Thursday, January 3, 2019


Robert Shetterly
"Reflections on Portrait Exhibit"

Carlo Pittore
"The Impossible Dream"
Sarah Bouchard

Members’ Showcase also welcomes 22 UMVA member submissions (the most ever!), all sharing their art and stories:  Kay Carter, Alan Crichton (and Crichton/Shahn sketchbook), Valera Crofoot, David Estey, Emma Geiger, Ellen Hodgkin, Nina Jerome, Suzanna Lasker, Lin Lisberger, Anne McGurk, Janice Moore, Leonard Meiselman, Wendy Newbold-Patterson, Don Mallow,  Mark Nelsen, Marcus Parsons, Brian Reeves, Claire Seidl, Pam Smith, Bonnie Spiegel, Mary Becker Weiss, and Amy Peters Wood.


Take your time to enjoy this beautiful 
MAJ Winter 2019 issue. A perfect way to 
start your New Year on a happy note 
(many happy notes)!

Friday, November 16, 2018


"Freedom of the Press"
© 2018 Mary Becker Weiss
1st Amendment Protections : Protect Our Democracy : 2018 Mary Becker Weiss
"Protect Our Democracy"
© 2018 Mary Becker Weiss

Sunday, November 11, 2018

ABOUT MY WORK 2010 - Present

What is the name of your studio?
Corniche (A corniche is a road on the side of a cliff or mountain with the ground rising on one side of the road and falling away on the other. The word comes from the French route à corniche or road on a ledge.)

What medium do you work in? 
  • Traditional photography and digital reconstruction
  • Abstracts derived from early photographs and geometric drawings with encaustics
  • Assemblage of fine art scrolls, antiques, ephemera and found objects
Explain what you do in 100 words.
For my assemblages, I first create a tableau inspired by one of my photographs, a drawing, literary passage or music. Once printed on archival canvas, I incorporate smalls that are meaningful to the theme, such as clock parts, letters, numbers, stamps, keepsakes that I have stashed away for years. Once the pieces are assembled, I present them on a cradled birch panel, wash them with encaustics or display them in antique lap desk compartments which were used for home schooled children at the turn of the century.

"A Love Letter to Victor Hugo 
© Mary Becker Weiss
(see more assemblages)
What are your Maine influences?
  • The support and encouragement of artists that I respect in and around Augusta, Hallowell, Gardiner, and Midcoast Maine, when I began my new work.
  • The ocean, it goes without saying, stimulates my senses and imagination on many levels.
  • Most recently I have been influenced and inspired by my collaborative participation in UMVA’s ARRT! Workshops and UMVA Newsletters as well as my certification as a TIMESLIPS facilitator, which is a creative collaboration of artists and storytellers with dementia and varying levels of cognitive ability in response to art.
What excites you about making art?
It took me a while to get there, but I would say the unpredictability of the outcome, particularly with my abstracts. I grew up in the military as a child where every thing was clearly defined and delineated. Everything was black or white. No gray. No play. No creativity or “interpretation.” 

It took me years to unlearn those lessons and rigid structure and to let go of the reins in creating some of my pieces. It is when I have been able to relinquish that control that surprises have come my way that were unanticipated. At first it was frightening to let go, but now I have learned to embrace and welcome that moment.

Detail of "Brave New World" 
© Mary Becker Weiss

Is there an underlying theme in your work? Why?
I was asked the same question years ago. At the time I said “introspection.” I would say that my answer is the same today. 

Do you have art in your house? What kind of pieces?
Yes, we collect contemporary art as well as vintage art. I have always been drawn to those artists who create with passion and abandon. I love the early work of Helen Frankenthaler and Georgia O’Keeffe (though I don’t have either one), but I am just as inspired by fellow Maine artists
    What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
    Graphic and web design, CNA, freelancer

    Why art?
    It emancipates my demons (and there are many)...

    What memorable responses have you had to your work?
    • I get lost in your work and it is full of wonder, movement... swirling, rhythmical, solid and strong (the use of that brilliant gold with the deep red) yet a place to get caught and lost."
    • "Such powerful work. I tremble."
    • "Your work is breathtaking and brave. I am in awe."
    • "Mary Becker Weiss' work is not just "out of the box" it is WAY out of the box!"
    • "Mrs. Weiss, I like your paintings. They make me really dizzy." ~ From a 4th Grader in Gardiner
    • "Dear Ms. Becker Weiss, I think your "Speechless" has left me speechless. Actually it's truly bizarre (though I have gone back to look at it at least a half dozen times.")
    • “Mary, thank you for teaching me how to see.”
    Has your work changed over time? In what way?
    Though my intentions have remained constant, my work has dramatically evolved through the years. When I first started with simple non-objective drawings, I was determined to try to “create something that no one had seen before.” (Robert Mapplethorpe) Hah! I do admit that some of my early “barbaric yawps” are still floating around out there.

    What wouldn’t you do without? 
    I know that there is a disparity between what you need and what you want. I’m in the process of defining them. 
    I need my family. 
    I need my friends. 
    I want chocolate. 
    I want orange. 
    I want B-I-G   M-U-S-I-C !

    What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
    • Love Edna St. Vincent Millay’s quote “depart, be lost, but climb.”
    Professionally, what’s your goal?
    • To continue to create work that is meaningful and to support those causes which have been so important to me through the years: “America Now: a Dialogue,” “Exploring Women’s Testimonies,” and “14th Amendment” at HHRC, “A Solo for Two Voices” at Unitarian Universalist Church, “Sister Rally for Women’s March on Washington,” “Transforming Violence II” at Harlow Gallery, and support of Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen for disaster relief.

    • To push away from my comfort zone. (Easier said than done, but I’m working on it…)

    Saturday, November 10, 2018

    Jose Andres' World Central Kitchen

    Had a chance to recently meet "THE MAN" who spearheads World Central Kitchen for victims of disaster when and where ever they are in need ~ Jose Andres! So pleased to shake his hand and to thank this gentleman for all that he has done. A true inspiration.

    Jose Andreas | World Central Kitchen
    José Andrés is nominated 

    "I didn't hear them. I didn't hear a thing..." ~ DT 2017.01.22

    "Women's March on Washington" 2017.01.21 Matt Sesow

    To be continued...

    Sunday, July 1, 2018

    "AMERICA NOW: A DIALOGUE" Portland Public Library, through July 21, 2018

     “It’s an incredibly important show in these times and a chance to reflect on what America means to us and what it means to be an American,” Bellows said. “I hope this show helps people reflect – and perhaps to act.” (Shenna Bellows, executive director of the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine) ~ Bob Keyes, "Feeling Desperate Artists Respond to the Times in America Now", July 8, 2018

    "The art of "America Now" tells us that unless we can live in harmony with one another and with nature we are doomed." ~ Edgar Allen Beem, "America Now and Then: Art in Times of Crisis"

    "The (America Now) exhibition is full of images that capture and comment on America’s anxiety sown by divisions across race, class, gender and politics. “America Now” reflects that anger and angst, while providing moments of empathy and humanity that connect people and offer hope for bridging the divides. In a world filled with contention, where respectful dialogue is elusive, “America Now” offers an opportunity for conversation." ~ Bob Keyes, "The Artists Are Restless" Portland Press Herald, October 29, 2017

    2018 Mary Becker Weiss

    Artist’s Statement:
    “A piece of artwork can stop traffic.
    Can make you think.
    Rise above the noise.
    Make you act.
    Make it impossible to forget.
    Make it impossible to walk away.”
    ~ Mary Becker Weiss 10.20.2017