Wednesday, August 31, 2016

looking back, looking forward

EEK! It's the last day of August already! It's been a busy month, and as a result, I'm overdue for a blog let's get started!

On Tuesday, August 16th, I had my 9th Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" ("Rising To The Challenge!") and it was a wonderful experience. I was set up at Roger's Haircutters in Auburn, raising funds for their Dempsey Challenge team: a perfect fit! The staff and patrons at Roger's Haircutters were friendly, welcoming, and helpful, and I was even treated to an in-person visit from Robert, Tammy, and Robert Neilsen Jr.! Friends and family reached out with support via email, phone, and online raffle ticket sales (including - but not limited to- Amy Mullin, Kathleen Powers Vermaelen, Chris Rose, Keith Spiro, and Julia Villacara) and, as always, I am grateful. Together, we were able to raise $145 for the Roger's Haircutters Dempsey Challenge team! Here are some photos from the day:

my event made the paper!

"Flat Pat" photobomb!

me through the window

work in progress...

with Robert from The Intergalactic Yurt Band and The GOODS! 

The winner of "Rising" was Ella Evans, who happens to be my niece (and she is amassing quite a little collection of my work, I must say)! Congratulations, Ella! Thank you once again for giving my work a good home. 

I'm thrilled to announce that my next Brushstrokes with Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" will be on Friday, September 9th at Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick! This will be my 10th event in this series, and I'm calling it "Library Love!"  My work will be on display inside the library's Morrell Meeting Room for most of the month of September, but I will have my easel set up in the front lobby. I'll be painting from 9am-5pm near the entrance, and then I'll be moving my paints and easel (and myself!) over to the Morrell Meeting Room, where I will be having my opening reception from 5pm-8pm. I'm going to need to eat my Wheaties that day! As usual, raffle tickets will be sold online and in person ($5 each or 3 for $10), and this time, 50% of the proceeds from raffle ticket sales (and 10% of all artwork sold, excluding magnets) will go to Curtis Memorial Library. Since this will be a longer-than-usual day for me, the winning raffle ticket will be pulled sometime towards the end of the opening reception. I'll have food, refreshments, and live bluegrass music by The Star Charmers! Woo hoo! 

performing live from 5:30-7:30! 

Speaking of Curtis Memorial Library, I have some more news: this fall, I will be hosting a four-week series called "Playing With Paint"! Here's the write-up:

Maria Castellano-Usery will host four "Playing with Paint" classes at Curtis, Tuesdays this Fall. Paint your version of these four artists' famous masterpieces — with help from Maria! Vincent Van Gogh, Jackson Pollock, Georgia O'Keeffe and Marc Chagall. FMI and to register:

If you're interested in joining me, the dates/times are as follows:
Tuesday, September 27, 6:30 – 7:30 PM — Vincent Van Gogh
Tuesday, October 4, 6:30 – 7:30 PM — Jackson Pollock
Tuesday, October 11, 6:30 – 7:30 PM — Georgia O’Keeffe
Tuesday, October 18, 6:30 – 7:30 PM — Marc Chagall

Friday, August 5, 2016

big news and a new challenge

A lot has been happening...and there's more on the horizon! Let me fill you in on at least some of it!

On Friday, July 15th, I had my 8th Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon"! This one was at Cool As A Moose on Maine Street in Brunswick, and the chosen charity was Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bath/Brunswick. It was crazy hot that day, but I happened to be set up right under their air conditioning vent (a coincidence), so I was cool as a cucumber while I worked! I had visits from friends Keith Spiro and the lovely Rebecca Boothby Conley and I met some new friendly faces as well...including a fellow Long Islander, who bought a "Back Yard Buddha" print as a graduation gift for her niece!


The staff at Cool As A Moose made me feel welcome, as usual, and when the winning raffle ticket was drawn at 6pm, the name on it was not one that I recognized: a first! Lindsay MacDonald was the winner of "Magical Mystery Flowers," and it turns out that she is the Executive Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bath/Brunswick! As always, I'm grateful for everyone's support...and now, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bath/Brunswick are $100 closer to their goal of buying a play parachute for school-based mentoring programs!

"Magical Mystery Flowers" and Lindsay MacDonald!

My host for the July Art Walk Lewiston/Auburn was a new place to me: Roger's Haircutters on Main Street in Auburn, just a few doors down from Gritty's! On July 21st, I set up my work in their front window, and when art walk came around on Friday, July 29th, I set up my magnets and my easel in Festival Plaza and did some work on a painting that I had been struggling with. Despite the forecast of rain, it was a beautiful night, and I was able to make some progress on my previously abandoned piece. I also had a very nice visit from some of my loyal magnet collectors, Donna Alexander and her husband, who helped me unpack my car and set up- thank you both for the help and the company! 

the front window at Roger's Haircutters!

can you spot the new magnets?

Speaking of Roger's Haircutters, I'm happy to announce that they will be my host for my 9th Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon," which is scheduled for Tuesday, August 16th! I'm calling it "Rise To The Challenge" because the charity will be the Roger's Haircutters Dempsey Challenge Team! This is an awesome cause and I'm so happy to be a part in helping them to reach their fundraising goal. Want to be a part of it? Either stop by Roger's Haircutters (I'll be there from roughly 10am-6pm on Tuesday, August 16th) or buy raffle tickets online! Here's the Facebook event page: