Painting Pumpkins with a Purpose!

What a wonderful group came out to support our first fundraiser, raising money for a mission trip to Belize!  Thank you to everyone who attended and helped make it such a success!  Our next fundraiser is this Tuesday, Oct. 28th from 6-8 for the Hornell Women of the Moose and the many causes they donate to.  Come show your support as you paint this kayaker paddling by moonlight!  ~Aimee

Call 585.447.3206 or email info@zest4art.com to sign up!

photo 1

Kayaking by Moonlight

LOVE

My tagline “Eat. Paint. Love.” is a spin on the book, “Eat Pray Love” (which I haven’t yet read but will get to it one of these days..)  The first two are pretty self explanitory.  Love referes to my mission.  I’ve found it’s not always easy to give, especially when you’re not rich.  Just in the few months since re-launching I have second guessed my “mission” to donate 10% each month to a different cause.  Friends have continued to encourage me, and when the time comes to hand each person or charity a check I find myself feeling love for a previous stranger.  Getting to know them, and understanding they truly appreciate any contribution makes my heart grow a little bit bigger.

This past week I’ve been thinking about my dad more than usual.  It’s now been two years since he passed away.  I continue to be moved as people share old and new stories of how he helped, motivated or inspired them, such as “The last time I saw him, he was at the back register at the Food Mart paying for some groceries for an elderly man.” There was a void in November of where I should donate, so I’ve decided to create the Randy Bergvall Scholarship for a senior at my high school who is pursuing a career in entrepreneurship, engineering or construction.  I also scheduled a fundraiser on my birthday and created this barn scene for it, which I think he would have liked.  ~Aimee

Red Barn

Painting the Hills

I’ve enjoyed watching the landscape change with the leaves as I drive to different venues.  I find myself thinking, “How could I turn this into a painting for class?!”  So many great classes lately – near and far – large and small, I enjoy them all!  Especially meeting new people and growing connections with my “regulars” (you know who you are!)  This is what I love even more than the painting.  So thank you again, to everyone who has painted with me!   Without you, what I do isn’t possible and I truly appreciate you!  ~Aimee

photo 2photo 5photo 3photo 4photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 HorseWildflowers 2photo 5photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 Fall Treesphoto 4Owls 1 Owls 2 Wildflowers

Whirlwind Summer

Wow this summer has flown by!!  I thoroughly enjoyed working with my summer intern Rachel, a Wayland-Cohocton graduate.  It was so great having her around and sharing the bit of knowledge I could offer.  She’s off to college now to pursue a degree in business and will hopefully still keep creating art!  Before leaving she gave me this awesome painting!

In addition to cramming in as much family time and fun outdoor activities as possible, the past few months have been packed with painting classes and summer camps!  It was such a wonderful experience working with the kids to create their fairy houses.  Their creativity was inspiring as they made zip lines, rock climbing walls and swings out of shells, acorns and pine cones, among MANY other things!  I’ve been gathering supplies and plan to continue offering those classes into the colder months.  ~Aimee

photo-23

photo 5 photo 2photo 4 photo 1 photo 2 photo 3BUTTER photo 2 photo 4 photo 5whim Paddys saratoga starfs BALLOONS SAN CARLOS

An Ocean of Music and Art

This past week I had some great classes at my studio in addition to the kid’s camp.  First was a group who had a special request for the sunflower.  They didn’t have enough people for a private party but I was able to work with their schedule to get it on my calendar as an open event.  Anyone is welcome to pull a few friends together and request a certain painting on a day as an open class.

Thursday I went to Ginnie’s going away party in Corning.  The ARTS Council has been so supportive and we will all miss her, but I know she will be doing many great things for the arts in New Hampshire!  I couldn’t help but get inspired by the great collection of art in their gallery while listening to a fabulous harpist.  I was reminded how charming of a town Corning is while walking up and down Market St. and ended up staying an extra hour enjoying the live music in the square.  Playing one instrument is hard and this guy played at least 5 and sounded like a whole band by himself.  Kudos to Virgil Cain – for real!

On Friday we painted the island scene and then I headed to The Cohocton Mill to promote my records by moonlight while jammin to the talented Dive House Union and Mosaic Foundation.  A double booked evening meant extra dancing and good times and I picked up a couple incredible handmade pieces crafted in the Ndor Eco-Village in rural Ghana.  I love seeing the amazing work people are doing for communities around the world.  ndorecovillage.org

Saturday I stopped by a fundraiser for the Kenya School Project.  I had donated a couple seats and got talked into staying for dinner and the raffles.  It was a huge success as they raised $10,000 for a truly great project!  I couldn’t stay away from Brae Burn for long and was back on Sunday for a wonderful class painting the beach scene.  A couple kids, some friends I hadn’t seen in a long time and a few new painters rounded out the group.  Thanks everyone for the great week of art and music!  ~Aimee

07.08_sunflower group 07.10 Harpist 07.10_corning 07.11_palm trees group 07.11_mill 07.11_mosaic 07.12_fundraiser 07.13_group

Art Camp

This past week was my first kid’s art camp.  I only had one sign up but I hadn’t done much marketing leading up to it and there is a lot of competition for summer activities!  Olivia has painted with me so many times already and is like a honerary niece to me so we had a blast.  Being the only kid I got to spoil her a little.  She is learning how to shoot a bow and arrow and had commented on my huge bullseye painting so I asked if she wanted to learn how to do one of the large drizzle paintings.  The look in her eyes was priceless.  She picked her background vinyl and the paint colors and learned how to glue a frame and stretch the finished piece.  She also painted two of her dog’s silhouettes.  In addition to the records we painted a treasure box and then went out to the beach to find a shell for her first “treasure”.  I had a rough start to snack time and my chips and hummus and freshly picked peas didn’t go over nearly as well as grandma cookies and freeze pops!  By the end of the week I figured it out. 🙂  Oh and on the last day I may have taught her how to drive the 4-wheeler, but shhh don’t tell her mom…  Olivia is coming back for more fun at fairy house camp July 21st – 24th.  We will be hiking through the woods to gather supplies and building portable structures out of these natural materials.  The idea was inspired by the book “Fairy Houses… Everywhere!” by Barry & Tracy Kane.   I know we’ll have fun if it is just us again, but it would be great if some more kids joined us as well!   ~Aimee

07.10_zebra 07.10_zebra blue 07.10_stripes 07.10_abstract 07.10_silhouette 07.10_starfish 07.10_treasure boxes 07.10_shells 07.10_4wheel 07.10_thank you

Rainbow Thumbs

Last weekend I got back in the saddle for the first time this year with Cait and Sarah who were home for a long visit.  It almost felt like the good ol’ days.  Cait’s baby was baptized and I was asked to paint this watercolor of a tree and then everyone added their thumbprint for the leaves and flowers.  It is a really cute idea and came out great!  If anyone is interested in doing this for a special occasion – let me know!  ~Aimee

07.05_Riding 07.05_Horses 07.05_before 07.05_after