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!