Wednesday, December 31, 2014

thank you, sir...may I have another?

It's New Year's Eve, and the natural thing to do today is to reflect on the year we'll be ushering out in a few hours and to set intentions for the year we'll be welcoming in at midnight. I don't know about you, but 2014 has been very, very good to me. I've been blessed with good health, lots of love, great friends, and a wonderful family. My art was on display somewhere every month, making this the fifth year in a row I've reached that goal. I joined Curtis Creative Spaces and donated a tiny painting to a raffle supporting Curtis Memorial Library; I also donated a tiny painting to the Portland Public Schools Multilingual & Multicultural Center's "Rock Around The World" event. I painted a chair for the UU Church of Brunswick's "Chair-ity" Auction benefitting The Oasis Clinic and MidCoast Hunger Prevention. I painted faces at the "Scoop-A-Thon" for People Plus and the Brunswick Teen Center. I facilitated a painting workshop at Maine Behavioral Healthcare, and I designed a tattoo based on my "Weathervane, Bowdoin College" painting for Matt Dyer, who survived a polar bear attack. My work made the paper three times (The Cryer, The Coastal Journal, and Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram). The Coastal Youth Orchestra used "Retro Tree" as the cover for their winter concert program, and "Polar Bear, Bowdoin College" was on the Brunswick Second Friday Art Walk poster in July. I've sold a bunch of magnets, several prints, a handful of holiday note cards, some ornaments, a few mixed media pieces, and eleven paintings! Hey, just like Spinal Tap: I can say 2014 went up to eleven!

I am so, so grateful for everyone who has been supportive of me this year. Thank you for buying my work (no matter what form it's taken), thank you for coming to my shows, thank you for giving me kind words of support and encouragement, thank you for believing in me. It is an honor and a privilege, and I hold you in my heart every single day. I am grateful for the many blessings I've received, and I'm grateful for the many blessings that are on their way. Thank you, 2014. You kicked ass. Welcome, 2015...let's make things awesome.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

celebrate the season of giving

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who came to (and participated in!) the Holiday Open House! I had a BLAST. It was wonderful to have a chance to connect with other artists and to be a part of a show in such a beautiful and relaxed atmosphere. HUGE amounts of gratitude go out to our gracious and generous hosts, Mark and Louanne Schoninger. Their hospitality and warmth was second to none. The lineup of artists was very well-balanced and thoughtfully laid-out. Just to name a few of us (and our wares!): I had paintings, mixed media, magnets, prints, and cards; Christine DeTroy had her pillows and different fabric creations; Heather Atwood had silver, copper, and bronze jewelry and ornaments; Susan Perrine had her looms and different wood and woven items; Emily Marquis had burned and painted wooden creations; and Dorette Amell had drawings, prints, and mixed media. Of course, the belle of the ball was Jennifer Moscone of Interactive Tarot! Jen barely had any downtime...she stayed late both days and made quite an impression on everyone who got a reading from her! She had a private room upstairs, so everyone who treated themselves to a reading was able to do so away from the hustle and bustle of shoppers and merry-makers! 

Interactive Tarot has gift certificates, too! 

Besides being a fun and different type of show, the Holiday Open House was well-attended, and the people who came were there for a purpose: to shop and engage with the artists! I am so grateful to have been a part of this event. Not only did I sell a bunch of magnets, some ornaments, and a few cards, I sold a painting, too! Yes, "Divine Eagle Friend" has gone to a very good home where I know it will be loved and appreciated. A special someone will be unwrapping "Divine Eagle Friend" on exciting is that?

"Divine Eagle Friend": SOLD!

Another wonderful way to celebrate the holiday season is with music, and I was rather tickled to have been approached by Cicy Po to use my artwork on the cover of the Coastal Youth Orchestra's Winter Concert program! Every year, they use a local artist's work, and this time, Cicy reached out to me. Interesting sidebar: Cicy and I went to high school on Long Island together, and both somehow ended up in the Brunswick area. Funny, right? Anyway, I figured "Retro Tree" would be a good fit, so I said yes to the opportunity. I was even able to make it to the concert, and it was wonderful! Not only was I able to see Cicy at the concert, I ran into Clay from El Camino as well (both lovely ladies had children performing in the show)! Cicy said she had received a ton of compliments on the program, including one from someone on the Coastal Youth Orchestra board, who said that "Retro Tree," beyond being a great piece, has a sound-like vibrating effect, making it fitting for the occasion. Perfect!  

music + art = happy together

The Holiday Open House show may have been my final fair of the 2014 season, but I still have my solo show up at Mister Bagel on Pleasant Street in Brunswick, which means you can still get last-minute art Christmas gifts while treating yourself to a cup of coffee or a tasty snack! I was happy to get a phone call from Robin (one of the owners) on Tuesday, saying that another signed/numbered/framed giclee print of "That Heavenly Coffee" had been sold to a Mister Bagel customer! Robin asked if I would be able to drop off two more prints of "That Heavenly Coffee": one to replace the one that had been sold, and another one so she could buy it! Woo hoo! 

