Saturday, November 14, 2015

Madeleines Opening Night Nov 19th

I suppose it all comes down to a big thank you to Margit and Al over at Snowlion Repertory Theatre Company and their PlayLab.  If they had not accepted me into the PlayLab (yes, you're juried in so to speak) when I first got to Portland, I might not be directing the world premiere of Madeleines by Bess Welden which opens this coming week!  It was their idea to have members of the lab write 10 min plays focusing on food that they would produce as the Maine Feast during Restaurant Week here in Portland Maine.  I was also lucky enough to be picked to direct Bess' play along with another one by Carolyn Gage.  They also had the smarts to cast Karen Ball and Julia Langham in the 10-minute version that we did back in March.  Karen, Julia and I fell in love with the play, and in talking with Bess, realized that it was just a bit of a bigger piece.

Julia Langham as Debra and Karen Ball as Jennifer.  Paintings behind them are by Molly Holmberg Brown, one of the Running with Scissors Artists and Mapmaker! 

After a reading of the bigger play and some conversation, we agreed to co-produce it ourselves, if Bess could get us a spot in the Studio Series at Portland Stage.  Everything fell into place and we present the work November 19th through the 22nd.  You can get more info by clicking HERE.

And of course I've had other irons in the fire as well with accepting a spot in the Berlin Photographic Biennial in August of 2016, preparing a piece for the Space Gallery Free for All Show.... AND getting ready for the Running with Scissors Holiday Pop Up Shop and Open Studios on December 12th! 

My plan for that pop up shop includes doing custom dog ornaments (or cats or bunnies) with a percentage going to the Animal Rescue League in Westbrook!  I asked one of my dog-loving FB buddies to send me a photo of her dog...and here's her ornament of her (obviously) good boy - Connor! 

If you would like one, email me (anntracy51 at and I will send you an invoice for a down payment.  I'm thinking of pricing these at $25 as it does take some time to make them (including processing in photoshop, printing, drying, applying to wooden disks and then painting backs and edges gold). 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Back to the Boards...

Even though I'm still working on several art and photography projects, it's back to theatre with the World Premiere of a new 1-act play by locally renowned playwright, director and actor, Bess Weldon - Madelines.  I was asked to direct a 15 minute snippet of the play (along with another 10-minute one by Caroline Gage) for a show called The Maine Dish, produced by SnowLion Repertory Theatre featuring 10-minute plays by members of their PlayLab.  We're producing the whole tamale this fall as part of the Portland Theatre Company's Studio Series running from Nov 18th to the 22nd.

But as you know, ticket sales only make up 25% of a production's budget, so we're raising money so we can give all the creative professionals involved with the project a small stipend.  You can help us by clicking here and donating a few bucks.  We're almost halfway to our goal now!!  Here is a photo of some of the video outtakes:

(left to right) Karen Ball plays Jenifer and Julia Langham plans Debra in Madeleines.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Monday's Muse

Today's creation will probably be printed on paper and matted for the Birthday Bash here at Running with Scissors, Oct 3rd, Saturday from noon to 6 pm.  At 7 pm, Port of Est will play for an hour.  Come by to see me as I'll have some super deals on prints. 

Was in NYC meeting up with our Sicilian friend Mimmo and will have photos up either here or over at the photo blog.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Showing this September

I'm an alum of the Continuing Studies program at Maine College of Art and made it into this juried show with the following piece.  Must thank you Kim Bernard for that wonderful Encaustic Workshop that lead me to printing cell phone photos on Japanese mulberry paper and then imbuing it with encaustic wax for a luminous, translucent effect!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Summertime and the Living is Getting More Complex

Even though I had intended to take the months of July and August off - guess what?  I'm booking up again.  I really can't bitch though as I've still got my exhibit of Cuba photos up the rest of the month at the Freeport Library.  On Sunday, I take down the Nada Dada Motel show at the Dock Fore, but no sales to show for it.  This means I have a complete package with all of the work that I should be pitching to some galleries in Reno!

Am working on a commissioned piece that's very large, comprised of some of the Cuba photos that are up at the library and a few others from my first show of Cuba photos back in 2014 at Constellation Gallery.

