I approach the blank surface with my chosen palette and off I go into the unknown — a place that once baffled me, yet now I cherish. My process involves many layers of oil paint, cold wax, solvent, oil sticks, graphite, marble dust, etc., along with my parade of tools: brayers, palette knives, squeegees, sticks, sandpaper, paper towels, and my fingers.
Putting fear aside as I create, I ask: “What would happen if…?” A question that, as I build each layer, leads to unanticipated destinations as I move toward the finished piece. I absolutely love the push-pull of create, destroy, and re-create once again.
Even though I grew up surrounded by my mother’s art and occasional trips to museums, painting didn’t really speak to my soul until her recent death. I am truly grateful for the passing of this creative torch. My ultimate goal is to enjoy the process, no matter the outcome.
Why Paint it Forward Maine?
On a snowy evening in 2012, my husband, Kim, and I befriended our first Iraqi family as they began their American journey as refugees.Our job as volunteers was to help them feel welcomed by making their first introduction to Maine a positive experience.
They were a family of 5, housed in the family shelter, waiting to be placed into an apartment. Luckily, that happened relatively quickly, and we got right to work. The apartment was unfurnished, so unless we could find furniture fast, they would be sleeping, eating, living on the floor. Taking advantage of contacts in the real estate industry, we approached both buyers and sellers to ask if they had furniture to donate to incoming refugees. The response was immediate, heartfelt, and gratifying. And, within 3 days we were able to get this family off the floor to begin building their new life in Maine. We were so very touched to be part of this American resettlement.
For the next few years, we continued gathering and delivering furniture to newly arrived immigrants, making fast friends along the way. Fortunately, we bumped into other kindred spirits doing the same thing, nudging us all forward towards a larger force to help meet the growing needs. Ultimately, Furniture Friends was formed and is, today, a growing, thriving business helping both newly arrived immigrants and the underserved in the Portland area.
In 2020, I launched Paint It Forward Maine, a small business dedicated to helping the underserved by donating a portion of the proceeds from the sales of my paintings to community organizations working for the greater good. Some recent recipients include Furniture Friends, Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, and Maine Needs.