coffee + bagels + art = yumminess

Speaking of Christmas, I wonder how many stockings in the greater Brunswick area (and beyond, for that matter) will have my magnets in them? Hmm...I think that might be like asking the age-old question, "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop?"! Seriously, I am grateful to each and every person who has been supportive of my art this year. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and I hope you have a beautiful holiday season...and if you're someone who receives (or gives!) my art in one form or another as a Christmas gift, please let me know! I would love to hear all about it! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

fair play

Many, many thanks to all the brave souls who came out to the UUCB Holiday Arts Fair this past Saturday in spite of the less-than-stellar weather! I had a wonderful time. Everyone at the UUCB was kind, welcoming, and friendly, plus the food was fantastic, too! Live music kept us entertained all day long, and traffic was steady, even though it was cold and wet outside. 

That is one happy moose! 

I had a couple of people recognize me from the Maine Sunday Telegram article (how funny is that?), one person recognized my work from Mister Bagel, and several fair-goers remembered seeing my work at ADAA and the Small Business Saturday pop-up shop. I sold a bunch of magnets, a signed/numbered giclee print of "That Heavenly Coffee," and four little ornaments! Yes, ornaments! The UUCB show organizers suggested we have something inexpensive to offer to kids, and initially, I wasn't sure what to do. I was speaking with Lonie Ellis about it during ADAA, and she suggested getting some clear, flat, domed acrylic beads from the dollar store...she said the beads would magnify an image, so if I glued an image to the back, it would appear larger than it actually was. I liked this idea, so I had tiny color copies made of "Retro Tree". I cut the images to fit the different beads, and glued them down with Mod Podge; then I glued an ornament hook to the back of the "Retro Tree" image, followed by decorative paper over the back of the whole thing to cover the hook. They're not perfect, but hey- they're only a dollar! I don't plan on making them again once they're all gone, so if you want one, let me know! 

Cheapie ornaments! 

I have one more fair before Christmas this year: the Holiday Open House in Topsham on Friday, December 12th, 5pm-8pm, and Saturday, December 13th, 10am-2pm! This is going to be a slightly different kind of group show, because it takes place in someone's home! Get your last-minute holiday shopping done in a unique, warm, and inviting setting, all while supporting local, independent artists. Treat yourself and the ones you love to handmade, unusual, one-of-a-kind gifts you can feel good about giving AND getting. There will be fine art & crafts, food, music, a cozy fire, Tarot readings, and more! Visitors and participants alike are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to a local food bank (items such as canned tomatoes, peanut butter, baked beans, canned fruit, and canned soups are some of the items on the Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program's wish list). Stop by for a fun and unique holiday shopping experience! I hope to see you there! 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

small business saturday = a very big deal

WOW. I am happy to report that Small Business Saturday turned out to be a VERY big deal! I had an absolute blast at the artisan pop-up shop at 90 Maine Street, Brunswick (the former Agren Appliance building). There were two rooms filled with artists and craftspeople of all kinds, including Beth Carr of Windewillow, Christine DeTroy, Heather Atwood of H. Monique Designs, Allison Price, Ken Wise, and many more...over twenty artists were on hand, offering their unique creations for your gift-giving pleasure!

Follow the signs! 

As you can see from the sign above, the show was from 9am to 5pm, which is a long day as far as art shows are concerned. Set up time began at 7am, which meant my alarm went off at 5am. YIKES! Did I mention we had been in New Hampshire for the Thanksgiving holiday from Wednesday through Friday? Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a morning person, so waking up at such an early hour after three days of travel and merriment was a bit of a challenge...but the effort was most certainly worth it, and I would do it again in a second. 

Shoppers began arriving shortly after the doors opened, and the flow of traffic was steady and enthusiastic all day long! I sold a bunch of magnets and holiday note cards, and I was happy to see a bunch of friends and friendly faces throughout the course of the day. My most popular item was the "Old Fat Boy Sign" magnet, and I heard all kinds of interesting stories regarding where they were going: one was headed to Ohio, one was headed to Colorado, and one was headed to Panama! Also, one was being given to a couple of grandparents who first met at Fat Boy as students at rival local high schools! 

