Friday, December 31, 2010

Just do it!

I once collaborated with the whole crew that was building my house.
We wanted to make a hearth from left over tiles and wanted us all to
work on it.
When the day arrived we all looked at each other sheepishly.
We had no idea how to begin, or what image to use.
Then all at once we were just doing it...Abby Shahn

Image: "Fibroid" by Abby Shahn

Thursday, December 30, 2010

ideas & dialogue

Let the dialogue begin & ideas flow (image by William Hessian):

It may be difficult to use spray paint inside the library, but maybe there is another way that is less toxic? Nora Tryon has silk screen experience and hopefully will devise a set up for us to produce things. This will definitely be a great manifestation of our efforts and I am personally looking forward to the collective creativity that will emerge!

-----Original Message-----
From: "William Hessian"
Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 9:16pm
Subject: Re: Draw-A-Thon prospectus


This is great to see a stage 2 of this project. i like how the draw a thon
are progressing, not just repeating. i also really enjoy the pictures that
were chosen.

I really like the idea of taking a few of these and cutting stencils, some
of the images are perfect for this. then being able to reproduce them
quickly on a massive scale. just need some spray paint, large card stock and
some knives. Do you think it makes sense to take a few of the images and
draw some simpler version that will easily translate to stencils?

I do not know how to silk screen, but would absolutely love to learn. So i
would really like to be on a silk screening or stenciling team if possible.

I would love to take a shot at doing some simplifying of a few stencils from
the selected images and see if they turn out feasible. I love the idea of
making large posters and signs with these designs. This is going to be a lot
of fun.


On Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 8:21 PM, wrote:

> Dear current and former participant,
> Attached please find our prospectus for the upcoming Draw-A-Thon at the
> Portland Public Library. For those of you not attending, we still want to
> keep you in the loop, so no need to reply. For those who are attending we
> ask that you look over some of the imagery that we've chosen to focus on and
> consider how you might help develop it into clearer, graphically dynamic
> poster sized imagery. We are trying to come up with the logistics of how two
> or three artists can work on each "concept" collectively. One possibility is
> to create an overall image that has "parts", like separate text or two color
> stencils, etc., so that each artist can stay busy and productive and speed
> along a process that might otherwise be very time consuming if created by
> one individual. We also would like you to think about possible ways that our
> previous imagery can be developed into simpler imagery that can utilize
> simple stencils or silk screening. Our facilities will be limited, but we're
> counting on our enthusiasm and inventiveness to carry the day! Please feel
> free to contact us with your thoughts, ideas & questions leading up to our
> event. I'll post them on our blog for all to see:
> Thanks and see you there!
> Kenny Cole
> 207 322-5243

William Hessian

landline- 207 948 1092

Friday, November 12, 2010

We did it!

It was an amazing day! Thanks to all the artists who participated, all the volunteers who helped set up, take down and feed us (Grazie Local Sprouts!!!), the fantastic sponsors (see the links) & Space Gallery for your immense generosity!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

March message focuses on the cost of war

Maine Veterans for Peace marchers in the midst of a 10-day trek from Farmington to Portland are carrying with them a list of dollar amounts. The numbers represent each town or city’s share of the country’s cost, so far, to fight the ongoing war in Afghanistan since 2001. The cost for the state of Maine over that time is $2.9 billion.

Bruce Gagnon, a longtime peace advocate who helped lead the walkers into his hometown of Bath on Monday afternoon, has been among those trying to draw attention to those figures through various events and activities for months. The number of marchers trekking from Farmington to Portland has fluctuated along the way, Gagnon said, but Monday’s contingent was around 40 people.

“We’re talking about the cost of war and going through 43 Maine communities,” he told a reporter from The Times Record as the group paused along the way in Woolwich. “We’re trying to get people to connect the dots between these wars and the economic problems this country is facing.

