Wednesday, August 25, 2010

tiny changes/ big announcement!

My husband gave me a copy of Frightened Rabbit's Midnight Organ Fight for Christmas and it whole-heartedly sucked me in. I know it came out a couple years ago and I cannot account for why I hadn't heard them sooner, but the first weeks of listening to them nonstop in the car was like embarking on a new relationship: it was really exciting, heart-skipping, breathless. The songs consumed my mind like I might think of a new lover in his or her absence-just wanting to be near again, wanting to nestle into those new warm arms, and trying not to giggle when we kiss.

(I am absolutely writing this with a straight face.)

It's actually a break-up album full of sadness, anger and brutal heartbreak- yet there's something so sexual and passionate about it, even hopeful. Scott Hutchison's voice and words will tear you to shreds and then stitch you up gently, ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

Their latest release, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, really does live up to its predecessor. The lyrical content explores the wild world that exists outside of, and in spite of, broken hearts while staying true to the personal and inner-workings nature Frightened Rabbit lovers have come to adore.

I traveled to Boston to see them in April, and I'm totally serious: my life changed. Remember, I'm married, I'm a mom, I'm an artist, I live in one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen,; I've been moved, I've experienced profound changes, and sometimes wonder what else could possibly move me. The answer? Frightened Rabbit live. That's the truth- pure, whole, open- three words I'd also use to describe the presence of the men themselves and how I felt on the four-hour drive home after the show, singing at the tops of my lungs through New England's overnight fog.

Now that you know exactly how I feel about Frightened Rabbit, it is with absolute joy that I tell you I've spoken (via e-mail) with Scott Hutchison himself and he has granted me permission to create Quiet City art inspired by his songs.

(That sound you just heard was the quiet thunder of my heart beating twice at the same time.)

Much like the music of matt pond PA drew pictures and painted scenes in my head, Frightened Rabbit has done what little other music does to me: inspires, consumes, creates. I plan to spend a great deal of time this fall using Mr. Hutchison's lyrics to build illustrations and collages, so new postcards, prints and originals will be popping up in the coming weeks.

I just can't wait to see what happens!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Picnic Festival, this weekend!

Don't forget, my friends! The Picnic Music + Arts Festival is happening this Saturday, August 28, at Lincoln Park in Portland.


I am so excited, I can hardly contain myself!

Quiet City will be offering postcards, note cards, stationery sheets, art prints, photography prints, original mixed media canvas panels, and tree ornaments! Make sure to come see me at Booth 55. My brother Ian will be helping man the booth, too. My day is going to be awesome!

While you're there say hello to my friends Mandy of Grandma June and Katie of Gertrude Knickerbocker.

See you this weekend!

Monday, August 16, 2010


It's summer, so I've spent a lot of time outdoors. I did a little running and bicycling before it got hot and humid, and I take a lot of walks with my son to fill these long, bright days. On the weekends my husband and I pack up for our small-family trips to the beach or we'll go on a local hike. Picnics on the lawn are quite common. My son and I planted a beautiful garden that is producing tons of grape tomatoes, sugar snap peas, red lettuce, zucchinis and summer squashes.

Outdoors is just where I like to be, and that's been reflecting in my recent artwork. (I've also been listening to the new matt pond PA album, The Dark Leaves, and Frightened Rabbit's Winter of Mixed Drinks. Everything sounds like the forest and oceans.)

Here is one of the pieces I hung at Verbena over the weekend:


"WILD" is acrylic paint, ink drawings on magazines and a paper grocery bag, plus sealants on 8"x16" canvas. See it in person at Verbena between now and October 15- it's located at 103 Ocean Street in South Portland, Maine. (You'll also find really delicious food and coffee there as well as Mandy, one of the cutest baristas you'll ever see.)

Friday, August 13, 2010


Oh my!

Seven and a half months with no updates. This is partially due to the fact I forgot my login to Blogger until it popped into my head tonight, and also because I've not completed a whole lot of work until recently.


I hope someone, anyone, still reads this. :)

I am pleased to inform you that I am actively working on new projects. On Sunday I will be installing some of my mixed media pieces at Verbena in South Portland, Maine! My artwork will live there near beautiful Casco Bay for two months.

Coming up on August 28 is the 3rd annual Picnic Music + Arts Festival in Portland. Ahhhh, I am so excited! I was a vendor last year and I feel like I learned a lot- mostly, what to do differently and BETTER- and I am really looking forward to sharing new work with the people who wander over to my booth.

