Six On Saturday

1. We are hanging the Maine Illustrators’ Collective Classics Reimagined show on Monday, November 2nd. If you’d like to come and/or attend the opening, here is the information:

2. If you won’t be able to make it and would like to see my piece here it is:

From Aesop’s, The Fox and The Crow.

3. If you are wondering why I’m up early it’s because I have so much work to do on my VCFA packet. I always seem to get to this point. I read for too long then I’m crunched for writing time.  (I know, Mona. Six am isn’t early but I’ve been up and working since four.) I needed an extension last time and I’m set on not asking for another one. Feeling a little anxious.
4. I just bought a wide format Epson printer with the money I’m earning from my illustration work for hire. Very exciting but it is an investment.
5. Even though I just dealt with a disappointing rejection on the job scene, I’m applying for yet another one. I guess that is just how it goes, but I start to wonder– between writing rejections and job rejections, how much can I take before I want to curl up and hide from the world? Perhaps it is a little like child birth though. Nature allows us to forget the pain so that we will do it all again. At least at the end of child birth you have the beautiful child. I’m ready to see the fruits of my labor on the job market. And in the children’s book industry for that matter.
6. Lucy the yellow lab puppy is coming home to our house on November 15th. She’ll be 9 weeks old and is as cute as cute can be. I’ll post pics when I get some. I only have them on my phone and don’t have a plan that allows me email them to myself. (ACK!)

A blue-sky day, a sunshiney day, a fine day for a drive…

Many women start careers in their 20’s and then choose to take a break and raise small children in their 30’s. When the kiddos are older many of those women choose to return to the workplace. Get this… it’s not that easy. Have you ever noticed how most applications have sections that say, please explain any gaps in employment. It is so negative. And, if you are like me, and trying to change fields (not even whole careers, just from one field to another within the same industry) it is even harder. Add to that a crappy economy and 10% unemployment… just let me say that it is difficult to keep your spirits up. I wasn’t feeling so great when my last application ended with no interview. This news definitely started the week on a downer. Well I’m here to tell you that I’m on the brighter side of things today.

No. No day job. No contract. No agent. HOWEVER… I spent a lovely day with my husband on a road trip to the wonderful town of Belfast. We went to deliver my painting for the Maine Farmland Trust show and auction. (More about that in the next paragraph.) While driving, we feasted on fall foliage shining in sea and stream. We talked, we listened to The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock…

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… I absolutely love the Wisconsin accent that the audiobook actress uses

and we loved, loved, loved Belfast. I guess Belfast is one of those towns that is easy to skip. We’ve lived in Maine 15 years and manage to drive right by it on Route 1. As we go over the bridge we always look down and say, "We really should stop and look around that cute town." I’m so glad we did. In addition to the Maine Farmland Trust gallery there are 20 other amazing art galleries. We were lucky to get a recommendation to eat at Chase’s Daily. Definitely get off Route One to go to Chase’s.

If you are in Belfast between now and November 16th, stop at the Maine Farmland Trust gallery and look at the art. If you are a member, you get to attend the Tenth Anniversary Celebration Show and Auction. Don’t miss it. Membership is reasonable. The student rate is only $20 and the Family membership is only $50. The trust protects farmland by matching farmers with lease and buy opportunities that keep America farming.

Ten on Friday

This has been a busy week so I guess we’ll get right down to it:
1. I went to the Yarmouth Art Festival opening last night and was amazed by the showing. St. Bartholomew’s church in Yarmouth was packed with art lovers. The show will be up through Saturday if you’d like to see it. Also, you can preview the works in the online catalog.
2. I had a great visit with my parents who came up to leaf peep this past week. They enjoyed the maples and the grandchildren and gave hubby and I chance to go out on the town for our…
3. Sixteenth Anniversary! Every year is better than the last. How long have you been married?
4. My son I. tried out for travel basketball and didn’t make it. There were enough kiddos there for two teams but they could only have one. It got me thinking that the kids who DID make it, are automatically the Varsity team for highschool. That’s it. Decided in 5th grade. The kids who made the team get better coaching, a team with more skillful  team members to learn from, and more experience with challenging games. Of course the 5th grade travel team becomes the 6th grade travel team, and the A-team in Jr. High and then high school. What a shame we don’t give all kids the chance to succeed. (This sports situation is of course true for music and academics as well.)
5. I did not get an interview for the teaching job I applied for.
6. Had to ask for an extension on my MFA packet because things have been so busy. Must complete.
7. If you have a MG or Picture book fiction or nonfiction) coming out this year, I’d love to review it. Tell me in the comments or contact me at anna at
8. Must work on image for the Maine Illustrators’ Collective Classics Reimagined show!
9.Brrr… I think winter is right around the corner. Windy and cold enough to turn on the heat.
10. Looking at puppies.