Michael Gorzka stopped by to show his support, and he included my booth in a Curtis Memorial Library Facebook post all about Small Business Saturday...thank you, Mike! I saw a cameraman from Channel 8 news over by Christine DeTroy's booth, and a couple of people from the Portland Press Herald were walking around and chatting with artists. I spoke to a photographer named Whitney (she had snapped a photo of me while I wasn't looking!) who took my name and asked me a couple of questions; then I spoke to a reporter named Craig who also took my name and asked a couple of questions. I thought, "Wow, that's cool," and then went on with my day. It wasn't until late Sunday afternoon while I was at home doing yoga when I thought, "Hey, I wonder if I ended up in the paper?" I looked up the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram website and saw THIS! I quickly ran around the corner to pick up an actual copy of the paper, and when I saw the size and placement of the photo/article, I bought two copies! 

Holy cow! That's me! 
What a wonderful experience! I am grateful to the Brunswick Downtown Association for putting this free and very fun event together in such a fantastic way. Missy and Patti were great to work with, and their efforts (and the efforts of the entire BDA) are very much appreciated. Now, it's on to the next show: the UUCB Holiday Arts Fair is Saturday, December 6th, 9am-2pm! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

big love for shopping small

As I mentioned in my previous post, the holiday art show season is up and running! ADAA kicked things off, and I've got three other shows coming right up: the Brunswick Downtown Association's Small Business Saturday "pop-up" show, the UU Church of Brunswick's Holiday Art & Craft Fair, and the Holiday Open House show! Mark your calendars: the UU show is Saturday, December 6th, 9am-2pm, the Holiday Open House show is Friday, December 12th, 5pm-8pm, and Saturday, December 13th, 10am-2pm, and the BDA Small Business Saturday "pop-up" show is November 29th, 9am-5pm...otherwise known as THIS SATURDAY! Small Business Saturday should be quite the event...just look at the poster!

Supporting small businesses keeps Brunswick COOL. 

Downtown Brunswick is going to be hopping! Check it out: horse and carriage rides, hot chocolate and cookies, Santa and Frosty the Snowman, the annual tree lighting ceremony, sales and promotions at neighborhood shops and restaurants, and LOCAL ART! What more could you want? The "pop up" venue looks like it will be a good one, too: we will be at 90 Maine Street, in the former Agren Appliance building! Not only is this space big, it has great windows, wonderful visibility, and awesome neighbors, including the Gelato Fiasco and Big Top Deli! Take a peek at the list of participating artists...better yet, come and see us in person!  

Thanks to Mike Gorzka for snapping this photo! 

I am excited to be a part of Small Business Saturday, and I hope to see your smiling face on November 29th! Don't forget: shopping small has a BIG impact! Let's face it, Brunswick has a LOT of great independently-owned shops and restaurants. Supporting those shops and restaurants (and artists!) is what keeps Brunswick cool, different, and unlike any other town. Give Brunswick big love by shopping small! 

Shop small for BIG FUN! 

Monday, November 24, 2014

kicking things off!

Arts Downtown and All Around was last weekend, and it was a wonderful way to kick off the holiday art show season! I had a great time...and if you weren't able to make it out to ADAA, don't worry: I have three other shows coming right up! We're in the swing of things now, aren't we? First things first, though...allow me to do a little recapping! 

My heart is filled with gratitude for everyone who made ADAA a wonderful experience. Thank you, thank you, thank you to my fellow artists, to all the show-goers, to those who couldn't make it out but still offered their love and support in other ways, and to the event's very hard-working organizers and the kids are saying, "mad props" to Catherine Worthington, Lily Roy, and Joan Carney in particular. 

As I mentioned in a previous post, this year's ADAA group show was in the former Coleman Burke Gallery space right next to Frontier. This location turned out to be fantastic! The room itself was beautiful, with high ceilings, exposed brick, large windows, and good lighting; plus, the proximity to Frontier got us a lot of traffic that we may not have otherwise had. People started arriving while we were still setting up on Friday afternoon because they were either on their way to or coming from Frontier, and on Friday evening, when diners were waiting for their tables, the Frontier staff encouraged their patrons to make good use of their wait time by checking out the art! Thank you, Frontier peeps, for supporting local artists (and for making awesome food, too)! 

Twinkly lights make everything nicer, don't they? 

Things were busy right from the get-go, and the traffic all weekend was fairly steady. Not only were people in a good mood, but they were in the mood to shop! They were also in the mood to chat...allow me to share some stories that were shared with me!

*A couple bought an "El Camino" magnet and an "Old Fat Boy Sign" magnet to send off to their daughters who are currently living in California, but are homesick for Brunswick.

*A woman told me the magnet she bought was going to be the "pickle present" this year. I told her I didn't know what that was, so she filled me in! Evidently, this is a tradition in Polish families: you hide a pickle ornament in the Christmas tree, and whoever finds the pickle ornament gets the "pickle present"! I've seen pickle ornaments in stores before, but I just figured they were made for people who loved pickles (such as myself)...I didn't know there was a story behind them!

*A woman bought an "Old Fat Boy Sign" magnet as a stocking stuffer for her adult son. She told me that when he was a child, her son would get very upset when anyone in the family would say "Fat Boy," because it wasn't nice to call someone "fat". He insisted they refer to it as "The Restaurant By The Airport." It didn't stop them from eating there, of course! 