You can view what I've been working on here. Happy mid-August to you and yours!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy New Year!... (cough cough threeweekslate)

I realize it's a pretty bad idea for me to leave this blog so deserted when I'm using it, technically, for my business. But friends! The holidays were crazy! I had several custom orders for tree ornaments, and that made me so happy. It kept my hands so busy, all caked in Mod Podge and tiny flecks of paper. I had a table at the Captive Elements holiday show and my Etsy shop was a-bustlin'.

I even had a custom mixed media order from a woman I went to school with from first grade until we graduated from high school (which was nearly a decade ago)! The wonders of the internet (more specifically, Facebook) reunited us and we found we live just a couple blocks from each other now. Back when we were teammates in elementary school softball, I never would have imagined our adult lives intertwining in such a way, but it's a sweet surprise.

She asked me to create a piece as a Christmas gift for her boyfriend. All she wanted was artwork depicting the two of them and she gave me artistic freedom. I panicked and paced for a while but eventually was quite pleased when I stepped back from the canvas to see this:

"John & Vanessa," December 2009

It's acrylic, papers, ink and sealants on canvas. Paper sources included clippings from a vintage ledger, antique encyclopedia, a French novel, a German hymn book and a map.

I have new projects in the work but I'll keep it under wraps until everything is shiny and finished. Don't you forget about me.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cyber Monday

I've extended my free shipping offer until today because, DUH! I almost forgot about Cyber Monday!

So, any order placed before midnight tonight tonight qualifies for free shipping. Simply enter code FS1109 into the "message to seller" box when you check out, and you'll be refunded via PayPal for the shipping charge.

Also, I'm giddy with anticipation so I can hardly contain myself! Yesterday I placed an order with for some note cards for my shop! I printed my postcards with them last year and was (and am still) SO thrilled with their quality. My new note cards will feature a selection of my photography and I'm anxiously awaiting their arrival to my doorstep!

Right now I'm in awe that it's already the last day of November. ALREADY! Unbelievable!

Friday, November 27, 2009

I would like to gently suggest avoiding the crowds this weekend and shopping online instead...

... and buying and giving handmade for the holidays!

From today until Sunday, November 29, shipping for your purchases from the Quiet City Etsy shop is FREE! This applies to everything except items from the "collage and mixed media" and "prints" sections- shipping for THOSE items is half off!

Type in code FS1109 in the Message to Seller Box when you check out. The shipping discount will be given via a PayPal refund.

(Please contact me with any questions about this discount!)

I hope you all had a beautiful Thanksgiving with your friends and family. Let this be a Bright Friday! Stay home this weekend, eat leftovers and support handmade! :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quiet City stationery

I do use a lot of e-mail and other electronic forms of communications. With friends and family throughout New England and Texas, and now a few in-laws based in Kentucky for the military, text messages and Facebook are quick and easy ways to stay in touch.

Despite this, I have always loved handwritten notes and letters sent through the mail. Ever since I was little and my family moved from Massachusetts to Maine, I've had pen pals. Opening up the mailbox and seeing an envelope with my name handwritten on the front has always been a thrill. On my end, I love folding up a card or a letter, neatly addressing it and sending it off with a little stamp in the corner.

I have almost every letter or card I have ever received- thankfully they don't take up a TON of room- but I have shoeboxes full of correspondence from elementary school until now. I LOVE writing letters. In fact, one day a few years ago when I was sorting them all out (yes, I actually did that) I found that the most letters I have ever received are from my best friend Laura, and most of her letters were sent when we lived just four miles apart.

My heart is so warm when I think of that.

And now, Quiet City visitors, I present to you illutsrated stationery sheets.



They are 8 1/2" x 11" sheets with illustrations along the edges, left in black and white so you can color them yourselves. The set includes envelopes. I have three designs available now, and more to come!


Please check the shop for my stationery sheets! And don't forget I have postcards too for the quick and sweet correspondence.

xoxo Courtney

Monday, November 23, 2009

ornaments, take 2

I have the photo-to-blog problem figured out (I think?) so I'd like to share with you a few pictures of my ornaments.




The first two have found happy homes, and the last one is still up for grabs in my shop.

You can also find my new gift tags in the shop, and lots more photos on Facebook.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

baby art

An old friend of mine is having a baby soon and for part of her shower gift I made some wall art for her daughter. For some reason it did not occur to me to take a nice photo of the finished product before I gave it to her, but I can share the almost-finished-image.


It's paint and paper on an 8"x8"x1" wood panel. I've done a couple other pieces on this same size wood, and I love the way it feels and looks when it's done. The size and texture seem perfect.