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playing with paint

Posted by Maria on October 19th, 2016

I recently had the honor of hosting a four-week series called “Playing With Paint,” which was held in the newly renovated basement of Curtis Memorial Library. As you can probably tell from the title, I wanted this to be a fun, low-pressure experience for everyone who attended.


Each week, our group focused on a different painting by a different artist: Vincent Van Gogh‘s “Starry Night” was week one, Jackson Pollock‘s “Autumn Rhythm” was week two, Georgia O’Keeffe‘s “Double View” was week three, and Marc Chagall‘s “Le Champ de Mars” was week four.


My hope was that people would enjoy the act of putting paint onto canvas, and perhaps even gain a new appreciation for artists and their artwork. I’m happy to report that this is exactly what happened…and the work people created was wonderful! Here are some photos from each week’s class:





“Starry Night”




“Autumn Rhythm”





“Double View”







“Le Champ de Mars”


I could fill this entire post with nothing but photos! People really embraced the spirit of “playing with paint”. Some of the attendees had never painted before, and as you can see, they produced some really beautiful stuff…each with their own unique spin!

Were you a part of this class? If so, please share your experience in the comments!


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PDA = public displays of art!

Posted by Maria on October 5th, 2016

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know this about me: I just love seeing art in unexpected places! Here are some photos that may inspire you to keep your eyes open for visual treats. They always brighten my day!

Look up! This bird sculpture is on the roof of a building on Congress Street in downtown Portland:




Well-placed, colorful stickers can make the back of a traffic sign worth looking at…




…and there’s that banana again!




Speaking of stickers, it’s especially wonderful when you see a sticker of your dear friend’s artwork on someone’s car…this is the work of the lovely and talented Sabrina Thiemke-Greene, otherwise known as Think Greene! 




I feel like I’m seeing more and more murals ever since my trip to San Francisco last October, where I was blown away by the volume and the quality of the public art. Here’s a mural with an unusual theme for Grey, Maine: Al Capone!




My husband Terry and I stopped at Otto in Portland for a quick slice of pizza on our way out of town the other day, and we were pleasantly surprised to happen upon an artist in the process of painting a mural right on the side of the building! Susan Bartlett Rice was kind enough to take a few minutes to chat with me about her work and pose for some pictures. Thank you, Susan, and congratulations on the great job!





How do you feel about public art? Do you have any favorites? If so, where are they located? Please share in the comments section!

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library love recap

Posted by Maria on September 21st, 2016

My 10th Brushstrokes With Impact™ “Paint-a-Thon” was on Friday, September 9th, and it was a whirlwind of a day! I was at Curtis Memorial Library from just before 9am to just after 8pm…on paper, it looks like a long day, but from my standpoint, it went by ridiculously quickly!

Melissa Hall and Michael Gorzka let me in early so I could set up in the lobby and start painting by 9am, and then I was off to the races. I hadn’t done much sleeping in the days leading up to Friday’s Brushstrokes With Impact™ “Paint-a-Thon,” but running on pure adrenaline sometimes has its perks: I actually finished “Black-Eyed Susan” early! Instead of painting right up to my 5 o’clock deadline, I was wrapping things up around 4:30…and then, it was time to head over to the Morrell Meeting Room for my opening reception.


“Black-Eyed Susan”

The opening reception that night was filled with friendly faces and awesome music. A new five-piece band was formed out of a jam session, and they have a great name, too: Fat Boy Drive In!


for your listening pleasure: Fat Boy Drive In!

Michael Gorzka was working overtime that day, for sure! Here’s a video he shot in the morning:

…and here’s a video of the winning raffle ticket being drawn that night:

I’m grateful for the entire staff at Curtis Memorial Library for making me feel so welcome (special thanks to CML volunteer Jo-An Jacobus for helping me to number my work just as the opening reception was beginning), I’m grateful to everyone who bought a raffle ticket, and I’m grateful to everyone who came out to see the show and say hello. You are all appreciated!

If you weren’t able to attend the opening reception, you’ve still got a little bit of time: my artwork will be up in the Morrell Meeting Room through Tuesday, September 27th. If you can’t get to the library before then, here are some photos!




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