Thursday, June 27, 2019

over the moon with good tunes in the month of june

Hooray- it's summer!!! Things have been wonderful since my last check-in, and I hope it's the same for you. Here's what's been going on with me!

On Friday, May 31st, I had my 42nd Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon". It was my second time having an event like this at She Doesn't Like Guthries in Lewiston, so I called it "Second Helping!" Friday, May 31st was the last day of my month-long solo show at Guthries, and it also happened to be the first Art Walk Lewiston/Auburn of the season. What fun! The place was humming, and as I was painting, I was struck by how much of a hub Guthries really is: people of all ages and all walks of life were in and out all day long, enjoying good food and lively conversation. If you find yourself in Lewiston, stop in and find out for yourself! I had visits from friends and friendly faces, and thanks to everyone's support, we were able to raise $100 for Good Shepherd Food Bank. Here are some photos from the day:

the beginning...

progress... credit: Rebecca Boothby Conley

"Ferns and Fiddleheads" : finished!

the winning ticket! Congratulations, Betty!

still life with chilled watermelon soup (photo credit: She Doesn't Like Guthries)

I was back at the Tontine Mall in Brunswick (just outside of Indrani's) on Saturday, June 15th for my 43rd Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon," which I called "Wonders of Nature!" This time, I was raising money for Maine Audubon and their conservation efforts. That space at Tontine Mall is definitely one of my favorite places to spend a day painting: it's a raised up platform, so I'm right in the middle of things while not being in anyone's way; my "pop-up" show always goes up and down quickly, because it's a small wall and the picture hangers are already there; there's always a good flow of foot traffic (and friends and/or family often stop by to say hello); plus, Indrani herself is just so lovely and welcoming...I feel very "at home" there. Here are some photos from the day:

the "pop-up" show!

my sign!

the beginning...


"Purple Poppy" : finished!

the winning ticket! 

The winner of "Purple Poppy" was Erich Lopez, who lives in sunny California! It's always exciting when my work ends up in far-flung places and with new people. Congratulations, Erich, and thank you for your support! $132 was raised for Maine Audubon that day, which brings my running total to nearly $6200 for local and national causes. Hooray! 

I'll close out this blog post with a little story that might make you smile (because it certainly makes me smile). If you're an artist, you might know what it's like to get inspiration while you're showering or meditating or dreaming. Well, in mid-May, I had a dream that I needed to make a CATS Yantra painting (in case you don't know, "CATS" stands for Circles Around The Sun, one of my favorite bands...and in case you're new to this blog, yantra painting is one of the things I learned on my retreat at the Ghost Ranch in New Mexico with Mavis Gewant and the ShivaShakti School of Yoga). This dream also told me that I needed to give the painting to Circles Around The Sun when I went to see them perform on June 5th at Higher Ground in South Burlington, VT. When a dream is that specific, I pay attention, so I got to work. I finished the CATS Yantra on the morning of June 5th, I brought it to the show, I managed to give it to the band before they went onstage, and that night, it ended up as the Circles Around The Sun icon on Instagram, where it remained for two weeks (it's since been changed), and it made an appearance on drummer Mark Levy's "my story". Needless to say, I was over the moon...and on the following Tuesday, the band put it up as their profile picture on Facebook (where it still is as of the writing of this blog post), putting me even further over the moon than I was before. Yay!!! If you don't know the music of Circles Around The Sun, please check them will likely find yourself in a most pleasant dance trance before too long...and with that, I will sign off! Until next time...

"CATS Yantra," 6" x 6", acrylic on wood panel

there's my signature!

Instagram screenshot taken after the show

      Instagram "my story" screenshot       

Facebook "profile picture" screenshot...

...and another one, just because it makes me grin like a fool.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

springing into summer with a recap's been an intense couple of months! Normally, I write these recapping-types of blog posts in a somewhat linear fashion, but this time is a bit here goes! I'll start with what's happening now.

My 42nd Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" takes place in just a couple of days! I've had a solo show at She Doesn't Like Guthries in Lewiston for the month of May, and the first Art Walk Lewiston/Auburn of the season is Friday, May 31st - how perfect is that? I've titled this event "Second Helping!" because this is the second time I'll be having a Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" at Guthries, and it's also the second time I'll be raising money for the Good Shepherd Food Bank. It's a great cause and a fantastic venue...I hope to see your smiling face on Friday! Here are some photos of the show:

In early April, I was fortunate enough to take part in a week-long yoga/meditation/astrology/painting retreat at the Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico, with the ShivaShakti School of Yoga. It sounds kooky to say that I was out of my comfort zone, because all of those activities are among my favorite things to do, but it's true. The week consisted of scheduled days beginning with Kundalini yoga and meditation in a yurt, followed by breakfast, then yantra painting class (with the incredible Mavis Gewant), then lunch, then yantra painting class, then free time, then dinner, then back to the yurt for astrology class. As soon as astrology class ended, a period of "social silence" would begin. "Social silence" would continue on into the next day, only to be broken after the end of the morning yoga/meditation session. I'd never done anything quite like this before, and I can honestly say this retreat was (and continues to be) a life-changing experience. It's already had a major impact on my artwork: so far, I've created four paintings as a direct result of my time at the Ghost Ranch. Who knows what will happen next?