*A woman bought a couple of magnets and a mixed media piece from me. We started talking, and it turns out she is a collector of my work! She lives in the Gorham area, so we first crossed paths at the Gorham Art Fair a few years ago. I remembered that one of the pieces she bought from me a while back was called "You Are Eternal," and when I brought that up, she told me something that made the hair on my arms stand up: she gave "You Are Eternal" as a gift to her brother after he had been diagnosed with ALS. "He keeps it in his man-cave," she said, smiling. 

Not only am I grateful for the excellent turnout and for the great sales I made at ADAA, but I feel really good about all the wonderful interactions I had with show-goers and artists alike. It is a privilege to be able to connect with others through my art, and for that, I am thankful...and if you're reading this blog, I am thankful for YOU! 

Monday, November 10, 2014

no office? no problem!

In addition to being an all-around awesome guy, my brother-in-law, Marc, is a patent attorney in Boston. Marc is also a big supporter of my artwork. Here is some photographic evidence:

Case in point!

He recently changed firms, and although Marc is much happier where he is working now, he doesn't have the private office (and therefore, the walls) he used to. Thankfully, that hasn't stopped him from enhancing his work space with my art! Check this out: 

Art transcends the gobbledy-gook of everyday life. 

"Oil And Water" is now suspended between Marc's two computer monitors. Not only is that a super-clever solution to the "no walls" issue, but the painting's placement allows Marc to enjoy it pretty much any time he is sitting at his desk! Smart, right? I told you he was awesome.

If you have a small space that you'd like to adorn with some tiny original art (or some magnets, or prints, or larger original art!), please come and see me at one of my upcoming shows! This weekend is Arts Downtown and All Around! This three-day holiday art show and sale usually takes place in December, but this time, it's in November...and it's in a new location, too: the former Coleman Burke gallery space (right outside of Frontier), Fort Andross, Brunswick! Kick off your holiday shopping season right: support local, independent artists! 

The holidays are coming...

Thursday, October 30, 2014

artoberfest, carb-tober-fest!

Holy cow, October is almost over! It feels like the month has just flown by. This October has been filled with wonderfulness, though, don't you think? The first half of the month featured my painting workshop at Maine Behavioral Healthcare and the final Second Friday Art Walk of the 2014 season; the second half of the month brought the Yarmouth Art Festival, ARToberfest, and a last-minute development, too: a solo show at Mister Bagel in Brunswick!

ARToberfest was, fun, fun, and more fun! It turned out to be a wonderful community event, just like the Gorham Art Fair had been in years past. There was a nice mix of arts and crafts, and no two booths were quite the same. ARToberfest provided all participants with 8 feet of pegboard, so I didn't have to worry about schlepping and assembling (and then disassembling) my metal racks, which was really nice. Of course, I filled that 8 feet about as much as I possibly could have!

No wasted space! 

When I arrived to set up on Friday afternoon, I was thrilled to find that I had been assigned to the space directly across from the Think Greene booth! Sabrina Thiemke-Greene and her husband, Jeremy Greene, are dear friends who I haven't seen in quite some time. Not only are Sabrina's wares beautiful and thoughtfully crafted (making them a joy to look at all weekend), but I knew that if there was any downtime at all, we'd fill it easily with conversation and catching-up.

Think Greene! 

My first sale of the weekend came on Friday evening. A little boy and his dad stopped at my booth when they first arrived at the show. The little boy told his dad he wanted to buy a magnet, and his dad suggested they walk through the show first before making any decisions. Sure enough, a little while later, they came back and he made his choice. I think it's a big compliment when little kids like your work, and I'm happy he still wanted to get something from me after seeing all of the other possible choices at the show! 

Art for all ages! 

I started Saturday morning off with my first-ever iced Rocket Fuel, courtesy of the Gorham Grind! I can tell you it will most certainly not be my last, was delicious! If you find yourself in Gorham and you need a pick-me-up, stop by the Gorham Grind. You will not be disappointed! Carson Lynch is fantastic at what he does, providing service with a smile to all those who are in need of caffeine. Thank you, Carson! That Rocket Fuel did the trick, kept me going all day long. Good thing, because it was busy, busy, busy! 

Starting the day off right! 

I had a wonderful day on Saturday, filled with lots of laughter, time spent with old and new friends, time spent with family (yes, it's true: my sister, Addie, and her husband, Marc, came all the way from Boston for ARToberfest!), pleasant conversations, and lots of sales, too! I sold a mixed media piece, a bunch of magnets, and three paintings! WOO HOO! I even treated myself to a Think Greene t-shirt and, in turn, Sabrina and Jeremy treated themselves to a couple of magnets!

