The soul wants what the soul wants.

My soul wants to be an artist.  I knew this as a child, but somewhere between the ages of 13 and 30 I stopped listening.  I still knew this to be true, but I didn’t act on it.

Now.  In my 40th year, I can say I am following my soul’s path.  This weekend I had my first art show.  I showed up. I stood in front of my work, and I shared it with the world.

…and it was awesome!

Of course there was the art.


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It took 365 days to create and 5 months to frame.


There was my mother’s  Framing Gallery which turned 40 years old and has never looked prettier.

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But 100% for me, the day was all about the people.

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Oh man the amazing amount of people who came out to root me on!  I paused an extra 15 seconds to soak up each and every hug.  I have never felt as much love as I did when I looked around that room.  There were people who love art, people who love The Framing Gallery, and people who love me.

I felt it with all my heart.

That was my biggest wish, that people would come, and they did.  Thank you, I am so eternally grateful!


But there’s more…




If you don’t mind, I just wanted to take this moment to thank my mother (and my Aunt Mary and Aunt Judy – they are all woven from the same cloth!)

She always believes in me unconditionally.

She is my biggest cheerleader.

She buys the first ticket to whatever cockamamie adventure I have dreamt up (and signs her two sisters up too!)

She will be honest with me when I really need to hear the truth.

and she does everything with a smile.

Thank you Mom.

Spending the last couple weeks with you, working our tails off, laughing and enjoying this entire venture made this experience absolutely worthwhile.

I am so thankful to have such an amazing force in my life. truly.

Thank you again everyone, for reading, following, showing up, supporting and pushing me forward.  It took many hands to make this dream come true!

Thank you.

Be Creative Mary


If Spring Won’t Come – I’ll Force it to!


I am Freezing.

I don’t think I can take another day.  I’m losing it.  really!  I had to help my kids find their snow suits this morning!  In my mind, I have to make it to St. Patrick’s Day and if I can make it to then, spring is just around the corner.  Except for this year.  It’s like winter won’t ever end!!! Ahhhhgh!

I get depressed feeling cold and bottled up in my cocoon all winter.  I joke that us “New Englanduhs” loose our necks in the winter.  We are shuddering with our shoulders above our ears! Being cold physically makes you tense up.  I’d imagine it makes us a little cranky too!

Well, I have found a small solace.  It’s a little patch of my dining room.  As I framed away, preparing for my art show, I broke down, pulled everything off my dining room wall, hung my bird paintings and thought –Wow.  Instantly, I felt better.  It was like the combination of bright happy colors and the thought of nature brought me internally, to a happy warm place.

Oh yeah, that’s why artists need to make art!

  It can physically change the energy within us all.  Some artists explore other emotions like sadness, anxiety, & anger.  Not me.  I’m all full here, I don’t need any more of those feelings thanks.  But a mood lifter, a giddy feeling of spring, a feeling of hope.  Sign me up! That’s what gets me inspired.

It’s going to be hard to part with these bird-beauties.  I just love them.


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I have some fabulous old frames to share, but before I do, check out my back yard…

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Do you see the strange looking weather vanes?  Imagine my amazement when the weather vanes began to move! I’d say they had at least a 6 foot wing span.

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At first I thought they were hawks, but upon closer inspection I figured out they were wild turkeys!

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I wonder what the turkeys were thinking, or the people who live in this house, as I was traipsing through the yard in my pajamas last Saturday morning!

Nature is too cool.

OK. Back to frames…

This week I focused my attention on a wonderful collection of vintage frames I inherited.  My guess is that they range from the 1950’s to 60’s.  My mother sets aside the really cool frames that come into her frame shop.  As people update their homes, they generally do not want any evidence of their crazy retro days (think avocado refrigerator!) But of course there are those of us who simply love the quality, craftmanship and retro-coolness of these objects of yester year.

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This frame is SO WILD!  It has a hand carved eye motif and green painted panel.  It looks Hawaiian to me. I have kept this frame for years, thinking it was way too cool to part with, but my bird woman looks absolutely perfect in it. Here is a link to the day this painting was created:  DAY #9 – The Bird Feeder  I don’t even dare to read the posts myself, it’s like rereading my own diary!

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Next is a little painting I watercolored right on the beach in Block Island .  This is a first, I can’t pull up the day, but I do have many people who sat and watched me paint it that could tell you I did! The old frame looks like it’s right out of a Block Island cottage.  I liked this about it.  I gave the frame a wash of Payne’s Grey paint to give it an extra beachy look.