Had a very good production meeting this morning with Bess Weldon and Christine Sullivan about getting our PR / production / fundraising ducks in a row for a November production of #Madeleines for the Portland Stage Studio Series.  Audiences saw part of the play as part of the Maine Dish, produced by Snowlion Repertory Theatre's PlayLab this past April.  Audiences were so enthusiastic as were actors Karen Ball and Julia Langham and me, that we asked Bess about presenting the full piece.  The part seen at Maine Dish was only a small bit of a longer one-act play.  So Bess is polishing it up for you to see November 17th through the 19th at Portland Stage's Studio Theatre.  Here's a photo from the Maine Dish production.

Karen Ball & Julia Langham in Madeleines.  Photo by Ann Tracy

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Great Artist is Gone - Ale-ha Ha-sholom

I wish I had the chance to meet her, but while Miriam Shapiro was making art in California I was still working in dance & theatre on the East Coast, Colorado, Milwaukee and transitioning to radio news.

Dancing as Fast as I Can - Shapiro 1984
The image above is what I most remember about her work.  And after looking at this again and looking at some of my work around the studio, you can safely say that she was a great influence on me as an artist.

Didn't hear about it through mainstream media, but through one of my art blogs.  Here's MORE from Hyperallergic.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Newest Update

Remember that digital collage I was working on that included a portrait of Richard Prince and some of his work?  Well now it's morphing into a kind of physical object as well.  I've decided I'll print out the basic digital and then paste on the other images for one print only and will sell it (if anyone is interested) at $1,000.  Then I'll make digital prints of it and limit it to 25 copies as usual.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

NadaDada Motel in Portland Maine

Not exactly yet, but the work I created for Reno's NadaDada Motel arts festival is on view now at the Dock Fore tavern on Fore Street in Portland.  Got very lucky in the PR dept. with the local fish wrap - er... Press Herald, you folks know I'm joking right?

Here are the installation shots in the bar

If you didn't have a chance to come see it on 1st Friday, it will be up all month long down there.  And for the best art exhibit in June, I would give the award to Anita Holt pictured with her painting and sista artista Joni Fox-Campbell.

You can see in the smaller inset photo that Anita devised a backpack thing upon which to hang her painting, and continuing the skirt with real fabric?  Brilliant!

Monday, June 1, 2015

What's Good for the Goose....

Prince's New Clothes
Take a gander at's constructed of a photo of Richard Prince, along with an appropriated copy of one of his paintings.  Do you remember Prince?  He is the famous artist who has been working with appropriation for many years now and currently has a show of Instagram photos that he took from the web and then put his own name on.  They're at Gagosian Gallery in NYC. 

So, how about my appropriation of an appropriator?  According to this legal article by Nino Bastista, I probably have Fair Use on my side as I've done my digital alchemical magic on the images to create something new! 

And I'm going to go even further with it incorporating some mixed media and encaustic wax!  But this is after JK's sister and her hubby visit us.  They're coming out for about 5 days and we get to experience Maine like tourists again!  And of course I'll be making my (soon-to-be) famous lobsta risotto.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Reno Motel Art Comes to Portland Maine

Motel Variations: 24 Hours

When current Portland resident Ann Tracy lived out in Northern California, she participated in the Nada Dada Motel Shows in Reno (  She created her "Motel Variations" series for that DIY instant Art Festival that has been occurring in Reno since 2006 with each artist renting a motel room without any jurying.    Beginning on First Friday, June 5th with an artist's reception from 5 to 7 pm, Tracy's "Motel Variations" will be there at the Dock Fore, 336 Fore St. Portland, Maine.  The exhibit will continue throughout the month of June.  

"Motel Variations" are digital collages of photographs of old motels in Sacramento and Reno, along with shots of Reno's neon at night and "naughty" French clip art from the beginning of the 20th Century.  Tracy says she was playing with the concept of motels being places where illicit sex occurs.  The work has been described as Wharholian and Pop in that the source images are ordinary and Tracy combines them in an alchemical manner to create something bigger and more thought provoking.  

"I was part of NadaDada for three years", Tracy said.  "This is the first time this work has been shown outside of Nevada and California.  I loved being part of NadaDada Motel and getting to know the wonderful Reno artists, some of whom are still friends."