“We’re spending $8 billion a month in Afghanistan today,” he continued. “How can there be any economic recovery if we’re spending that much a month on a war? We’re trying to ask people how their communities might have been able to better spend that money locally.”
read more

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


These were last February's participants:

Barb Sullivan
Brian Reeves
Bud Swenson
Carolyn Coe
Corliss Chastain
Diane Dahlke
Elizabeth Kelley
Jean Noon
Joan Braun
Kenny Cole
Lynn Harwood
Marji Greenhut
Martin Steingesser
Natasha Mayers
Nora Tryon
Rob Shetterly (pictured)
Robin Brooks
Shanna Wheelock
Dana Trattner
James Douglas
Lucinda Bliss
Tess Hickey Cleary
Paula Dougherty
Heather O'Reilly
Jim Macdonald
Kate Brown
Ed McCartan
Hannah Kreitzer
Sarah Austin
Chelsea Ardle
Olivia Hanson

Poets include Betsy Sholl (Maine’s poet laureate), Henry Braun, Chris Crittenden, Jim Mello, Moi-meme, and Doug Rawlings and others, music by Hana Maris

They're getting closer!

Veterans cross state for peace
By Shlomit Auciello and Dagney C. Ernest | Nov 08, 2010


Rockland — As rain fell on Rockland, Monday morning Nov. 8, a group of slicker-clad men and women stepped outside of the First Universalist Church in Rockland and, to the thrumming cadence of Buddhist drums, stepped along the Broadway sidewalk to continue a journey that began Nov. 2 in Farmington and will end in Portland on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

Bob Dale of Brunswick served in the military during World War II. He and his wife split the more than 150-mile route planned for Veterans for Peace members and supporters. "I think we have to wake people up to the situation," Dale said at the start of the walk's seventh day.

"Everyone's complaining about not enough money for schools and other necessities, and here we are spending billions on the military every month," he said.

According to the website at, the war in Afghanistan has cost more than $360 billion since it began. That translates to more than $9,000 per household. The combined cost of both the Afghan and Iraq wars totals more than $1.1 trillion to date.

Peace walkers have varied reasons

South Thomaston artist Lyn Snow was walking on behalf of her husband, a World War II pilot. She said she wanted to promote the idea of people putting energy into peaceful activities such as farming and teaching.

Alex Valente of Windham is a freshman at the University of Maine at Farmington, where she studies cultural economics, a discipline that uses knowledge of people's cultures to develop working economic systems. More than 20 other UMF students participated in the walk's first day and many have continued to check in for parts of the event.

"If I can walk, and it's the only thing I can do to promote peace, I'll walk," Valente said as she prepared to join about 16 others on the rainy Warren-to-Brunswick leg of the journey. Vietnam veteran and Peace Walk organizer Bruce Gagnon said Valente had been doing homework as she walked.

The night before leaving from Rockland, about 20 walkers were hosted in 12 local homes.

"You come prepared to sleep on a floor with a sleeping bag and a pillow, but that's not all you get," Valente said. "There's a bond with the families. We exchange e-mail addresses."

"This experience teaches you so much about humanity," she said. "People want to do their part. They're loving and giving. It's an incredible experience."

Cost of war overshadows state and local budgets

Gagnon said the primary purpose of the walk was to raise awareness of the connection between the cost of war and the current state of the U.S. economy.

"Since 2001 the people of Maine have paid $2.9 billion as our share of the wars," Gagnon said. "Imagine how that money could have been used here in this state at a time when we're cutting back like crazy." Gagnon said Rockland's share of that cost was more than $17 million.

"I'd venture to guess that the Rockland City Council has been in a real quandary about what they're going to cut," he said. "We think there is an important relationship between endless war and the economic collapse at home."

Buddhist nun Jen-San has been walking for peace since 1978. She is a member of the Nipponzan Myohoji order of Japanese Buddhist monks and nuns, whose vocation is, primarily, walking for peace and other social causes. They have walked in Maine twice before, in 1982 and 1988.

"I'm a lucky person," she said. "Basically people are beautiful everywhere. This society is so isolated because of lifestyle and material [concerns]." She said that people who are materially comfortable sometimes fail to think of helping others.

