Mary Stanford standing beside a painting

Life Model: There’s Something About Mary Stanford

Mary Stanford got the birthday surprise of her life in 2012 when she opened the door to what she thought was a sale. She loves to go junking and so, that’s the ruse her friends Emily Barker and Lynn Hart had cooked up to get her there. They were at her friend Debe Loughlin’s house, but Mary just thought she was trying to get rid of some of her things. “I opened the door and there were all these people,” she says. “Fifty or more people yelling, ‘Surprise!’ I totally lost it. They were snapping pictures. There were artists that I hadn’t seen in a long time and groups of friends and two rooms full of art — just of me. It was really, really quite something.” (more…)

Drawing Portraits and Figures

We had a really fun assignment in drawing class recently. We had to take pictures of each other and make a composite drawing of four people. The drawing could have two different eyes and eyebrows, a nose from more than one person — same with the mouth, the ears, even the hair. Mix and match. You get the picture? Let me show you mine! (more…)

Composite drawing

Soul Nurturing

Cranky. That’s how I’ve felt this past week. My immune system was working overtime trying to fight off a cold. The deadlines for a couple of freelance writing projects had arrived. I made a commitment to volunteer at a wonderful and worthy weekend event when I really needed to be working at the computer. I had homework.

Fortunately, I love, love, love doing my homework. This week it has been my saving grace.

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First Week of Art School

I sat in the middle of a sea of young people, most not out of their twenties, some not even into them yet. I knew it would be like that, so I was fine and besides, they were all friendly faces.

My first class was 2D Design. We’ll meet twice a week for 2 1/2 hours — five hours total, plus an additional four hours a week for homework. Yikes!

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Going Back to College to Get an Art Degree

My moment of enlightenment came during a painting class I took several years ago through the Continuing Studies program at Maine College of Art (MECA). It was called Painting for the True Blue Beginner and was taught by artist Patsea Cobb. Our assignment was to find a picture of a painting we liked and try to copy it. I chose Man in a Room by Paul Cezanne. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but just kept trying to paint what I saw. Patsea had warmed us up with several demos on how to prepare your canvas, lay out the palatte, hold a paint brush … I’ll never forget the moment my view shifted, literally and figuratively. I was working on the man’s pants and tried to copy a shape on one of the legs. I stepped back as Patsea had encouraged us to do and there it was — a wrinkle in the pants. I was astonished and from that moment on, I have been trying to make my own marks. (more…)

Still Life from a class with Lucy Ellen Smith

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