Thank You! Thank You!

Papers on the stand

There were close to 40,000 in circulation (20 or more of which are in my apartment, 1 in my car, 5 at my parent’s house, 2 at my desk, 1 to be framed, 2 to send in the mail, 1 print to be made for a holiday gift for a reader’s husband, and several images posted online).  Stepping into local stores and seeing one of my paintings on the front page of hundreds of stacked copies of the 2012 Seven Days “Meat Issue” has been quite the trip, to put it informally.

Paper arrival

As an artist, I make pieces and sell pieces and hang pieces and re-paint pieces.  Being “successful” is objective and “making it” does not truly make sense.  At what point, does an artist achieve these accomplishments?  Do we gauge our talent or achievement by the number of galleries we show in, by the number of shows we participate, by the number of paintings we sell, by the positive feedback from customers, by the spread of distribution of our artwork, or by becoming a part of a museum owned collection?

I like to believe that beginning a painting is a bit of a triumph in and of itself.  Working your way through materials and through challenges to create a physical representation of a thought is fairly magical.  (We often take this for granted.)  But finishing a painting—being satisfied with the result—is nothing less than incredible.  My cover on Seven Days brought a new moment of gratitude and “I can’t really believe that I did that” but I also had to remind myself that it was also note worthy that I followed through with the weird idea of painting a series of meat cuts, hung them at a local bar, and took the risk of showing other people the complete manifestation of an idea, all of which resulted in a couple of new canvases to adorn my walls, several sales to enter the homes of other people in the community, a print, and the cover of a newspaper, which I have read for over 10 years.  Success.

I felt further gratitude this week, when I bought “The Bee Well Book: A Tribute to the Honeybee” by local entrepreneur and massage therapist, Melissa Brodeur.  You can find one of my paintings of a bee on page 28, a photograph of me performing yoga at her and Jane Jarecki Lanza’s Pearl Jam Yoga for the Bees on page 36, as well as another one of my paintings of bees on page 53.  Working with Melissa has reminded me of the positive power of artwork within a community.  You can purchase her book through her website at

Bee Well

Being a part of the bee book and being a part of last week’s Seven Days are markers of accomplishment, but I’ve also felt much satisfaction finishing a painting today, having 2 in the process of being framed, working on an additional one, thinking about ideas for another one, having a print being made, and looking forward towards an opening of my work, among others, at the S.P.A.C.E. Gallery this coming Friday (5-9 on Pine Street).  Artists just have to keep on going… and be thankful, thankful, thankful.


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