Gagnon said post-traumatic stress disorder was also a huge issue. He said more veterans committed suicide last year than had died in Afghanistan during the same period.

"Their psyches are stretched like a rubber band and they're snapping," Gagnon said. "Families are being destroyed." He said that most of those in the military were working class and poor people who joined because they needed a well-paying job.

"It's really an economic draft," he said.

Valente agreed, saying that many of her peers gave the need for a steady income as their reason for joining the military.

"I don't know what type of world it's become when the only option you have is to lay down your humanity and pick up a gun," Valente said.

Gagnon said it was no coincidence that the top U.S. export is weapons. He said a policy of corporate globalization, with the U.S. being placed in the role of security service provider, was part of the Pentagon's stated agenda.

"They're turning my generation into killers," Valente said.

Personal experience turns warrior to peace

Gagnon said he had to get a waiver in order to serve in the Air Force during the Vietnam War.

"I was a Young Republican for Nixon," he said. He was stationed at an airlift base in California, assisting those who were boarding planes for the Southeast Asian conflict.

"When the planes would return they'd bring the body bags of dead soldiers," Gagnon said. He said the public protests held during that period taught him that such actions could change lives.

Valente said she wanted to wake up her generation.

"They don't link the war to their lives," she said. "They're too immersed in Facebook."

A dinner program at First Universalist Church in Rockland on Nov. 7 was well attended, with walkers and supporters packing the Griffith Room downstairs among food tables loaded with homemade fare.

Rockland City Councilor Elizabeth Dickerson spoke on behalf of the council to thank marchers "for your efforts on behalf of peace."

Area residents Nancy Button, Carney McRae and Hannah Batley led the gathering in a sing-along that included "Ain't Gonna Study War No More."

On Monday morning, the group planned to walk eight-and-a-half miles to Steve Burke's home in Warren for lunch, before continuing on their journey.

The pilgrimage is scheduled to culminate Thursday, Nov. 11 when participants in the Maine Walk for Peace, Human Needs, and Veterans’ Care join others at Portland's Space Gallery for what is being billed as "a day of arts activism."

The event in Portland is sponsored by the Union of Maine Visual Artists, CODEPINK Maine, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, and Maine Veterans For Peace. Participation is open to members of the public, who are invited to bring creative energies and ideas to help envision how war dollars could be otherwise spent.

For more information about the Peace Walk and related activities, visit the website at

The Herald Gazette Reporter Shlomit Auciello can be reached at 207-236-8511 or by e-mail at

Monday, November 8, 2010

Getting Ready!

Here is a picture outside the Meg Perry Center last Friday where we held a mini draw-a-thon warm-up session during Portland's First Friday Art-Walk. There is a great display inside of pictures and art from the last Draw-A-Thon that we had in February of 2010. Stop in and tell Jacqui hello from me! Meg Perry Center 644 Congress in Portland, Maine.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Skowhegan permit at issue for peace walk