What a deal! 

Artists supporting artists! 

I am so happy I was able to participate in ARToberfest this year, and I'm already looking forward to the next one. Major thanks to everyone who was involved in putting this wonderful event together. Yay for community! Yay for ARToberfest

So, here's the Mister Bagel story: a few months ago, I got a Facebook message from my friend Linda saying, "I'm not sure if you're interested, but Robin at Mister Bagel has artwork on display all the time and she is looking for artists." I jumped at the chance and said, "Sure!" Linda gave me Robin's information, I emailed Robin, and sure enough, Robin felt my work would be a good fit. Lonie Ellis (who is wonderful!) was scheduled to have a show of her encaustics followed by a show of her fiber art, so we weren't quite sure exactly when my work would go up, but we knew a show was imminent. Sure enough, I received an email from Robin early in October (just before Second Friday Art Walk!), saying that they were thinking now would be a good time with the holidays approaching. I asked if I could wait until the end of the month because of ARToberfest, and thankfully, that worked out well for everyone! 

I heart carbs.

I am thrilled about the timing, and I am very happy to have my work up in such a sunny, new building. Mister Bagel gets a lot of traffic, so a lot of people of all ages will be seeing my work, and plus, I love their bagels! They have the best bagels I've found outside of New York, and that's no joke...and I'm not just saying that because they have my artwork up, I've been saying it for years! They are smaller than New York bagels (which is a good thing, I think!), but the taste and the texture are very similar, and that makes this carb-loving Lawn Guyland girl very, very happy.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

end of the season

I know, I know...this is yet another long overdue post. I've decided to stop beating myself up about this sort of thing, because that method clearly doesn't, hey- that's progress, right? Let's get this party started!

The final Brunswick Second Friday Art Walk of 2014 is officially in the books, and my head is spinning! It feels like six months went by in an eye blink. Friday, October 10th, was the last Second Friday Art Walk of the season, and although it was a bit slow, I had another fantastic night. Solidifying his official "collector" status was Michael Gorzka, who stopped by (with the lovely Kat!) to purchase "Praying Mantis, Amy's House," the painting he was debating over during the 10x10! He felt that "Sugar Snap Peas" looked lonely without its friend, and I couldn't be happier about the two paintings being reunited...especially because they have found a very good home where they will be loved and appreciated!
Reunited and it feels so good...

So long, farewell...

Not only did I sell a painting that night, but I sold a handful of magnets as well...and I am happy to say that this means I managed to sell at least one item at each and every Second Friday Art Walk this year! Woo hoo! As we all know, when one season ends, another one begins...and there are all kinds of other shows coming right up, two of which are this week: the Yarmouth Art Festival and Artoberfest! Here's a brief rundown:

The 6th annual Yarmouth Art Festival is a juried show, with quite a bit of competition: nearly 350 pieces were submitted, and there were only 162 pieces chosen. My painting, "Clementine," made the cut! The Yarmouth Art Festival will be held at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church (396 Gilman Road, Yarmouth); the show runs Wednesday, October 22nd through Friday, October 24th, 10am-7pm, and Saturday, October 25th, 10am-3pm. There is an artists' reception (with music and refreshments!) on Thursday, October 23rd, 5:30pm-8pm. This is always a really well-attended show, and it feels good to participate: entry fees and sale commissions support St. Bartholomew's programs, including contributions and member support of local community services such as Friendship House, Yarmouth Community Food Pantry, and St. Elizabeth's Essentials Pantry in Portland.   

Artoberfest used to be known as the Gorham Art Fair, and I am glad it is back after taking a brief hiatus! It looks like this year's event should be another fun time, and giving back is a priority for this show as well: there will be over twenty different vendors, and each participant will be donating something for a raffle, with the proceeds raised going directly to fund student scholarships for after school and summer arts programs in the Gorham community. Want to check it out? Artoberfest takes place at the Shaw Gymnasium (behind Baxter Memorial Library), 75 South Street, Gorham; Friday, October 24th, 6pm-9pm, and Sarurday, October 25th, 9am-2pm! I would love to see you there! 


Monday, October 6, 2014

sunflowers = smiles

Today was my first-ever painting workshop at Maine Behavioral Healthcare in Brunswick, and I feel really good about how it went! About a month and a half ago, I received an email from Kate at Maine Behavioral Healthcare. Kate said she came across my work in the Second Friday Art Walk brochure, and reached out to see if I'd be interested in being a "guest artist" for an afternoon. I called Kate and said, "Well, I'm not really a teacher, but I could certainly be a facilitator of sorts, and I think I could help them to have fun and realize that art isn't scary." Thankfully, Kate loved the idea, and she booked me for a Monday afternoon in late September. We ended up having to reschedule for today, but I think it worked out perfectly: this past weekend, Terry and I visited his sister, Heather, in New Hampshire, and while we were there, we stopped by a local farm. They had giant sunflowers for sale (only $1 each!) and I knew they had to be a part of my workshop!

