Sale on canvas prints! Use code ABCXYZ at checkout for a special discount!

Newsletter October and November 2011

Blogs: #1 of 72

Previous Next View All
Newsletter October and November 2011

NEWSLETTER October/November 2011

Greetings from the mountains of western Maine!

Our mountains have been changing from the deep blue-green of summe,r to the brilliant patchwork of October, to the somber colors of November. My life the past month has been a patchwork, too, so this will be a newsletter of bits and pieces.

One of the patchwork pieces was doing a commission for a local businessman. Another piece was limping around on crutches, giving my body the space to heal from a torn ligament in my foot. (This made everything go in slow motion, hence the combined October/November newsletter.)

Finishing the Canada lily work with a drawing of a mature seed pod was another piece of the patchwork. This is a colored pencil drawing, on heavy watercolor paper.

I have been reading more about growing Lilium canadense from seed. (A helpful article can be found at It is considered an easy plant to propagate, but this is not a quick process. If you sow the seed directly outdoors in the fall, the seeds remain dormant until the first growing season. The first year they produce a small bulb. The second year the plant grows a single leaf. The third year a whorl of leaves appears. Those magnificent blooms in my back yard have been a long time in the making!

Another piece of the patchwork was continuing to work on the bloodroot painting that I am planning. I have become entranced with Renoir’s color handling and brushwork style, and spent many hours reading all I could find on his working technique. What attracts me to his work is the brilliant purity of color and the transparency of his paint layers. I am thinking that this is the direction I want to take in order to actually be able to paint the images I can see inside me.

And another piece of the patchwork was adding new products to my online “Maine Mountain Art” store ( The Printfection company has come out with some new items, like baseball caps, ceramic ornaments, and laptop and iPad sleeves. So I spent some time dreaming up ways to use them.

And lastly, I have opened a second Printfection store, “Nature’s Mandalas,” to showcase products using the round format work in the Exploration of Natural Design and Moments of Transcendence collections ( Here is where the cucumber slices and cosmic zucchinis come together in practical everyday items like sweatshirts, travel mugs and cutting boards.

The basic idea of my art bears repeating: I would rather get my work out where a hundred people can enjoy it than have one painting hanging above someone’s couch. The whole concept of what I am doing is based on sharing. It’s about me finding beauty in some everyday bit of nature and saying, “Look at this! Isn’t it lovely? What exquisite design!” I hope that it not only enriches your life, but that the next time you cut up a carrot you will pause and look closely at it and appreciate it all the more.

My gift to you this month is simply to offer you the chance to design any custom items you wish, in either store. If you have an idea for a product, please share it, with no obligation on your part to buy one. I just like the cross-pollination of getting other people’s input about what to put in the store. If you want to order a custom item, I will create and post it at no extra charge, from now until the end of the year. Custom designs will retail for the same price as similar items already on the site. You can find the images at

If you take the number of images that I have, and multiply that by the number of products that Printfection offers, the possibilities are virtually endless. Personally, I find the whole process addictive, kind of like eating potato chips. How would this bloodroot flower look on a round ceramic ornament? What if I put a row of three veggies on a tote bag? (That one was my sister’s idea.) How can this row of multiple cucumbers slices be formatted to go on a laptop sleeve? The inspiration goes on and on! So dream it up and email me your ideas. Please.

For more information on “Swift River Treasures,” my artmaking process, or recent work, or to check out my blog, see my website at Here you can order prints of my work, and have them matted and framed if you choose, courtesy of Fine Art America’s great print-on-demand service. They also offer greeting cards, either single or in packages.

If you want to look at the Moments of Transcendence book, here is the link to it on the booksite: . And my online stores for shirts, mugs, and housewares can be found at (the Swift River Treasures art) and (the Explorations and Moments of Transcendence art).

All things on earth point home in old October; sailors to sea, travelers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken.... (from the short story “No Door” by Thomas Wolfe)

Thanks for joining me in the journey. I hope that you enjoy looking at the art as much as I have enjoyed making it! I would love to hear from you, too, so please do reply with comments.