Wednesday, May 31, 2017

tell me

Guess what? I'm having my 19th Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" THIS WEEK! I know, I know...a little notice would have been nice...anyway, I'm excited about it for a variety of reasons...and now, I will list those reasons... :)

In case you're new to what I do, allow me to explain it here: I set up my easel and paint an 8" x 8" canvas for 8 hours straight. I sell raffle tickets ($5 each or 3 for $10) and at the end of the day, the completed painting is raffled off, with 50% of the ticket sales (as well as 10% of all art sold, excluding magnets but including totes) being donated to charity. I name each "Paint-a-Thon" as I go along (just so I can keep things straight), and I'm calling this particular event "Do Tell!" because this time, the cause I'll be raising money for is The Telling Room! You might be asking, "Where and when is this happening?" Well, those answers make up a couple of the other reasons why I'm so excited! First, the venue...I will be at Dobra Tea, 89 Exchange Street, Portland! I have a solo show that went up on Friday, May 26th, and it will be up through most of July, which means I will be having TWO "Paint-a-Thon"s there during that time period (but let's focus on one month at a time, shall we?)! Second, the date..."Do Tell" will be happening on Friday, June 2nd, which also happens to be First Friday Art Walk! The art walk isn't 8 hours long, though, so I will be starting my painting around 10:30am and (hopefully) finishing up around 6:30pm. I'm planning on hanging out a bit afterwards and having the winning ticket get pulled closer to the end of the art walk (which is 8pm). If you can't make it to "Do Tell!" and you still want to support The Telling Room by buying some art, don't worry: the 10% donation from all art sold will continue throughout the month of June!

side wall

back wall

a lovely place to enjoy some tea!

So...what else has been going on? A lot, actually! Some of you reading this might remember that back in late February/early March, I painted a Little Free Library for a silent auction at Curtis Memorial Library's "Booked For The Night" event. Well, now that the warmer weather is here and the snow is all melted, my Little Free Library has been installed at its new home: Crystal Spring Community Farm! If you're driving by, you can see it from the road, so please pay it a visit if you're in the area (277 Pleasant Hill Road, Brunswick, to be specific)! The front faces the farmers' market space... so...

...and the back faces the driveway to the CSA pickup area... so...

...and I couldn't be happier about it! so! 

Speaking of Brunswick-area events, the seventh annual Altered Couture was last Thursday, May 25th, and if you missed it, you missed one hell of a show! Altered Couture is the brainchild of the lovely and talented Christine DeTroy, and this year's event was entitled "Masquerade Couture"! It was my fourth time participating, although the first time was only as a last-minute fill-in model for someone else's entry, so that makes this my third time creating a costume...anyway, in case you've never been to Altered Couture, here's the rundown: roughly two dozen participants each make a costume based on a theme. You're not supposed to spend more than $25 on your outfit, and the emphasis is on getting creative with recycled/repurposed/inexpensive/non-traditional materials. You choose a song, and you "walk the runway" wearing your creation. It is the best example of "art for art's sake" that I have ever been a part of. Every year, Altered Couture raises money for a different cause, and this time, Christine chose ArtVan to be the recipient (and if you're reading this, you know I love ArtVan and their mission). My costume was based on the song I chose: "How Many People Are You" by PhishI wrote out different words that might describe me onto oversized paper labels and Mod-Podged them to the unstretched canvas skirt I made for last year's event (which I repainted). I kept those words to six letters or less so they could be seen from a distance. I duct-taped more labels to an old tomato cage, decorated it with ribbons and beads, and wore it on my back via elastic straps. I cut up and painted one of my husband's old, oversized tie-dyes as the top to pull it all together. It's always scary "walking the runway," but having Phish playing (along with having friendly faces in the crowd and wearing a mask) made it a lot easier (and no, I wasn't out there for the full 8+ minutes of the song, just the first two and change)! Also, all of the participants are super-supportive of one another "backstage", encouraging each other and calming frayed's really a nice environment. Plus, Christine is awesome, and everyone wants to do a good job for her because of that fact! Here's a link to Susan Perrine's photo album of the event, and here are some pictures of my costume!

the front

the side

the back

backstage with Christine DeTroy!

I know this is already a really long blog post, but I didn't want to end it without sharing this great little video with you! My dear friend Rebecca Boothby Conley shot this piece for Maine Public featuring another friend, Tammy Neilson, hanging out in her kitchen and discussing her mad gardening/canning skills! It's the first episode in Maine Public's new original web series, "Living Off the Land," and my art makes a cameo at the end. Way to go, lovely ladies- and thank you for your support! 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

VANtastic 2 wrap up boogaloo

I had my 18th Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" (entitled VANtastic 2!) on Saturday, May 13th at Wild Oats Bakery and Cafe in Brunswick- and it was a blast! I set up my work on Friday evening and took it down on Sunday afternoon...and let me tell you, that place was busy, busy, busy - all day, every day!