By Doug Harlow
Staff Writer
SKOWHEGAN -- One of the organizers of the Sunday vigils for peace in Skowhegan and a supporter of a planned peace march next month left Skowhegan selectmen with more questions than answers Tuesday night.
University students and Buddhist monks, along with local activists and members of Veterans for Peace, are scheduled to march across the state in November to draw attention to the affects of war and war spending on the economy, Mark Roman of Solon said Tuesday.
Veterans for Peace, in conjunction with Waterville Area Bridges for Peace and Justice, are set to walk through central Maine beginning Nov. 2 -- Election Day. The Maine Walk for Peace, Human Needs and Veterans Care is slated to start in Farmington, Roman said.
The questions raised Tuesday were if the vigils and the march will need permits in Skowhegan.
Selectmen Tuesday night were about to approve an application for Bridges for Peace to hold silent vigils on the Margaret Chase Smith Bridges each Sunday, when Roman stood to withdraw the group's application.
Roman said he objected to needing a permit for the Sunday vigils on the bridge, which he said have been happening every Sunday for the past eight years. He said it was a matter of free speech, not municipal ordinance.
He said his Sunday group does not block the sidewalk, does not solicit donations or initiate response from passersby.
"To me it's an issue of Skowhegan supporting free speech," he said.
Selectmen accepted Roman's application withdrawal, but wondered aloud what to do about the peace march, which under town ordinance might be considered a "parade or procession," but was not included in Roman's original application. Chairwoman Joy Mase added that she did not know what will happen this Sunday when the Bridges for Peace group assembles for its silent vigil at noon.
Town Manager John Doucette Jr. said town officials will discuss both matters this week.
"The peace walk is to put a spotlight on what the war economy is doing to our country and is a walk for human needs and veterans' care," Roman said of the peace march earlier in the day Tuesday.
He said there is a core group of 15-20 people who will march, along with a contingent of Buddhist monks, led by Rev. Gyoway Kato, and nuns from the Nipponzan Myohoji order, with headquarters in western Massachusetts.
"The peace walk will average 16 miles of actual walking each day," he said. "Because of the great distances between stops, occasional shuttling will be necessary. Some people will walk the entire distance and others will join the walk for an hour, or a day, or several days."
The nation currently is spending billions on the Afghanistan war, Roman said, reducing funds for education, health care, infrastructure and social spending. Citing published reports, Roman said there is suicide in the military, as well as soldiers suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and sexual trauma.
Roman said the peace walk also will concentrate on the environmental costs of war with oil fires, unexploded weapons, polluted rivers, contaminated soil, and damaged landscapes.
He said anyone who cares to join the march and the public gathers each day of the walk is encouraged to do so.
Waterville Area Bridges for Peace and Justice and its sister organization Code Pink have held vigils on bridges in Skowhegan, Waterville and other Maine locations since 2002.
Doucette said the group never applied for an assembly permit, but when he saw an announcement on the Veterans For Peace walk, he contacted Roman.
"I saw that and I said I want to make sure they're covered so they don't have a problem when they get to town," Doucette said. "We do have a parades and processions ordinance."
The walk each day:
* Farmington program on Nov. 2 to kick-off the peace walk
* Farmington to Skowhegan on Nov. 3
* Skowhegan to Waterville on Nov. 4
* Waterville to Bangor on Nov. 5
* Bangor to Belfast on Nov. 6
* Belfast to Rockland on Nov. 7
* Rockland to Bath on Nov. 8
* Bath to Freeport on Nov. 9
* Freeport to Portland on Nov. 10
* Veterans for Peace will participate in the Veterans Day parade on Nov. 11 in Portland.
Community potluck dinners are scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Skowhegan Community Center and at 6 p.m. the following day in Waterville at the United Methodist Church on Pleasant Street.
Doug Harlow -- 474-9534

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Too much of Maine's money going to war

No matter who voters send to Blaine House, our next governor will be faced with a $800 million budget shortfall.
Last year, I listened to testimony in a joint session of the Appropriations and the Education & Cultural Affairs committees of our Legislature. Each agency head came forward to testify about cutting important programs in order to deal with last year's budget crisis. It struck me that every agency contributed in some way to the education of Maine's children: the state library, the Maine State Museum, the arts commission.
In the coming year, we will hear about more cuts on top of those imposed last year.
Where is all Maine's money going? In fiscal year 2009, 51 percent of income taxes paid by our state's citizens went to military spending by the federal government. This year it is 54 percent.
And if the proposed budget for fiscal year 2011 passes (Congress tabled it until after elections), military spending will climb to 57 percent of the total discretionary budget.
This is an alarming trend, leaving our communities and our states in dire circumstances.
We cannot afford to go on spending more than half of federal income tax revenue on destruction, while schools, libraries and other education resources are reduced. The path we are on is unsustainable.
No matter who is elected, join me in calling on Congress to bring our war dollars home (www.bringourwardol where they are needed. State legislators and governors have a role to play in making this demand.
Lisa Savage

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The stage is set!