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This is another one of those old 1950’s frames.  It is solid and has light gold with tarnish that you just can’t duplicate.  It screams “olden days”.   This painting was titled DAY #147- SWEET & SIMPLE Watson Farm, Jamestown RI.  It is of the cow pasture there.  I went with my son on a field trip that week and looking at the painting now, I can smell the fresh air of that farm by the sea.  I can’t wait to get back out there this spring!

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My final frame is quite old too.  In fact, it’s missing moulding in places, but I think it gives it even more of that old barn distressed look that so many of us crave.  This was titled DAY #339 – ROSES AND ROSEMARY  This watercolor was getting towards the end of my challenge.  Around a month left.  There are also some cool photos of the progression of the painting.

I have been making some headway in pottery class as well.   Tomorrow I am going in to glaze a bunch of pieces. Let’s see if I can remember my camera.  I’m getting rusty without a challenge nudging me along!

Enjoy your weekend everybody and I’ll check back in, in a few!


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Having Fun Framing


The Picture framing of my 365 Art Project has begun.  I’m pretty lucky to have 2 picture framer businesses in my family.  As I had mentioned, my mother is framing the “best” pieces and I am framing the pieces she didn’t pick!  It’s funny, but most of my favorites didn’t make the cut, but it wasn’t a personal decision, my mother has a very good eye for what “the masses” will like.  I trust her judgement even though I’ve never fallen into that category!

  I was lucky enough to inherit this black frame due to a measurement error. I recieved the frame with the glass and hand-built shadow box walls already built into it.  Total score! I bought a shocking blue piece of fabric, stretched it on acid free foam core and floated #313 – Ode to Hundertwasser in the center.  I love this gouache painting for its primitiveness and clean bright color.


Next to be framed was the watercolor #157- IN MY GARDEN –The Poppy.  Can you believe someone didn’t like this gold frame because of the lines in the gold-leaf guilding?  For those of you that don’t know, there are finite linear lines in a true gold frame.  It is where the real gold leaf overlaps itself when being applied to the frame.  Here’s a tidbit, if you can’t find overlap marks on your gold frame, it’s most likely painted which means there is a good chance it’s not a  true gold-leaf frame!  So, when you go to have something framed, don’t complain about inconsistencies, it’s most likely an indication of hand-craftmanship and authenticity.


I think that #217- STILL LIFE WITH BOVINE came out so darn sweet.  This frame was a customer’s frame that they no longer wanted.  It had two dings in the finish.  So guess what I did?  I added 20 more dings, literally, with a hammer!  I dented, scratched and sanded the frame until it began to have that “country distressed” look.  Next I found this pretty blue trellis fabric, stretched the fabric and floated my artwork. I just love what a frame can do!  This painting is ready for a country cottage!


#10 – ODE TO THE ORANGE, was from the first week of my 365.  It definitely has some technical issues going on, but it’s still a fun piece.  I went with the look of a “Man’s study”.  Dark plaid says to me “fraternity”, “law office” or “man-cave”!  Thanks again to the customer who wanted a new frame and no longer wanted this gold metal frame. It’s in perfect condition!

The titles of the paintings above are actually links to that particular day of my 365.  You can learn more about the painting and see what I was thinking and feeling at that given moment.

OK.  so four paintings framed and only about one hundred more to go!

I forgot how fun and creative the picture framing process can be.  I’m having fun with it!

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Final Postcard

POSTCARD date announcement

Greetings Blogosphere, I’m making tons of progress!



My dear mother, who also happens to be a picture framer and art gallery owner, sat with me for hours as we went through my entire year’s worth of art.

We created piles.  One pile was considered the CREAM OF THE CROP. We considered these pieces print-worthy and definitely worth framing.  The next pile was considered “VERY GOOD” and also worth picture framing. The third pile was considered “MEDIUM GRADE”.  These pieces I am going to frame myself which means they are sure to be super quirky and very colorful!  The final pile was considered “bin art”. This means we couldn’t exactly foresee who might want these works in particular (they are a little weird or simply color studies or experiments), but if jewelry design has taught me anything, that which I deem “not a hit” seems to be a hit to someone out there! Those will be priced and stored in bins at my opening.

  So, my 365 show should have something for everyone – all economic brackets and from serious pieces to the absolutely absurd!

Currently I am securing a Rhode Island exhibit date and location.  I should have that in the next few weeks.

I am trying to find an affordable company to make notecards of some of my birds and botanicals. Does anyone know of a printing company they would like to refer? I want to keep the price compatible with greeting cards.

and other than that, I will be FRAME, FRAME, FRAMING!

