Posted by Maria Castellano-Usery on May 17th, 2017
It’s been a while since I’ve done a “random art” themed post, so maybe it’s time! Here is a little collection of some cool things I’ve seen while I’ve been out and about. Is it art? What is art, anyway? You be the judge…in the meantime, I’ll keep my eyes open for more unexpected visual treats!
Here’s a much-needed message posted on Congress Street in Portland…
…and a public service announcement at the Four Aces Diner in West Lebanon, New Hampshire!
Many street signs in Portland are pulling double duty these days: part traffic control, part canvas! Here’s an assortment:
Have you seen the funky figure hiding in the shadows on the mall in downtown Brunswick?
There is random art for all tastes, whether you prefer pizza…
Finally, this utility box in Portland has a message I can get behind: CREATE!
Last fall, I hosted a four-week series in the library’s basement called “Playing With Paint.” It was so well-received, they asked me to come back and do it again for the month of April!
Each week, our group focused on a different painting by a different artist: Vincent Van Gogh‘s “Sunflowers” was week one, Jackson Pollock‘s “Convergence” was week two, Georgia O’Keeffe‘s “Red Canna” was week three, and Marc Chagall‘s “Blue Circus” was week four. I would begin each class chatting about that week’s artist and why they were so important, and then the focus would turn to fun. My hope was for people to have a good time, to enjoy the experience of putting paint onto canvas, and to gain a new appreciation for art and artists. Thankfully, that is just what happened! Here are some photos to give you a sense of what the classes were like:
I’m grateful to Curtis Memorial Library for offering this opportunity, and I’m thankful for Sarah Brown (and library volunteer extraordinaire, Ellen!) for making sure every class went as smoothly as possible.
Were you a part of “Playing With Paint”? If so, how was your experience? Please let me know in the comments!
photo credit: Chris Tucker
Posted by Maria Castellano-Usery on April 19th, 2017
On Friday, April 14th, I had my seventeenth Brushstrokes With Impact ™ “Paint-a-Thon,” and this time around, the host and the cause were one and the same: Curtis Memorial Library! I set up my easel in the front lobby (along with a “pop-up” show of my work) and painted from 9:30am to 5:30pm. During that time period, I met some new people, I had a lot of interesting conversations, I got paint all over myself, and – oh yeah – I started and finished an 8″ x 8″ acrylic painting (entitled “Books Give You Wings”)!
my pop-up show
As always, the helpful, friendly staff at Curtis Memorial Library made me feel very welcome! I didn’t stop to take pictures of my progress, but Digital Services Librarian Mike Gorzka was kind enough to document the day’s events (thanks, Mike)! Here’s the video he shot where I discuss my mission for the day (boy, I sure do talk with my hands a lot):
photo credit: Mike Gorzka
Thanks to everyone’s support, together we were able to raise $102.50 for Curtis Memorial Library. In case you were wondering, the winner of “Books Give You Wings” was Heather Goulette of Monarch Massage! Heather is a dear friend (as well as a collector of my work), so it’s nice to know that another one of my paintings will be going to a good home. Yay!