Well, I just finished three days of installing my art at Space Gallery where we will be holding the was great fun! I reserved a section of my wall drawing for our event...looking forward to meeting all who attend and am very excited to see some great drawings posted into my exhibit!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

BOW$H training videos

Great way to get informed & focused:

Part 2 (~5 min.)
Explains the use of National Priorities Project data to connect federal spending to local budgets; gives links to other tools; talks about using resolutions to start community conversations about the local costs of wars.
Part 1 (~9 min.)
Ann Wright discussing the FY10 federal budget.

Lisa Savage
CODEPINK Maine Local Coordinator

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thank You Abby!

Waterville Morning Sentinel, October 7, 2010
‘Bring war dollars home’ instead of closing schools

There is so much political chatter these days about reducing the size of government, about cutting back on spending in order not to have to raise taxes. That seems to be the main agenda of both mainstream and “tea party” Republicans. It is a message that has many Democrats running scared.

In the name of this thrift, we close down schools. We cut essential programs in the surviving schools. We thus risk raising a generation of citizens who are ill-prepared to meet the challenges of the future. We allow our infrastructure to crumble. We put off spending to develop alternative energy. We ignore the risks of global warming. We say that we can’t afford a public option in our health-care legislation.

But no mention is made in these discussions about the elephant in the room, which is the war in Afghanistan and the continued occupation of Iraq. Aside from the moral questions about whether these wars are morally correct, there is another one. Can we afford it?

I have a couple of friends who are going around the state with a banner that says, “Bring Our War Dollars Home.” They have been taking pictures of themselves with that banner, in front of closed schools and shuttered businesses. I think that their message needs to be heard.

A while ago, Time magazine had a picture on the cover of a beautiful young woman whose nose and ears had been cut off by her stepfather. The message was that this is what would happen if we left Afghanistan. But her real choices were sad. She could be stoned or mutilated by the fundamentalists, or she could be bombed, arrested or driven from her home by the NATO forces. It’s time to end these wars.

Abby Shahn
Solon, Maine

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bangor Teach-In

CODEPINK Maine is a proud co-sponsor of this event. See you there!

Active Community teach-in Sat, Oct 9 1-4pm Unitarian Universalist Church, 120 Park Street, Bangor

KEYNOTE: Jo Comerford, executive director of the National Priorities Project.

Followed by talking circles where we can share how we can work for changed priorities and then a Walk for Peace to Cascade Park to commemorate the 9th anniversary of the bombing of Iraq

Potluck Harvest Supper honoring Dud Hendrick, President of Veterans for Peace with the Hands of Peace Award and Will Whitham with a youth Hands of Peace award.

Concluding with a program on organic sustainable gardening with music by Masanobu Ikemiya.

Maine Partners for Cool Communities will be giving away 50 re-usable shopping bags with weatherization information and gifts.

Those who may not want to do the Walk for Peace will be able to watch a showing of "Rethink Afghanistan" at the Center from 4:15 - 5:30.

This day is part of a national week of commemorations around the country.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Went to the Mall

Hello Maine organizers,
Your ears must have been burning last weekend as Codepink launched their national version of the BOW$H campaign, holding up Maine as a shining example to follow and learn from.

Below is a compilation of resources sent by Janet Weil, my co-organizer in Pink. She is based in the SF Bay area but works nationally. I am at this moment working on uploading a video of Ann Wright's talk about the federal budget from a well-attended training workshop for BOW$H action that Janet, Mark & I conducted last Sunday.

For a report on the Oct 2 One Nation march, see my blog post "Went 2 the mall"here. More to come soon.

BOW$H photos from One Nation

This book is a must-read, or at least a must-look-through, for BOW$H work:
The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict
by Nobel Economics prizewinner Joseph Stieglitz and Linda Bilmes
(Ann talked about their testimony at the event last Thursday on Capitol Hill).