I have also been jewelry designing and soul searching.  I will blog about my new pieces from the pottery studio as well as share some books that have really opened my mind to my place in the universe (I’m always over-analyzing myself!)

So put it on your calendars, MAY 4th 2-5 pm. This will be my first 365 Art show opening, RI date to follow.  I will be working towards opening an ETSY store for jewelry, prints and pottery (baby steps!) and I look forward to clearing my desk so I can get back to art making.

I have really missed blogging and hope to get into a new rhythm. Thank you all for your support, I just can’t wait to CELEBRATE!

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DAY # 365 – enVISIONing the New Year

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Wahoo!!!! The Final post of my 365!!! Who’d a thunk it?

I couldn’t fathom sitting at my table painting alone on my last day.  That just didn’t seem like a fitting ending.

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So I invited a couple of friends to join me!

A new year requires new energy, a new perspective, maybe some new strategies?  It made me think of vision boards. Everyone can use a little re-focus for the new year!

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I apologize for the horrible copy, but a wonderful woman came up with this grid for creating vision boards.  Her name is Erin Goodman and if you have a moment, check out her website.

Anyway, creating a vision board is a great way to reflect on your current circumstances and prioritize for the upcoming year.  What would you like to experience more of? What do you want to welcome into your life?  What is ready to leave?  What no longer works?  Magazines are a great way to find images and words that reflect your desired state of being.  After you create your board you put it in a private place and continue to reinforce the messages you would like to welcome in the new year.  I’ve always found many truths in the boards I create. I am thankful I carved out some time to create one today.#365 - enVISIONing the New Year (3)

It was great to share some good laughs on all the “shoulds” in our lives.  You know, the dictations of perfection created by society. The diet I’m supposed to be on, the great job that will make your family happy, the soul mate to complete your family photo.  When you get away from all of that, what do you really want?  Usually it’s fairly simple – peace, happiness and health. 

I know I have a lot of examining I need to do.  I have absolutely no idea what direction to go in next.  The beginning of this year will be dedicated to figuring that one out.

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My super creative friend made this beautiful little hanging for me.  It has some amazingly awesome quotes on it and all my friends signed it.  I will post this where I wake every day and I’m sure some of its wonderful wisdom will sink in.

I have so much to think about. So much to take in. So much to analyze.

I simply want to thank all of you that came along on this journey with me.

I really feel that by putting myself out there and by sharing my strengths and weaknesses, I connected to other people, to humanity.  I’ve met so many people along the way and this is the part of the experience I shall cherish.

Thank YOU, the people. For “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”  If I stay a hermit and do not share my creativity with others, do I honor my purpose in life?  You guys were my awareness.  You kept me from slipping, from being to hard on myself and you challenged me to try harder and to try new things.

I truly feel blessed. Thank you.

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I spent Day 364 home sick in bed.  Well actually, I did go to the doctor to get antibiotics for my mangled throat and then I got in bed and slept – a lot.  It’s funny, this is what I envisioned doing on January 2nd – minus the sore throat and ear ache!  I guess I’ll have to find something else to do now on January 2nd – Like be healthy!


I tried to figure out what I could do from bed today in between resting.  I have this giant box of buttons just begging to be played with, so I pulled it out.


First I went through and picked my favorites and then I had to figure out what I wanted to do with them.

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I have these gold-plated bangles with an empty bezel in the center.  I use to fill them with polymer clay designs and sell them to gift shops.  They just happen to be the perfect shape for vintage buttons.  I assembled different combinations of buttons and then wired them to the bangles.


Next I made myself a necklace.  I tried to make the necklace symmetrical in design yet each button is different.  I love that look.  I’m definitely not matchy-matchy. I guess you could call me mixy-matchy!


Of course my daughter popped in to see what I was up to and had to join in on the fun.  She found the wiring a bit difficult, but as usual, she’s always keeping up with her mom! Her necklace looked great.

So although my head is pounding, and my ears ache, I still made time to be creative. Tomorrow, when I’m feeling better and I’m on my last day of my 365 Challenge, I will now have something fun to wear.

OK. Off to take my evening dose of amoxicillin.  Tomorrow I have something fun planned, so I better rest up!

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The Walsh Clan is going down in a ball of fury!  First my son, then my husband…now me.

My throat hurts, my body aches and I just want to spend the rest of the week in bed.

I was so proud of myself for staying healthy during the Christmas season.  Stress always gets me sick over the holidays and I thought tanking up on vitamin C was going to see me through.  However our house has been full and sharing a bed with two sicklings was more than my body could take.

