When did you first pick up a paintbrush?
I’ve been a doodler for as long as I can remember, drawing and doodling on everything I could get my hands on. That’s never stopped. I think it was a matter of designing a job that would allow me to doodle professionally. Now those doodles have evolved into a variety of product lines and I feel as though I have a dream job.
Where do you find inspiration when you’re looking to create?
Everywhere but mostly from nature. Living on the coast of Maine, the palate is constantly changing with the seasons, the tides, the sky and sea. Low tide and mossy woodlands are two of my favorite sources of inspiration. But, I can also get inspired by a bright yellow raincoat against a weathered clapboard house. A yellow and grey design can come out of something as simple as that.
Tell us about the cover art featured for our 60th anniversary.
Sea Fantasy is inspired by the beauty that lies in the underwater world: the secrets, surprises, plants and creatures that inhabit the sea. It’s a dreamy tapestry that tells a salty story of adventure, exploration and love of the natural world.
Your charity of choice that will benefit from Art of Giving is The Locker Project at Good Shepherd Food Bank. Why is this such an important organization?
The mission of the Locker Project is to connect food-insecure children in Maine with nourishing food to improve their learning capacity, health and future. The reality is, that in our neighborhoods we have children that don’t have ample food at home. They are stressed out, insecure and that gets in the way of their learning, growing and just being a kid. Something as simple as a program like the Locker Project can positively impact thousands of Maine kids and give them the nourishment they need to think and learn.
You’re a Mainer through and through. Did Down East have any sort of significance to you growing up? Or now?
You can’t grow up in Maine and not have Down East magazine in your life. We always had it in our home and I was always happy to see it in the homes of my friends when I visited them out West or in cities out of state. It keeps people in the loop about life in Maine, whether they live here or not. As a kid, I always loved the picture of some place in Maine and we had to guess where it was.
Down East is still important to me and very much so to our state. The fact that they are celebrating their 60th anniversary by supporting 6 Maine charities in a significant way is a testament to what a valuable asset Down East is to Maine.