the mixed media pieces I sold was bought by Natasha Kempers-Cullen! What an amazing compliment: I've got collectors! I am blown away. Speaking of amazing compliments, I received one from Allison Price, who was one of the other artists participating in the group show at 98 Maine. When she walked into my room, she said it was "like seeing twenty-seven sunrises and rainbows all at once." Wow.

(Me in my room, having fun at Arts Downtown and All Around!)

Early Saturday afternoon, I ran out of "Old Fat Boy Sign" magnets...and then Terry arrived with the new shipment! By the end of the weekend, I only had three left. On Monday, I made a long-overdue trip to She Doesn't Like Guthrie's in Lewiston so I could replenish my magnet display. I should have done it sooner, because there were only a handful left...who knew I'd keep running out? Anyway, it was so nice to see Heather (as always!); I loaded up my display with new magnets, including "Prentiss' Owl" and "Weathervane, Bowdoin College" (which I didn't have there previously), and the three remaining "Old Fat Boy Sign" magnets. Yes, I placed a re-order yesterday...and yes, I doubled the amount I usually get!

(While you're waiting for your fabulous food at She Doesn't Like Guthrie's, check out my magnets!)

I'm happy to say that my Etsy shop is doing very well, and I now have almost all of my magnets represented there...I think you can guess which one isn't on there yet! Rest assured, as soon as the new shipment arrives, "Old Fat Boy Sign" will join the others (after I set aside two, of course)! If you haven't checked out my shop yet, here's the link! https://www.etsy.com/shop/BrushstrokesByMaria

Okay, I think I'm now completely caught up with what's going on with me! Until next time...