She is a native New Englander who grew up in the Maine towns of Fryeburg and Cape Neddick before her family moved south to Massachusetts and then west to Colorado in 1969.  After decades of living in Colorado, Wisconsin and California, Tracy is now calling Portland Maine home with her husband, two dogs and two cats.  She is a member of the Professional Women Photographers, Running with Scissors Arts Collective in Portland Maine, Digital Arts Guild, Webists International Artists and Maine Artists Collective.

Her  fine art has been exhibited from Japan to Maui to New York City to Spain and Budapest, Hungary.  She is a 2014 finalist in the Julia Margaret Cameron competition and was invited to exhibit at the 3rd Photographic Biennale in Malaga, Spain.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Excuse me, is That the Telephone Ringing?

It's always wonderful to work on art projects with other artists, even ones you've never met!  Such was the case when I signed on to the Satellite Collective's "Telephone" project.  Although the original message was " Breton fisherman’s prayer: Oh god thy sea is so great and my boat is so small.", you might not have divined that when you saw the photograph that I was given, which is the first image in the video I made, which you can see here.

When I saw the image, I immediately thought of Shakespeare's Richard III, which deals with betrayal and has a very important line in it about strawberries.  Big Shout Out goes to Nathan Langston, who directed and conceived of Telephone for the Satellite Collective.  Another one goes to the art blog Hyperallergic for covering the event.

Another Big Shout Out goes to my students for the "Unleashing Your Vocal Power" workshop I did on April 11th at the Real Media Sound Stage Studio.  Big thanks to Richard Pelletier for the space and my agent Krystal at Portland Models and Talent for helping to promote it. 

In the workshop we first recorded a radio spot cold.  Then we talked about how doing voice over work is very similar to stage and film work because you really do have to be an actor.  Then we did some of Kristen Linklater's vocal work from her book Freeing the Natural Voice.  I told the students that even though the work seemed a bit "woo-woo" with lots of imagery and relaxation, it really worked.  This became evident when we recorded the same spots again.  I promised the students that I would make an MP3 for them so they could continue the work at home, but have been sidelined with terrible neck and shoulder pain resulting from an unknown cause but occurring after 3 months of physical therapy for having a case of tendonitis in my right elbow.

Now for all of you that aren't on Facebook, we finally adopted two little rescue dogs and picked them up last weekend.  Crash passed on November 11, 2013 and it's really taken us this long to get over that loss.  Here is Tucker, a silver mini schnauzer who is 8 years old.

 And his best buddy, Mica, who is 5 years old and ironically enough has papers!  They are very much a bonded pair with Mica being the most inquisitive and loving to follow you all around the house - a velcro dog !

They are very sweet doggies and are being very respectful of the kitties.  We're a big happy family in the evening in front of the fire.  The boys are very comfortable being couch potatoes and we're trying to socialize them with other dogs at a neighbor's house (Bill & MF's place) so they can improve their walking with other dogs around manners. 

They had lived in Arundel (small town west of Kennebunk) when their owner was forced to give them up because of health issues.  I'm so glad we could give them a forever home for her.  And a big thank you to Almost Home Rescue of Maine for helping us adopt them. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Back to Brushes

Yes I was....painting with them.  Maybe it was because I'm still processing photos from The Maine Dish - that I will post at some point next week.  I had one started on a canvas that had some encaustic wax on it (I had used the wax to make a print on mulberry paper then coated with wax adhere to the small 10 x 8" canvas.  Didn't like the way it looked, so I pulled it off and used just a frame so ambient light could filter through from the back.  I had started to paint a bit on it and then just let it sit.  I find I sometimes have to do that with real time paintings.

"Knowing without Knowing" 
© Ann Tracy 2015

As I was starting on the above, I began another painting on paper.  Used the same technique of  working it a little, then letting it sit and going back to it and came up with this.

Looking Back on Emotional Disasters © Ann Tracy 2015 

If you're interested in either of these small pieces, please contact me directly as the originals will be available only through the studio.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

How About Some Food?

Not to eat, but to see how different playwrights take one topic - food - and write 10 minute plays about it.  That is what the Snowlion Repertory Theatre's PlayLab group has done. And tonight they open, 12 plays by local playwrights - one of which I wrote and two I directed. 