Getting them in the car was a bit of a challenge!  

So, I set up an autumn still life, with eight giant sunflowers, two gourds, five apples, and two decorative pieces of fabric. The sunflowers were so big, I had to keep them in the oversized plastic bucket Heather loaned me so I could get them home from New Hampshire! There were five people in the group today, and everyone's face lit up when they saw the bucket full of sunflowers. They were even more excited when I told them they could each take one home with them at the end of our session! I started off with a quick introduction (including showing the group examples of my work in magnet form just so they could get a sense of who I was and what I did), and then I passed out paint, palettes, paper towels, water cups, and canvas panels to each person. I also put a giant pile of brushes in the middle of the table so everyone could choose their own. They were a bit tentative at first, which makes sense (painting isn't something that was very familiar to them, and sometimes a blank canvas can be intimidating to even the most experienced of artists), but as you can see, they turned out some pretty nice (and very individual) work! 

different points of view

The afternoon went by quickly, and before too long, it was time to clean up. One woman in particular asked if she could work on her painting the next time they met, which I thought was great! Everyone thanked me for coming, and I thanked everyone for spending their afternoon creating with me. I hope all of the people who attended this workshop today will look back on the experience as being a positive one. I know I certainly will! 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

a september to remember

It's the last day of September already! Where did the time go? I have to say, it has been an awesome September, filled with fun, new experiences, and a bunch of different venues showing my art (such as Cool As A Moose,  St. Joe's Coffee, The Gallery At 11 Pleasant, and The Cupcakery)! I think it's safe to say that I will remember this month very fondly.

So...the 10x10 Brunswick was this past Friday, and once again, it was a fantastic evening. Every year I am impressed with how professional, beautiful, well-attended, and well-organized the 10x10 is, and this time around was no different. Well done, 10x10 volunteers and committee members! You make it look easy, and I know it's not.

Anyway, I've never been able to get it together to arrive early to the 10x10 before, but this year was different...another first! I was able to witness the line of people forming to get into the show as soon as the doors opened, which was so cool!

sneaking in early!

Anyway, I was very happy to see a familiar face waiting on line at Curtis Memorial Library: Michael Gorzka, digital librarian, children's book author, and the man behind "Curtis Creative Spaces"!  Terry and I waved at Mike, so he knew we were inside already. The doors opened, and Mike and his lovely friend Kat were among the first ones to get in. Mike hurried over to my paintings, threw his hand into the air, turned to Terry, and said, "Which one should I choose? I can't decide!" Terry said, "Go with your gut!" A few nearby art lovers saw that Mike was plagued with indecision, so they chimed in with their vote: "Sugar Snap Peas"! 

choices, choices! 

The choice was made, and a 10x10 volunteer was on the scene immediately to remove the painting from the wall and escort its new owner over to the checkout line. Yay! 

"Sugar Snap Peas": SOLD! 

I am excited about this purchase for a variety of reasons, and I will list two here: 1. I know that "Sugar Snap Peas" has gone to a good home, where it will be loved and appreciated, and 2. this is the second painting of mine that Mike has purchased, so it's official: I have another COLLECTOR! Woo-hoo! 

Terry and I hung out for a while enjoying all the wonderful and very diverse one point, Terry turned to me and said, "There's a lot of really nice work here...I think this show gets better every year!" We were also able to spend some time chatting with other artists in the show, including Hati Modr, Mandy Russell, Sarah Brayman, Catherine Worthington (who sold both of her pieces as soon as the doors opened!), Mary Becker Weiss, and Debbie Casterlin (who cracked me up by saying, "I've been reading your blog! Is that okay?"), among others! We ended the evening with a quick trip to El Camino so I could have a celebratory mojito (and a microbrew for Terry), and then we grabbed some takeout from Shere Punjab so we could enjoy a laid-back dinner on the couch in our pjs. What a fun night...I'm already looking forward to next year's 10x10

Friday, September 26, 2014

today's the day!

Today is the 10x10 Brunswick AND the final Art Walk Lewiston/Auburn of the season! I can't be in two places at once, but my work if you're in the L/A area (and you're looking for an excuse to have a cupcake!), then stop by The Cupcakery (97 Lisbon St., Lewiston), where I have four paintings on display! If you're in the Brunswick area, come to the 10x10! This is always a fun (and VERY well-attended) show: it's so big, it takes place in TWO different buildings! This year, my work will be in the Morrell Meeting Room at Curtis Memorial Library. Doors open at 6pm, so don't be late if you have your eye on something in particular! Plus, it's for a good cause: all work is priced at $200; $100 goes to the artist, $100 goes to Arts Are Elementary! How can you go wrong? Speaking of Curtis Memorial Library: thank you, once again, for promoting my work! You are awesome. :)

special sneaky-sneak-preview!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

i can't freakin' believe it!

