Painting for a Purpose

Three years ago I was asked to participate in an event titled "Painting for a Purpose", a fund raising effort in Portland Maine looking to raise money for grants to distribute to local schools art programs. I was inspired by their efforts and couldn't resit. Tina Edwards and Tracy Floyd, as well as many others, got the ball rolling and before long their was a room full of local artists eager to help. I was pleasantly surprised and excited to find out the theme was lobster boats with each artist given a blank wooden boat roughly 2 feet long. "Paint it anyway you want...", was the instruction, "we're excited to see what you come up with.", were the words every artist loves to hear, run wild imagination, run wild.

As much as I wanted to unload my old school style, a tabled freeform approach to my work, I felt I needed to keep it as appealing to many considering someone would want to bid, buy and hang the piece. As quickly as I gathered my supplies I ran into a roadblock staring at the primed white wood, where to begin. Sometimes the spark ignites quickly and the artistic fire roars, other times you need to work hard to get it going, this time was just that, an ocean's worth of ideas to cram into a small wooden lobster boat. 'Ocean' and 'Maine' clicked and before long the letters of our state emerged across the vessel like a great whale from some famous tale. As I filled in the lines I realized I was making waves, no literally waves were appearing as I continued until the final touches touched down. 

Two years later I again participated in the event, of which, by this time, had gained a lot of support and a nice following, the work and effort of the Painting for a Purpose staff and volunteers was the key. This time we worked on the thing that carries time, clocks. A simple yet elegant wooden square was the starting point, were you went from there only time would tell. I wanted to be a bit more controlled this time and began with breaking the square up into segments, 12 in fact. Lines, circles and the dividing by two inward made me feel like a mathematician, I was always fond of geometry. A similar color scheme as my boat, the clock took shape and hopefully became a nice addition to a kitchen, bedroom, den, library, lighthouse, office, yacht, studio, doctors office, or maybe a time capsule?

This year, my third, I had the privilege of being asked to use my 'Lobstering Is An Art' lobster outline as the base for the artists to work their magic on. I couldn't resit and immediately said yes, it wasn't long before artists had their large wooded lobster to render and manipulate as they wished, hopefully not in boiling hot water. I thought about this one for a while. I've drawn and designed hundreds of these for the past 5 years and figured it would be easy to do something on this medium and scale, I guessed wrong and struggled for weeks. Eventually I stumbled across a bag of sea and weathered glass in a collection of things and materials I was saving for a rainy day. With plenty of glue I applied pieces throughout, lots of blue, green and brown mosaiced the inner outline of the lobster giving this blank slate a fresh coat of glass paint. Using acrylics I applied circle patterns representing water and ripples giving the glass a new feel and texture. The finished piece looks awesome and I hope it brings in a bunch of money for Painting for a Purpose's auction this coming November 5th at Dimillo's Restaurant, Old Port Portland, Maine. Stay tuned for more information leading up to the event. 

Many thanks to the folks at Painting for a Purpose! Also thank you kindly to those who bid on and eventually won my previous two submissions, I hope you can make it again this year! If your interested in participating please visit their website at, thanks!


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