I was lucky enough to direct plays by renowned lesbian playwright Carolyn Gage and actress-director-playwright Bess Welden.  The producing directors of Snowlion took the casting reins and once more I got lucky with Karen Ball and Julia Langham to work with in Welden's Madeleines and for Gage's Clarity of Pizza, Katelyn Cyr and Bridgette Kelly. 

I also lucked out when Langham was also cast in my play, Pasta and Poetry, a satire of food TV game shows.  Big Shout out to the other actors- Patricia Mew, Eric Worthley, Victoria Machado and Andre Demers - who are rocking it and Al D'Andrea for directing.  A heart-felt thanks to all of you for bringing the words on the page to life on the stage!

Kelly and Cyr in Clarity of Pizza

Langham and Ball in Madeleines

Langham, Demers, Mew and Worthley in Pasta & Poetry
Tonight is opening night so I hope we have a huge house for the actors as they really deserve to share their work with an audience.  Here's a link to an article in the Phoenix by Megan Grumbling.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Warmer in Norway

Right now, it's 36 degrees in Moss, Norway and 19 degrees here in Portland Maine.  This. Is. So. Wrong.  I poked my head out the door to take this photo of JK shoveling, but then scurried back inside the house. 

Why the interest in Moss, Norway?  Because that's where Twitter artist David Sandum lives and produces his Twitter mail art shows to benefit different charitable causes in his community.  We used to do the same sort of fundraiser at Asylum Gallery in Sacramento in the day, where we asked mail artists to donate work and then would donate all sales to the Women's Wisdom Project which provided free art classes and lunch for women going through hardships like divorce, homelessness, cancer, losing a job, you name it.

Click on this link and you can see the original that I sent off to Norway.   It's called Toward Transcendence and is a multimedia piece.

But then I got thinking wouldn't it be nice to have an image of the Buddha in it.  I actually found an old photo from Hawaii of a Buddha and did some magic in Photoshop and it's now up at my art site at Fine Arts America.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Ready for a Rant?

Ya know how when you look at a menu at a restaurant, you have certain expectations based on the description?  Ever been in a situation where you ordered something and expected it to come as described?  That was my situation the other night when JK took me out to dinner...after a fabulous read through with my casts and playwrights for the two 10 min plays I'm directing for SnowLion Repetory's "Maine Dish" show of 10-min plays by local playwrights during Restaurant Week this coming March.

It was snowing here in Portland but there was nothing in the house to cook, so we decided to try out C2 ... the restaurant at the Westin Hotel which bought out the East Ender downtown near the Art Museum.  I've had a bug in my bonnet for quite a few years now about how the Westin rehabs the old hotels it buys.  That came about after they bought out the St Francis Hotel in Union Square in San Francisco.  Instead of saving the beautiful period work in that old hotel, they redid it in a style I can only call "corporate design" - everything safe neutrals with no charm or class and looking like every other Westin you've ever been in. 

My entree came with a port wine sauce at dinner that night which was not as it was described in the menu.  I returned it saying that I wasn't fond of a port sauce on the meat and it wasn't described as such in the menu.  It took a while, but I finally got my meal and the very professional and kind Assistant Manager of C2 came over to apologize and tell me that they were comping our meal because we weren't happy!?!

Brava to her for knowing that they need to be good to the locals who eat there as well as the travelers who stay at their hotel!  I wish I had written her name down as she was doing the right thing and I wanted to praise her for this.

And now for something completely different, a photo I took in an Irish bar last year in NYC...

They put a painting behind a piece of stained glass with a light on it....clever way to add ambiance and use some local artists (I hope).

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Streets of Asheville

 I think I'm just a bit infatuated with Asheville, NC, but please don't tell Portland ME.  Here's some photos I snapped while we were there and walking around.


Lots of old brick buildings and lights all had these wreaths

Looking toward city hall and Asheville Art Museum to the right

Installation of Kitties

Mural on parking garage

It was foggy on Xmas Eve

I liked the painted awning over this store

Sista ironing JK

This panoramic photo is the original lunch counter at the old Woolworth's which has been converted into an artist's gallery.  You can read more about it and the artists by clicking here.

Coming up next, traveling from Asheville north east near the town of Boone NC, where we visted JK's brother and his family.