When I was in college on Long Island, there was a radio advertisement for a local electronics equipment store (called Tops) that would start running right around Thanksgiving. I can still hear it in my head...picture, if you will, two male voices with over-the-top New York accents:

Voice #1: "Can you believe the holidays are almost here?"
Voice #2: "No, man, I can't freakin' believe it!"

Clearly, this ad made an impact on me if I can remember it roughly twenty years later. I've been hearing this exchange in my head lately, except it's a little different at the moment:

Voice #1: "Can you believe the 10x10 is almost here?"
Voice #2: "No, man, I can't freakin' believe it!"

That's right, cats and kittens: the 10x10 is almost here, and frankly, I can't freakin' believe it. It seems like just yesterday when I was submitting my forms and working into the wee small hours of the morning to get my paintings finished in time for the deadline! The 10x10 Brunswick is a fantastic show, and it is something I look forward to every year since I've been participating in it. In case you're not familiar with this fun and fabulous show, the 10x10 is a benefit art exhibit and sale for Arts Are Elementary. It takes place on Friday, September 26th, from 6pm-9pm, and it is such a big show, it takes place at two adjacent venues on Pleasant Street: the Morrell Meeting Room at Curtis Memorial Library and the Parish Hall at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. There will be a public preview at both venues on Thursday, September 25th, 6pm-9pm, and on Friday, September 26th, 12pm-3pm. People quite literally line up around the block to get into this show! As soon as the doors open, people file into the respective rooms, find the pieces they would like to buy, and signal to the 10x10 volunteers. When a piece is purchased, it is taken off the wall, wrapped, and sent home with its new red dots at this show! If you arrive after a piece has been purchased, you will be able to see a photograph of the work in its place. This feature was a new addition to the show last year, and I think it is a wonderful solution...that way, if you arrive late, you'll still be able to see what's been sold! I will have two paintings in the show ("Sugar Snap Peas" and "Praying Mantis, Amy's House"), and this year, my work will be in the Morrell Meeting Room at Curtis Memorial Library. For more information (and to check out the online preview!), please go to the website: www.10x10brunswick.orgHere's a pic from last year's show!  

photo credit: Mary Becker Weiss

Sunday, September 21, 2014

cool places

WOW! So many cool things have been happening lately! I'm just now getting the chance to sit down and write it all out...of course, I meant to do this days ago, but hey- what can you do?

Second Friday Art Walk was absolutely fabulous! This month, I was the "adopt-an-artist" at Cool As A Moose, and it was a wonderful experience from start to finish! I was able to set up my work right in the front window, and they let me keep it up all weekend long! Caroline and the entire staff at Cool As A Moose couldn't have been nicer. They made me feel so welcome and appreciated, and they did a great job promoting the event (and my work!) on their FacebookTwitter, and Instagram pages! Here are some daytime pics:

action shot!

Having my name on the sign felt very official. 

It was a gorgeous day, and as you know, that always helps the foot traffic at an art walk! Lots of people were out and about in Brunswick that evening, and I am happy that so many friendly faces chose to stop into Cool As A Moose to say hello and check out my work. Not only did I sell a bunch of magnets (including a couple of "Sugar Snap Peas" magnets, available for the first time!), but I got some mind-blowing compliments, too: Michael Gorzka told me that he hadn't been interested in art until he saw my solo show in the Morrell Meeting Room at Curtis Memorial Library back in January 2013 (what?!?!), and Hati Modr told me she pulled up my website the other day in order to show her painting students "what was possible with color and line." WOW! They just about knocked me out with their kind words! Something else that just about knocked me out was an unexpected visit from a very special lady: my cousin Betty, all the way from Long Island! My cousin Frankie, Betty's son, was playing guitar at the Tontine Mall outside of Summer Island Studio for Second Friday Art Walk, and Betty made the trip to see him play (as well as to help Frankie and his lovely girlfriend, Shannon, move from their apartment into a house)! They wanted to surprise me, and boy, did they ever. 

I'm glad I got all dressed up! 

I know I mentioned in my previous blog post that I had gotten prints made up of four of my paintings...well, my prints made their debut at Cool As A Moose, and Frankie was the first person to snap one up! He wasn't the only one, though: as I mentioned, I was able to keep my work up all weekend...when I arrived on Monday morning to take everything down, I was happy to discover that I had sold two more magnets AND an "El Camino" print! Woo hoo! Thank you so much for everything, Cool As A Moose. You really are the coolest! 

My very first print sale! 