Let’s talk about art- baby.

I want to talk a little about art. Specifically about buying art.
In a recession, it is difficult to imagine consumers spending money on something they don’t really need. However, I would argue that everyone needs a little beauty and creativity in their lives. Those who spend the big bucks on art are still buying and those of us who don’t have big bucks can find other places to buy more reasonably priced art. Many Maine organizations have art shows that benefit both the artist and the organization.

Just think of all the good you can do when you purchase an original piece of art from one of these organizations. First, you support the artist. Second, you support the creative economy of Maine. Third, you support the organization. Fourth, you give the viewers a never ending gift. Finally, you are making an investment. Sure, the piece you purchase at the local art auction may not be a Picasso, but who knows what greatness is in each artist’s future.

A piece of art  comforts us, touches our emotional core, challenges our aesthetic. Art communicates visually. When we buy art, we validate this type of communication and the people who create. We tell those around us (especially children) that art is an important  part of living and being human. Art inspires us to create more beauty in the world. That is something we all need.

Here are some art shows I’d like you to know about. I’ll have pieces in three of the shows.

  1. The New England School of Metalwork is having an art show and fundraiser. The online silent auction is going on now. You can also view the pieces in person at The Center for Maine Craft: located at the West Gardiner Service Plaza and accessible via Route 126, I-95 South (Exit 103), I-95 North (Exit 102) or I-295 (Exit 51). (No, I don’t do metalwork but my dad does so I have a soft spot- molten iron?- in my heart for blacksmiths.)
  2. The Maine Illustrators’ Collective will be showing pieces at the Freeport Library for the show "The Classics Reimagined- Maine Illustrators Revisits Your Favorite Stories!" The exhibit goes up November 2nd. Watch this space for more info about the exhibit opening.
  3. The Maine Farmland Trust is having an art show and auction. All the pieces will depict some aspect of "Harvest." Come to the opening on October 23rd from 5-7pm. The gallery is at 97 Main Street in Belfast and will be up through the 10th Anniversary Celebration and Auction on Novemeber 16th.
  4. The First Yarmouth Art Festival is happening next weekend October 15-17 at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal church. The opening will be from 6-9pm on Thursday, the 15th. Click the above link for the online exhibit catalog which is being posted this weekend.

It’s still Friday!

Okay. If I’m going to get my five on Friday in, I’m going to have to do it quickly.
1. I’m extremely excited to tell you all that two of my fine artworks have been accepted into a juried show. The first annual Yarmouth Art Festival will take place Oct. 15-17.

Forty-five artists are slated to display and sell their work – including photography, painting, etching, sculpture and digital media – at the inaugural event in the church’s bright, post-and-beam space in a wooded setting about a mile from Cousins Island.

The jurors were Chris Thompson, an associate professor at the Maine College of Art in Portland; and Kevin Tierney of Falmouth, a longtime art enthusiast and founder of the online marketplace

The gallery will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17. Admission is free each day, with donations accepted. Sponsored by St. Bart’s, the festival will open to the public with an artists’ reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, that includes music and refreshments. I’ll be there! I hop to see you then.

My piece are: Rhododendron, which is an oil painting,and Patriot Reflected, a pastel.

2. Another oil painting of mine will hang in the Harvest Show and Auction to benefit the Maine Farmland Trust. That show will be in Belfast. The opening reception for the HARVEST show at Maine Farmland Trust Gallery is set for October 23rd, 5-7pm. The 10th anniversary celebration with the silent auction has been scheduled for November 16th. MFT Gallery, 97 Main St, Belfast ME 04915.

3. I spent an amazing day at the Art Educators conference. My gosh, I didn’t realize how lonely I was. (Writing and illustrating is a lonely business.) It was great and I learned a ton from the VSA maine outreach educator. Thank you Rachel!

(Ack. I only have 15 minutes until Saturday and 15% power.) My parents are coming to visit this weekend!

5. Hubby comes home tomorrow after 2 weeks of single parenting. Just in time to celebrate our 16th anniversary! Hooray!