What to do back in your home communities?
Check out this report back from Lisa in Maine:
and from Janet in San Francisco:

Friday, October 1, 2010

Mainers in Washington!

FYI, Maine's BOW$H banners will be in Wash DC Sat Oct 2 as several of us join the Peace Table contingent of the One Nation march for jobs.

On Sunday Mark will attend a BOW$H training workshop that Janet Weil of Codepink has organized to help activists learn how to bring resolutions at the local level. Our website is a prominent link on the Pink campaign page, and the slideshow on closed schools and businesses in Maine is embedded there as well.

I will attend a meeting of reps from groups around the nation working on campaigns similar to our i.e. defund military, fund human needs. In addition to the expected p&j orgs this meeting includes reps from labor, communities of color, and economic justice groups. Mike Prokosch of the Mass. 25% campaign invited me represent BOW$H at this meeting. Some of you may remember he and Susan Lees came up to one of our organizing meetings in Bath earlier this year. Our campaign is mentioned in a great article by Mike in War Times which gives an overview of national efforts. You can read it here.
Lisa Savage

Friday, September 24, 2010

Veterans For Peace Convention

For anyone out there who missed the Veterans For Peace Convention, here is a link to a radio program that covered the event:
"Voices" on WERU

Executive Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Contributing Producer: Carolyn Coe
Audio from the Veterans for Peace rally held in Portland, Maine on August 29, 2010. Approximately 300 people attended.
Gerry Condon, President of Greater Seattle Veterans for Peace
Will Hopkins, Iraq Veterans Against the War
Lisa Savage, Coordinator of Code Pink Maine and an organizer of Bring the War $ Home campaign
Sally Alice Thompson & Alice Ritter, Raging Grannies and VFP members
Emma’s Revolution (Pat Humphries and Sandy O)
Nancy Nygard, member of Military Families Speak Out
Michael Ferner, VFP Board President
Emcee: Bruce Gagnon, member of VFP Maine Chapter 0011

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bring Our War Dollars Home...News

The Alliance for Peace and Justice is making headway in our "Bring Our War $$ Home" campaign. The city council of Northampton, MA just passed the resolution calling for no more funding for the war, bringing our troops home and using some of the war money to create jobs, support education and to also help support all the veterans of the wars in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. We are pushing into more towns and cities here and hope to have more city/town endorsements soon.

One of the actions that is being born out our movement - we soon will have a picnic event in which military families, our alliance and the public will be invited. Our goal is to create an open dialogue with all groups.

Sherri Long

Image: sketch for wall drawing, Kenny Cole

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The date is set!

Our committee met last week to brainstorm about our next Draw-A-Thon, which will be held in conjunction with my exhibit at Space Gallery in Portland, Maine. What a great group of motivated people! Since that meeting we have been fine tuning details and debating the best day to have our event via email. We are excited to have picked Veteran's Day and hope to reach out to the public by offering to draw portraits of veterans and the public at large. We want to hear what everyone would like to say with regard to how we can better spend our war dollars and will include their thoughts on their portraits. Meanwhile I am waist deep in preparing hundreds of pieces of art to exhibit for my show, which will be hanging as a backdrop to our event.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

We Came...

We had a good turn out today for our Draw-In at the State House in Augusta. There were about a half dozen of us drawing away and helping those who stopped by to see what we were up to, vision how we could best spend our war dollars. I personally drew the following: a karate guy for more spending on sports programs, an insulated house for more spending on green energy efficiency, seeds and herbal plants for more spending on developing herbal medicines, a guy in a solitary confinement for more spending on humane incarceration and a dump truck for more money for jobs. Those were just a few of the many drawings that I created today. In addition to our Draw-In action we also delivered 187 booklets or zines that Natasha and I put together last Sunday from over 75 drawings that were created at the Draw-A-Thon, to all of the State Legislators. Each zine had 19 images and there were four different zines all together. Rob Shetterly gave a great talk, which really put into perspective how imbalanced our priorities have become. Our gross national export is weaponry...more than anything else, medicine, housing, etc. we export and supply the world with equipment for waging war. If you are reading this and are outraged at this direction that our country has chosen, speak your representatives and tell them that enough is enough, it's time to re-orient our priorities and start healing and improving our world, not destroy it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Good time was had...

