Monday, August 28, 2017


I try to focus on the positives- in my life and in this blog- but I also want to be real and authentic, and sometimes disappointments happen. I realize that in the grand scheme of things this is such small potatoes, and thankfully, I've been in a great mood lately (thanks in no small part to having seen 4 Chris Robinson Brotherhood shows in a week with friends and family, among other cool, fun things that have been happening in my life)...otherwise, something like this might have sent me into a major case of the blues. I'm not trying to whine, I'm trying to be honest and make sense of what I'm feeling...I want to get topsy-turvy on it and make a negative into a positive. So, here goes:

Back in May, a student from a local college put down a small deposit to buy "Strawberry," one of my paintings. We had some communications right after we first met and made several attempts to hook up to make the final exchange of funds for the painting, but the timing wasn't right, and she went home for the summer holiday. Since I know the fall semester is starting any day now, I emailed her yesterday to check in and see when she might like to meet up. The response I received was along the lines of "Sorry, I wasn't thinking clearly. I can't afford the painting. Please keep the deposit for the inconvenience."

As soon as I read that email, my first response was a sinking feeling of foolishness: I'm so embarrassed- I posted that this was sold! I posted about how excited I was that someone saw the price tag on that painting and said, "yes- this is worth it." Anyone who knows me knows that I have a very hard time pricing my work, and this sale felt like a validation of sorts. Before you say it, let me clarify: no, I'm not painting for other people, I'm doing it for myself, and I'm not just doing this for money (anyone who has seen my work can figure that much out)... I know that validation comes from within. That being said, ideally, you want to touch people in a positive way with your work, and when that results in someone ponying up some dough for it, that feels pretty good. When it's given and then taken away, that feels pretty crappy. I'd just as soon have it not happen in the first place.

My inner critic (who I refer to as "Marge" for no other reason than it makes me laugh) wasted no time piping up: "People who don't like you will laugh when they find out about this" and "What's wrong with you- haven't you ever heard the saying don't count your chickens before they hatch?" and "I told you you shouldn't have raised your prices," and on and on. Quick sidebar: why do we say such horrible things to ourselves? We would never talk like that to a friend or a loved one, yet when it's us talking to ourselves, it's a totally different story. "Marge" is kind of a b*tch. Anyway... I'm happy to say that "Marge" was joined by a softer, yet equally forceful, voice that said, "This just means that painting is meant for for someone else. She isn't the right person. The right person hasn't come along yet, but they will, and in retrospect, you will be so glad this happened. Sometimes what seems like a delay is actually the universe getting the timing just right."

I've done deposits/payment plans with strangers before, and it has worked out well. Do I change my approach because of this experience and stop offering that as an option? Do I let one negative interaction change my way of doing business? How do I keep this as a possibility without setting myself up for a "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me" situation? Artists- has this happened to you? If so, how did you handle it? Can you relate? I would love to hear your thoughts...

Monday, August 7, 2017

mid-summer check in

EEK! I didn't post here at all during the month of July! Well, it is summer, and things move at a different pace during this season, don't they? July was a busy month in a lot of different ways, some of which I'm not ready to blog about (but eventually, I will)...for now, I'll do what I can!

On Friday, July 21st, I had my 20th Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" at Dobra Tea in Portland. Number 20 was called "Green Is Good!" and the cause was Maine Audubon's conservation efforts. I wasn't sure exactly what I would be painting until the day before my "Paint-a-Thon," but when I woke up to the happy sound of cardinals singing, I knew what my subject would be!

the sketch...

I started painting at 10:30am, and just before 6:30pm, I was signing "Happy Cardinal"! 

...and the finished painting!

Tristan at Dobra Tea was kind enough to do the ticket-pulling duties once again (thank you!), and my niece, Ella Evans, was the winner of "Happy Cardinal"! I believe that's the second painting she has won, and both paintings have been of birds...I find this interesting. Anyway, I'm so grateful to everyone at Dobra Tea for hosting my work for two months, and for allowing me to have two different "Paint-a-Thon"s while my work was there! You all made me feel so welcome, and I appreciate it. Thanks to everyone's support, together we were able to raise $124.50 for the conservation efforts of Maine Audubon

congratulations, Ella! that it's August, I'd like to announce my 21st Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon"! This one is called "Library Love 3!" and it will be in a new venue for me: Twice-Told Tales (11 Pleasant Street, Brunswick)! 50% of the raffle ticket sales and 10% of all art sold (excluding magnets, but including totes) will be donated to the Friends of Curtis Library. Please come and see me from 10:30am to 6:30pm on Friday, August 11th! "Library Love 3!" will coincide with Brunswick's Second Friday festivities, so it should be a fun night to be out and about in town! 

a screenshot of the Curtis Memorial Library newsletter!