So, I took down that show on Monday morning, and on Tuesday, I had my work hanging at a totally new place for me. Do you have time for a story? Here goes: as some of you may know, I have a day job designing closets for Closet Factory. A couple of weeks ago, I was measuring closets at a client's home. At the end of the appointment, we got to talking, and I mentioned that I was an artist. He said, "Oh? Do you ever show your work at coffee shops?" I said, "Sure," and he proceeded to tell me about an open house he was putting on at his shop, St. Joe's Coffee in Scarborough. There would be live music, free food, free locally-roasted coffee, and free "bennies," all to celebrate The Feast of Saint Joseph. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. First of all, my high school was named after Saint Joseph; secondly, "bennies" are known to me as "zeppoles," and they are one of the most decadent, sinfully delicious things I've ever eaten (and I've never seen them outside of Long Island); thirdly, a few months ago, I actually drove past St. Joe's Coffee and wrote the name down with the intent of contacting them to see if they would be open to showing my art and promptly forgot all about it...until that very moment. It all seemed so serendipitous, I just had to say yes! 

All set up and ready for fun! 

I showed up around noon and started setting up as soon as I could. The tent was very roomy and very sturdy (which was a relief...this was my first time showing my work outdoors, something I've always been nervous about), and I had a wonderful spot to the left of the stage. People didn't start arriving until mid-afternoon, but that was perfect: I had a very comfortable amount of time to get my space just right and enjoy some fabulous food and coffee! The musicians arrived just as I was heading inside to get something to eat...and that's when the fun really started. All the way from Philly, it was Angela Everwood and Paul Jamain...and, let me tell you, they were absolutely fantastic! I was so impressed with how good they sounded, and I just couldn't sit still while they were playing. Plus, they were really nice people, too! 

groovin' on a sunny afternoon!

I must confess, I went into this experience with zero expectations. I figured, "Hey, it's free, and it's a chance to get my work in front of a whole new audience; plus, I'll be able to get some free coffee and zeppoles, so how can I lose?" Well, it turned out to be a day full of winning: not only did I meet some cool people and eat yummy food, but my name was drawn in a raffle for a $25 gift card to St. Joe's Coffee, plus I sold a handful of magnets AND a painting! Pretty awesome for zero expectations! 

"Eye Of The Storm": SOLD! 

Thank you so much to David and the entire staff at St. Joe's Coffee for putting on such a wonderful event! I truly appreciate the opportunity...and I will definitely be back for more of your tasty offerings! If you are in the area (220 Gorham Road, Scarborough), stop in and treat yourself. Even if you're not in the area, you should put yourself in the area! The staff is friendly, the menu is creative, and the prices are very, very reasonable. You will not regret it! 

A magnet sale to a very talented musician! Thank you, Angela Everwood

Monday, September 8, 2014

prints (and the revolution)

Well, I finally did it: after a lot of convincing from the dynamic duo known as Tim and Rick DeAngelis, I took the plunge and had giclee prints made of some of my paintings! After much consideration, I decided to begin with four paintings that have already sold (from left to right, top to bottom): "That Heavenly Coffee," "El Camino," "Sole Mate," and "Imagine Memorial, NYC". Tim suggested I do a run of 25 prints for each painting; that way, I can start out relatively small and see how they do. I will sign and number each print, but once the run of 25 for each painting has completely sold out, that will be that. GULP! I had the prints made by Erik at Digital ImageWorks in Waterville, and I am really pleased with how they turned out. Erik was able to work with my jpegs and thought that they would all look their best as 8" x 10" prints (except for "El Camino," which he did as a 9" x 12"). After picking up my prints, I popped over to Berry's Stationers, where I was able to pick up some clear plastic sleeves so when they make their debut at Second Friday Art Walk this month, they will be protected! By the way, I am the "adopt-an-artist" at Cool As A Moose for the September art walk, so if you're planning on visiting me, please make a note of the venue change! Of course, no trip to Waterville would be complete without a visit to Holy Cannoli, so I stopped by and picked up 4 minis: cheesecake, pumpkin, chocolate, and chocolate chip. Needless to say, Terry was very happy to see the pastry box in the fridge waiting for him when he got home that evening. 

fit to print

On Sunday, I hung my wall of paintings for the September group show at The Gallery At 11 Pleasant. It looks like this will be another interesting and diverse show, and I'm happy to be a part of it! Here's a picture of my wall...stop by if you can to see it in person!

something old, something new...

Another item that will be making a debut at Second Friday Art Walk later this week is...drum roll, please...a new magnet! "Sugar Snap Peas" arrived in the mail today and I love how it turned out. The original painting will be available at the 10x10 later this month...more on that in a future post! I was able to add the new listing to my Etsy page as well...please check it out if you're not able to make it to the art walk on Friday (or even if you are, but you just can't wait)! 

snap, crackle, pop! 

There is more going on that I am anxious to share with you, but I think I'll end this post here and save it for another time...perhaps tomorrow? Until we meet again...