My 41st Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" (entitled "Spring In My Step!") took place on Saturday, April 20th, just outside of Indrani's at the Tontine Mall in Brunswick. I had only been back from retreat for about a week and a half, but I already had a new painting inspired by my time away (which, thanks to the power of social media, was sold before I even had the chance to hang it- a personal record). I knew I wanted to keep exploring the sights, feelings, and ideas I'd been exposed to while on my trip, so the painting I created that day was entitled "Skull, Ghost Ranch".

the "pop-up" show

the beginning...

"Skull, Ghost Ranch": finished!

I'm happy to say that the winner of "Skull, Ghost Ranch" was none other than Alex Coombs! Alex is a friend, a collector, and a long-time supporter of Brushstrokes With Impact (tm), and last month was his first time winning a painting! Congratulations, Alex! Plus, thanks to everyone's help, together we were able to raise $140 for the MidCoast Hunger prevention Program's "Backpack Program," which brings the running total raised since December 2015 to around $6000. Hooray!

Yes, that's my painting on this year's Altered Couture poster!

"A Is For Apple, B Is For Beatles"

a special pillow made by Christine DeTroy

Altered Couture was on Saturday, May 4th, and boy, was it a hoot! Christine DeTroy pulled it off once again with tons of style and wonderful spirit. This year's theme was "Beatles Couture," which made for an even more fun and lively night than usual. The costumes were incredible, the audience was into it, the participants were joyful and supportive of one another, the DJ was fantastic (as usual), and this year's MC kept the crowd engaged and the energy up...and I'm not just saying that!

DJ Dave and my husband, Terry, making his Altered Couture MC debut! 

I'm grateful to have had friends and family in the crowd that night, because even though it is fun to "walk the runway" at Altered Couture, it's also a bit terrifying - "fun-scary" is the best way I can describe it - so seeing friendly faces and recognizing friendly hoots and hollers makes life so much easier! Thank you to everyone who made it out! Speaking of friends, I'm very proud of the friends who were in the crowd for last year's event and chose to participate this year! Michael Gamage was the "Sun King" (brought to life with Heather Goulette), and Erica Kingston was "Norwegian Wood," whose costume featured hundreds and hundreds of hand-stained and hand-stitched popsicle sticks. WOW! My costume was made using vinyl and flexible plastic records, CDs, 45 adapters, beads, glue, paper, and 200 safety pins; the song I chose was "The Hippy Hippy Shake". 

Laurie Anne Sims as "Here Comes The Sun" and Michael Gamage as The Sun King

Erica Kingston - Norwegian Wood

Astrea Charlett - Imagine (Lady Gaga cover)

Octopus's Garden - I wish I knew her name - she was fabulous!

me with our fearless leader, Christine DeTroy (photo credit: Rebecca Boothby Conley)

I could fill up this entire post with Altered Couture photos (because I got some fun ones, and there were just SO many incredible costumes and beautiful people who participated), but I'll direct you to my Instagram page if you'd like to see some more: @brushstrokesbymaria!

Finally, I'm thrilled to report that the piano I painted is once again out on the sidewalk in front of Cool As A Moose on Maine Street- a sure sign of summer! Does anyone know anything about the cool campaign that's being promoted in the second photo? If so, please share in the comments section!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

time marches on

YIKES! I haven't posted here since the end of January! Time to change that!

Saturday, February 23rd found me back at the Tontine Mall in Brunswick, just outside of Indrani' the way, I love that space! The cause I chose to support for my 39th Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon" was the Cathance River Education Alliance, so I called the event "CREAte" I love those trails at the Cathance River Nature Preserve so much, so I’m grateful I was able to help CREA in my own little way! Here are some photos from the day. 

the pop-up 

putting some miles on my sign!

the beginning


As I worked on my painting, it dawned on me that it looked like my little owl was wearing KISS makeup. This made me giggle (probably more than it should have), so I decided to go with it. As a result, the title made itself known: "Owl Was Made For Loving You, Baby"! 

"Owl Was Made For Loving You, Baby": finished!

It was a great day, filled with lots of laughter and visits from friends (and friendly faces). When it was all said and done, we were able to raise $105 for CREA. Thank you, everyone! 

congratulations, Hayley! 

thank you for the kind acknowledgement!

On Saturday, March 23rd, I hit a mini-milestone: I had my 40th Brushstrokes With Impact (tm) "Paint-a-Thon"! Of course, I called it "The Big Four-Oh". I put a slightly different spin on this month's cause: my sister, Addie, is running the Boston Marathon in April, and she's raising funds for the Hole In The Wall Gang Camp...when I heard that, I knew I wanted to help out. Thanks to everyone's support, we were able to raise $100 towards her cause! If you missed your chance to win the painting I created on Saturday, but you'd like to support my sister's fundraising efforts for The Hole In The Wall Gang Camp, here's the link:

the pop-up

the beginning


"Tulip Potential": finished!

the winning ticket!

this beautiful family won my painting!

On February 9th, I took down my solo show at Kimball Union Academy's Taylor Art Gallery, and I was totally knocked out by all the kind words and wonderful feedback waiting for me in the guest book! Thank you to the students, staff, and faculty at KUA for making me feel so welcome! I will always cherish my experience on your beautiful campus. Below are some photos from the guest book, and here's a link to the All School Meeting video where Ursula Fries-Herfort introduces "Color And Energy" to the student body:

By the way, the total raised for the Janie Chase Cozzi '19 Memorial Fund was $175, so that means the running total donated through Brushstrokes with Impact (tm) is in the neighborhood of $5800. Not bad at all! 

one last photo from "Color And Energy"!