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!