Wednesday, August 27, 2008

a family of artists

I come from a family of artists.

My mother, brother and sister-in-law (plus a bunch of cousins) -- all artists and all highly creative people each with a unique view and a whole lot of talent. It makes for a fun way to grow up.

For three years in a row, we collaborated on a family art show. I came up with the idea for this show for two reasons.

The obvious reason was that with so much creativity going on in one family, we needed an outlet to share it all. I felt it would be great to collaborate on something again since we were all living in different states and were in different stages of our respective careers.

The big reason was that I was finally ready to take my painting more seriously and to jump into the art world as a career.  But I needed a deadline.  And an outlet. (and probably a kick in the pants)

Thus, Art Under the Birches was born.

I envisioned an annual art event to be held in August in beautiful Rangeley, Maine. This is a small mountain town with a vibrant summer tourist season, which we decided would be great place to hold the event.  Rangeley is also the location of our family compound--the house where my father grew up.  The house sits in a conspicuous spot a short walk from the village of Rangeley and along the road to Stratton.

There is nothing like a deadline and a public event to generate the motivation to paint!  Before the inaugural show I attended some workshops, took a few classes, and was off and running with a new medium--oils.  I slowly built up a solid body of work and I’ve been working steadily ever since.

The second year we held the show, it had rained most of the summer which made our outdoor location a bit tricky. The spot under the birches in the backyard where we'd held the first show was now a small pond. Not to be deterred, we bought more tents and moved everything to the front yard.

Each year, the crowds came, folks were impressed and a few sales were made.  Our family reconnected through art and gained a whole lot of inspiration for moving forward.

I’ve taken my art career to many places from that backyard under the birches—but I couldn’t have gotten here without it.
all the tents came in's a moment when the sun was out

my "american roadster" series

my poppies and my Mum's watercolors

Cindy's pastels

Paul's fishskins: handcarved fish reproductions

trout & salmon

Friday, August 1, 2008

headed to Maine

I spent the day packing up my studio for our big trip to Maine. As much as I try to pack light we always end up with stuff on the roof and piled high in the back. Who are these people that can travel with their tiny little suitcase? I bet they don't have kiddos and an art show! We'll be there for a couple of weeks, so I probably won't be posting much. I'll try and do at least one from the Art Under the Birches show. In the meantime, here are a few shots from my garden for your viewing pleasure.