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 art...at 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 can...so 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 owner...no 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...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

walking in l/a

This past Friday night was Art Walk Lewiston/Auburn, and I am SO happy to have been a part of it! Here's a little recap:

Terry and I arrived in Lewiston just after 4 pm so I could check in at the L/A Arts office before everything got started. Penny Drumm and Josh Vink were there to greet us, brief us on how things worked, give us our official volunteer badges, and answer any questions we had. Sales of artwork would need to go through the L/A Arts office, but I was was given the go-ahead to take care of any magnet sales on my own. Penny and Josh couldn't have been nicer, and they made me feel very welcome and excited to be a participant.

After checking in, we realized we had about 45 minutes before the Art Walk officially began, so we popped in to She Doesn't Like Guthrie's for some beverages (iced mocha latte for me, draft microbrew for Terry) and a little magnet re-stocking! Speaking of Guthrie's, they have a Kickstarter campaign happening right now: they are hoping to expand and open an independent theater! They have been nothing but supportive of me and my art, so when I heard about their efforts, I knew I wanted to be a backer! There are only a few days left for them to reach their goal...maybe you'd like to be a backer, too! Here's the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/guthriesplace/guthries-independent-theater
Re-stocked and ready to go! 

We arrived at The Cupcakery just after 5 pm...we would have been there earlier, but we had a hard time finding a parking spot- a good sign! As soon as I walked through the door, I knew it was a nice fit for my work. As I mentioned in a previous post, I had three paintings on display; the other artist at The Cupcakery was Diamond Duryea, whose work I really enjoyed. Our paintings looked good together, and she was very nice as well. Diamond set up outside, and I stayed inside next to the section of the wall where my work was hanging. There was a little coffee table and a couch in the corner, which was perfect! I was able to set up my magnet display and have a comfy place to sit, all while being both out of the way of art walkers but close enough to chat and answer any questions. 

My section of wall! 

I was pleased and surprised at the number of people who came out to the Art Walk that night! Lewiston was hopping with art, artists, and music, and everyone seemed to be sporting a very big smile. I was smiling, too: not only was my work hanging in a fun and festive place, but I ended up selling seven magnets! Plus, I found out that my paintings would be at The Cupcakery for at least a couple of weeks, so anyone who wants to stop by and see my work and have a cupcake or two (the chocolate twist was decadent) still has time! By the way, here's my temporary "artist page" on the Art Walk Lewiston/Auburn site: http://www.artwalklewistonauburn.com/art/DisplayArtist.php?Artist=595

My slightly-smaller-than-usual magnet display!