This was my second time having a "Paint-a-Thon" at Wild Oats: the first time was in March 2016, and I was set up near the door to the patio (that month's cause was the Coastal Humane Society, in case you're keeping track). This time, I was set up in the hallway next to the dining room (and the cause was ArtVan), and it was the perfect place to be! I was in the middle of the action without being in the way, and the lighting was wonderful, thanks to the beautiful atrium and the sunny weather.

my racks

Wild Oats is one of the many places that makes Brunswick cool, and I'm grateful that I was able to be painting all day and showing my work at such a wonderful community hub. Plus, the friendly, helpful staff at Wild Oats could not have made me feel more welcome! I'd like to extend a special thank you to Valerie (who agreed to host me, who helped to coordinate the event, and who did a great job promoting on social media) and to Jen (who took care of anything else I needed, including raffle ticket pulling duties)- you guys are awesome!

the e-newsletter...thanks, Valerie!

I know that Wild Oats Bakery and Cafe is famous for their carrot cake (and who doesn't love carrot cake?), so I used that as the inspiration for that day's painting...I give you "14 Carrot Cake"!

"14 Carrot Cake"

The eight hours flew by (as usual), and soon it was time to draw the winning raffle ticket (drum roll, please):

Jen pulling the winning ticket...

...congratulations, Amy! 

Amy Finnen has purchased raffle tickets for many of my past Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" events, but this was her first time winning! Thank you, Amy, for giving my work a good home (and for your friendship)! 

VANtastic 2 was a successful event all around: I met some cool people, I had the opportunity to chat with friends and friendly acquaintances, I sold a ton of magnets, 4 prints, 2 tote bags, and a bunch of raffle tickets...I even sold a painting for $900 (*gasp*) - a new record for me, by far! 

"Strawberry": SOLD!

Thanks to everyone's support, we were able to raise $181.50 for ArtVan! Woo hoo! What will happen next month? Stay tuned...

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

it's VANtastic

I’m having my eighteenth Brushstrokes With Impact™ “Paint-a-Thon” (entitled VANtastic 2)! On Saturday, May 13th, I will be setting up my easel at Wild Oats Bakery & Café (149 Maine Street, Brunswick) and painting from roughly 8:30am-4:30pm. 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 ArtVan. Raffle tickets can be purchased in person for $5 each or 3 for $10. I will also have a small “pop-up” show of my art at Wild Oats Bakery & Café and 10% of all my art sales (excluding magnets, but including totes) from this show will be donated to ArtVan. Please contact me via email ( for raffle information. Here's the link to the Facebook event page:

*cue announcer voice* "But wait, there's more!"

Here’s a NEW twist (due to popular demand from people who want to participate from a distance): Would you like a print of the painting I will be creating on Saturday? Do you like surprises? For $20 plus $5 shipping, you can get a signed, unframed, 6” x 6” giclee print mailed right to your door! Please allow 30 days for the prints to be made and shipped. The painting won’t fully exist until the end of the day, so I can’t tell you exactly what it will be, but if you’re reading this, chances are, you have an idea of what my work looks like! Prints can be purchased via PayPal (, and of course, 10% of all print sales will be donated to this month’s cause, ArtVan!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

catching up once again

It's May! A lot has been going on, and this blog post is overdue...

I've been spending a lot of time at Curtis Memorial Library lately! For eight hours straight on Friday, April 14th, I was painting in the library's lobby, raising money for Curtis. Rather than repeating myself, here's a link to the blog post I wrote for Curtis Creative Spaces about it:

photo credit: Chris Tucker

Curtis Memorial Library also had me back on Thursday evenings in April for a repeat of "Playing With Paint," and once again, it was a blast!  Here's a link to the blog post I wrote for Curtis Creative Spaces about it ( there an echo in here?): I'm happy to say that so far, the feedback has been positive, and I'd like to share a quote from one of the class participants, Betty McNally: "Mike and I loved the class. We will cherish the memory."

The McNallys and their Pollock-inspired paintings!

Speaking of repeat performances, on Wednesday, April 26th, I spent an hour painting faces at the Gelato Fiasco for the Brunswick Area Teen Center "Scoop-a-Thon". It's hard to believe, but this is the fifth year I've participated in this community event! Here are a couple of pictures of some of the many faces I saw that day:

a colorful kitty!

forehead bat through the window! (photo credit: People Plus)

One more thing before I end this blog post: I'd like to thank the lovely and talented Erica Kingston

for featuring my artwork in the brochure for SMCC's 2017 Preceptor Appreciation Seminar, entitled "All The Colors Of Nutrition"! Erica, you are awesome! Congratulations to you for all of your hard work (and your kick-ass GPA), and congratulations to Jennifer Moscone for her stellar speaking performance at the seminar ("Post-Bariatric Waistland")! 

eat the rainbow!