Sunday, January 28, 2018

new year & life happenings

Hi, it's been a while! This poor neglected blog... writing about my art process and adventures has always been something I love, but somehow it got away from me this past year. Which is ironic as the past year (plus some) has been one of the busiest and most exciting of my life and there's a lot to share.

First off, we got married!



Mike and I met at a house party in college, when I saw a cute guy with a backpack full of beer and went right up to him to ask if I could have a few. Romantic, right? Ten years later, we exchanged rings and vows at the top of a beautiful Vermont meadow with our friends and family.

We celebrated with a weekend full of festivities at an organic farm that we rented on airbnb. Almost everything was DIY, from the lights, decor and flowers to the ceremony music, rehearsal BBQ and next day brunch. All 22 members of the wedding party stayed in the farmhouse, my bridesmaids and I had a bouquet-making brunch, friends camped on the farm, our friend Dan played our ceremony music while my mom walked me down the "aisle" (a dirt path from the barn to the meadow) and our friend Samuel officiated.


So many friends and family lent a hand (or a grill, guitar, mason jars or a deep-fryer) to create a fun, memorable weekend for us. It was an incredibly humbling feeling to have nearly everyone we love -- people who have seen us through all different stages of dating and growing up -- gathered together to celebrate our relationship and our future together, and even moreso because so many people helped us make it happen.


Two weeks before the wedding I was downtown and heard an someone playing a viola on the street corner. We were blown away to find out Rita was a junior in high school, and she sounded so amazing that we hired her to play her first "gig" during our reception. She and our band blew us away.


Just a few weeks before our wedding, Mike finished grad school with his PhD in Biology from MIT. It was the culmination of seven years of incredibly hard work, successes, frustrations, countless midnight trips to his lab and lots of perseverance. We planned to go to the big commencement ceremony but ultimately skipped it to spend a few days sailing our family's boat together, which is a much more fitting celebration if you know Mike.


In February, we reached the end of our three year lease in my live/work studio at Fenway Studios. I was super sad and expecting to shuffle between a few small, temporary studios for the foreseeable future when my name happened to come up on the waitlist for a permanent studio at the SoWa Artists Guild in Boston's South End.



My jaw literally dropped when I walked into the space -- huge 20' ceilings, giant north-facing windows and tons of space to spread out huge paintings and invite people in. A studio at SoWa has been a dream of mine since blogging about Open Studios there nearly six years ago, and after several months here I can honestly say it was everything I hoped for. After having work/live studio spaces for the first 7 years of my career, I love having a dedicated workspace to go to outside my home and the ability to "turn off" and separate my work from the rest of my life -- it's increased my productivity greatly to spend less time with half-finished paintings staring me in the face. Artist workspaces in Boston are not cheap or easy to come by, and I feel deeply grateful and appreciative to get to head to work here every morning.

If you'd like to visit,  I'm open daytime by appointment, and often on First Fridays and Open Studios events.

Until it got too cold I was biking to work about ten miles every day, either along Boston Harbor and through the Financial District, or along the Charles River and through Back Bay, which was fun and gave me a new perspective on a few different parts of the city.


Much of my work over the past year has been commissioned paintings for local homes and corporate collections, including the Boston Harbor Hotel, the Jordan Lofts, and Samuel Adams (Boston Beer Company.) Lots of urban subjects and very, very specific historical material needs. I'll blog about them separately but here are a few progress shots:


This year's cross-country road trip was my first time road tripping with a friend! Jillian and I logged an amazing 50+ miles of hiking and 15 miles of kayaking throughout the Southwest, which deserves a post of its own as well.


The rest of the year was a blur of summer shows, deadlines and the annual holiday rush. Most recently, Mike and I decided to buy a home here in Boston, and found a sweet little top-floor condo in a neighborhood a few miles down the bike path from my studio. Buying a house always felt a little claustrophobic to me and was never a goal of mine, but it finally made sense to do so, especially after finding out we are expecting our first baby this spring!



For the eight years I've been a full-time artist, life has been a superb and mostly uncomplicated balance of travel and painting and the occasional growing up, but since the new year I've spent lot of time in my studio quietly reflecting and anticipating the certain changes coming this year. I have hopes (perhaps overly optimistic) of taking baby to work in the studio, bringing her on adventures, teaching her to love nature and finding fresh creative inspiration in our new shared life. I believe in "having it all" and am determined to find that balance, however elusive it may be.

"And now we welcome the New Year, full of things that have never been." - Rainer Maria Rilke

Happy New Years to you and yours.
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7 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Mae! What a whirlwind of a year! I was so excited to meet you in person right after you moved into 450 Harrison and then dropped the ball about keeping in touch. :)

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  2. Smiling all the way through your blog...am very happy for you for "all" your new adventures. You have blessed us with your work and now it is time to turn those blessing back to you.

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  3. I love following you!!! My wishful thinking artistic side has longed to experience half of what you do and it’s fun to see things through your eyes. Your prints grace every room in my home. I rarely make it to the east coast but would love to find myself in your open studio on a first Friday. Congratulations on your little one!! Also your wedding looked beautiful! Motherhood is my adventure and calling. I have 3 little ones and the days are long and the years way to short. I hope you find some time to keep up the stories. I can’t wait to see motherhood through your eyes. Peace & Love

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  4. Wow, what a fun filled year and truly another 'little' adventure will soon begin! Your art work is amazing and inspiring. Thank you for making us all smile. Congratulations!

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  5. Congratulations to you for all of the wonderful life changes! As someone who has followed your work, I look forward to seeing how motherhood influences your style. It's an amazing journey full of peaks and valleys, one that grows your heart exponentially. Enjoy those first precious months!

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  6. You are my favorite artist and I have spent hours looking at your paintings. Thank you for documenting your inspiring journey and beautiful studio on this blog. Congratulations on your wedding and pregnancy! I was blown away by the pictures. Keep creating!!!
    Much Love from India

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  7. Mae I'm so happy for your BIG unfolding life including new babe and new studio. What lovely wedding pics and of course the best are the stories that go along with all the photos. xo

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