Did that stop me from trudging on with my creative 365?  Nooooo.

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South County Art Supply had given me this rubber stamp block for carving.  It’s super soft as opposed to carving in linoleum which is hard. I thought the size seemed perfect for creating thank you cards. Don’t we all have someone to thank this time of year?

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Let’s just say I figured out how to use the material after I was through with it! Meaning, these didn’t come out all too well because I was learning along the way.

This is what I learned:

First, when creating a design, you really must consider the spacing between objects.  I didn’t leave enough and lost most of my design, especially the lettering.  Second, I started carving with an Exact-o Knife which was not the correct tool for this rubber block.  The Exact-o Knife stabbed too deep, did not make uniform marks and made the rubber stamp crumble.

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Half way through the process I figured this out and pulled out my Speed Ball linoleum carving tools.  THEY WORKED PERFECTLY. Unfortunately I didn’t have any large rubber blocks left to apply what I learned!

I had a smaller block which I only used the carving tools with. See how the lines are a lot cleaner.

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It’s really not my favorite activity to try something, mess up and have to post it on the world-wide web, but hey I’m honest, I should at least get points for that!

If I were to try this again, I would spend way more time on a well conceived design and I’d only use carving tools. I could see using this technique for only one large object per block. Maybe a bird, sunflower or I thought of doing a flying pig!

Of course my daughter wants to try this now.  So we will be picking her up a rubber block to create what else? None other than a platypus!


OK.  My back is killing me, my glands are soar…I’m crawling into bed now… :(

Two more days…two more days until I take a long winter’s nap! I desperately need one!

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What a day, what a day.


Maybe I should start by telling you about my night.  We got home late from NYC and everyone dove into bed.  Three hours later I hear someone screaming bloody murder.  It was my son.  He’s been sick all week and it finally culminated with a terrible earache.  12pm,2am,4am and 6am, I had to rock him to sleep as the pain medicine kicked in.

So let’s just say neither of us slept much.  My son spent today sleeping.


…but I didn’t.  We had a huge family pizza party instead!  Four generations of my husband’s family gathered today which is a big deal.  My husbands brothers live in different states and it gets harder and harder to get everyone in the same place at the same time.  Post Christmas and Post Thanksgiving seem to be working best and really it is so much less stressful.  You get to gather without the pomp and circumstance, which allows everyone to be themselves.

It was a very nice day.  A very busy day. A very loud day!

Which brought me to the end of the evening.  Bags under my eyes and flat-out tired.

Not the best working conditions for art making, but I forged ahead.  I had painted a little this morning and finished up tonight.

I think this is it for faces.  I’m done. Finito. No more-o!

We have more family here tomorrow.  Hopefully my son will sleep through the night tonight and I will figure out what I am going to do tomorrow…tomorrow!

Good night!

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Say hello to my little friend Lucy!

Shame on me for not meeting her sooner, but I finally made it to Forest Hills/Queens to meet her!

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You see, I call Heather one of my college roommates, but technically, Caryn and I were roommates and Heather just happened to always be sitting on our couch.  So, Heather was our by-proxy roommate. I also knew her husband in college.  He lived in a dorm of mine at UCONN.  It is said that I introduced the two of them, but that was so long ago…who knows.  What I do know is I did think they should date in college and they both said “ICK NO!”.  We graduated, got jobs, moved all over the globe and somehow, the two of them reconnected. Ten years later, they weren’t so icky to one another…and then they fell in love :)

Don’t you just love happy endings?

It’s pretty cool because I’ve known them a long time and now they are both in my life.

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and now Lucy is in our lives too!

So Lucy is set to be a little City kid. We saw her library, school, playground and neighborhood today.  She is going to have some wonderful adventures!

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I gave Lucy the poster I made for her, but since there weren’t any lights, rattles or movement, she sort of lost interest.  Mom and Dad liked it though!  It’s red and yellow which tied in with Lucy’s bedroom perfectly!

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Heather and I got manicures from my daughter today.  Each of my nails had a different design and heather got ladybugs.  My daughter thinks Heather is the coolest person she ever met.  I wonder if that was because she had a bowl of Doritos and Oreos waiting for the kids when they got there.  That is the best!

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Lucy summed it up.  It had been a long weekend and it was time to go home.

We gave our new little friend hugs and kisses and said goodbye to our dear old friends too.  I sure love spending time with them.  Next time I see Lucy she’ll be running and hopefully it will be in a bathing suit at my house!

Thank you for a wonderful visit and congratulations Heather and Jay.


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