Saturday, December 31, 2016

catching up and wrapping up

It's the final day of 2016, so I suppose I should wrap up this year with a blog post!

On Saturday, December 17th, I had my 13th Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon". This one was at Selby Shoes Etc. in South Portland, and the cause was the Press Herald Toy Fund. Snow was in the forecast that day, and boy oh boy, did it come down! Fortunately, art was in the forecast as well, and my "Paint-a-Thon" went off without a hitch. True, foot traffic was a bit slow, but thanks to the miracle of the internet, I was able to sell lots of raffle tickets online. Plus, the hearty souls who did come out in the winter weather were friendly and engaging: I sold a bunch of magnets (and even a print) to new people who had never seen my work before! The staff at Selby Shoes Etc. were absolutely wonderful, too. They provided a welcoming, supportive environment that was fun to paint in all day. I'm grateful to the Selby folks for making me feel so appreciated. It's obvious why their customers are so, the boots!

my setup!

in progress... (photo credit Dennie Campbell)

in progress 2... (photo credit Dennie Campbell)

"Give From The Heart"- finished!

the winning ticket!

The winner of "Give From the Heart" is Kathleen Meade! Since Kathleen lives locally, I am planning to deliver the painting in person, but due to the craziness of the holidays, we haven't been able to meet yet...I will be sure to post a picture when it happens! Thanks to everyone's support, together we were able to raise $173 for the Press Herald Toy Fund! That means over $2300 has been raised for national and local charities since I had my first Brushstrokes with Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" in December 2015...pretty cool, huh?

Speaking of cool things, something very cool happened this year that I haven't had a chance to blog about yet: my work was used on the cover of the AGA Correa & Son catalog! Andy Correa saw my work at Mister Bagel in Brunswick when I had my show there in late 2014. He bought an "El Camino" print from me, and when we met to make the transaction, he asked if I'd be interested in a commission for some paintings of his jewelry creations. I said, "Well, they won't look exactly like your work," and thankfully, he said something along the lines of, "I want them to look like your work". I breathed a sigh of relief and said, "Okay, then- yes!" It remained an idea for a while, and then Andy contacted me earlier this year to see if I was still interested. He loaned me a Fish Float pendant/necklace and a Turk's Head bracelet (GASP!) and I got to work...not easy, since Andy's jewelry is so very intricate! After a false start or two, I was able to come up with these two 5" x 5" paintings...

Fish Float and Turk's Head, Maria-style...

...and soon, this showed up at my doorstep! 

cover me!

I didn't want to sign my paintings on the front because I wasn't sure if it would be a distraction (or which way he wanted to lay the image out), so I signed them on the side. Thanks to the miracle of Photoshop, Andy moved my signature from the side to the lower left corner! He also achieved a very cool paint-spilling-over-the edges/coloring outside of the lines effect that helps to tie everything together. Thank you again, Andy! I'm so grateful for this unique opportunity! 

check out this write-up on the inside front cover!

I know that 2016 has been a challenging year for many people. I'm happy to say that my year has been filled with a whole lot of goodness, and I'm grateful to everyone who made it that way. Thank you all for your support...and let's kick some ass in 2017, shall we? 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

the art of giving

In a week and a half, I’m having my thirteenth Brushstrokes With Impact™ “Paint-a-Thon”! I'm calling lucky number 13 "The Art Of Giving": on Saturday, December 17th, I will be setting up my easel at Selby Shoes Etc. (220 Maine Mall Road, #5, South Portland, ME) and painting from roughly 10am-6pm. At the end of the day, the completed painting will be raffled off, and 50% of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Press Herald Toy Fund. Raffle tickets can be purchased in person or online (here's the link: for $5 each or 3 for $10. I will also have a “pop-up” show of my art at Selby Shoes Etc. and 10% of all my art sales (excluding magnets) from this show will be donated to the Press Herald Toy Fund. Here's a link to the Facebook event page - it's public, so please feel free to share!

I'm excited to be supporting such a worthy cause: the Press Herald Toy Fund has been helping families in need for sixty-seven years! Artist (and director for the Press Herald Toy Fund) Kathleen Meade reached out to me to see if I would be interested in supporting their mission with a Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon," and naturally, I was intrigued. I hadn't heard of the Press Herald Toy Fund before, but after doing a little research, I knew it was a cause I could get behind. Simply put, the Press Herald Toy Fund is a "Secret Santa" for Mainers. They are behind-the-scenes in their approach, allowing the families they serve to keep their participation "under the radar".

I'm also happy to have Selby Shoes Etc. hosting me! I am a fan of that shop, and I'm a fan of Selby Shoes Etc. owner, Dennie Campbell! Dennie is the mom of my dear friend, Heather (check us out in this boot ad from a few years ago!), and she's a wonderful photographer as well. In fact, several of my paintings are based on her photographs!

"Dennie's Dandelion": SOLD at this year's 10x10 Brunswick

"The Joy Of Pollination"

"Milkweed Pods"

So, mark your calendars for Saturday, December 17th! Support a good cause, pick up some art as a  unique gift for someone special on your holiday list, and treat yourself to some awesome footwear all at the same time!