The happy face of a busy artist. We produced over 75 images and Natasha and I created 4 different zines each containing 19 images. It was a great experience meeting new artists & supportive folks and rekindling connections with artist friends and acquaintances. Next stop is Augusta on Thursday to hand over our visual representations of what we think are better uses of our tax dollars to our legislators. Please consider joining us for another great experience in art making and hopes to be a great and artistically rewarding event. See you there!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dispensation cards are in!

We are so lucky to have with us on Saturday a representative from SlopArt, Maine's number one source for premium expressions. ( Natasha and I were afraid that some artists might feel a little hesitant to enter the realm of creating political art, for various reasons: lack of experience, it's not their style, not good at it, might confuse or disappoint their client base, etc. So we asked Brian Reeves, founder of Slop Art if he could create a dispensation card that could let anyone off the hook from any association with political art making. What this means is that should you have any hesitancy towards having your name or art associated with an extremely opinionated political activity, that could possibly offend sensibilities and brand you as radical rather than neutral, this dispensation card, which is official, would immediately neutralize any and all claims and accusations against you. I plan on getting one, even though I am fairly known for making political art, just for the shear convenience of it. Sometimes you just don't feel like explaining why you do what you do, or have done what you've done and you just flash your card and explaining've got certified to make all the political art your heart desires without any guilt by association! Thanks Brian, thanks to you and your company it's never been easier to make political art! Look for them at the Draw-A-Thon.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

We have a car poolee

Dana Trattner would love to carpool from Portland...anyone interested in joining can contact

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I've had some requests for carpooling to the draw-a-thon...I'm not sure of the best way to do this but is anyone out there travelling from Belfast? Please comment below if you can give a ride...thanks!

Monday, February 1, 2010

...there will be food!

Some of you out there might be interested in attending the post Draw-A-Thon festivities. Please come join us at 5pm for poetry, singing and a pot luck supper! You can click on the link over there on the right to open up a nice flyer that's much bigger so that you can read it!...or even print out and post in your community.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

It's Printable!

Anyone...please print this out and post it in your community! The link is under "links" to the right....draw-in flyer.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

List #2!

Here's Natasha's list:
--bus or van for every school, or gas money, and a creative person to take kids on field trips, at least once-a-week
--more percent for art opportunities
---ice skates for every kid and a safe place to skate that's kept cleared of snow
--swimming lessons and free camping trips for kids==jobs for artists, money for all NGO's to hire artists, artists for all schools, institutions
--artist-in-residence programs in every school
--universal single-payer healthcare, free health clinics, free dental
--energy retro-fitting for every house
--community gardens for every town with master gardeners helping people set up backyard gardens
--subsidies for the most nutritious foods and distribution of them to low-income people; make good food as accessible as junk food
--public transportation system for everywhere
--bookmobiles, local libraries, access to computers in local libraries, book clubs, reading aloud programs
--prison release programs, counseling, educatgion, mentoring of prisoners
--a total ban on smoking
--more orchards
--more park benches, especially artist-designed ones
--free college tuition
--free cultural events and subsidized tickets for low-income people to attend ones that cost
--fuel efficient cars for everybody
--solar panels for all
--distribution of home-grown food to those who need it
--ice skates, sleds, cross-country skis for every school
--free health care, including acupuncture, homeopathy, massage, and alternative treatments
--grants to subsidize the best newspapers to hire investigative reporters
--high speed internet free for everybody
--fully fund educational mandates
--make schools equal whether in poor or rich communities
--increase teachers' salaries and get the best teachers available
--hire artist to teach non-art subjects using the arts
--teach history in wonderful ways to make it living and relevant, and to highlight how people have struggled for their rights
--fund public television so it will become more educational, relevant, and create a less passive, better-informed public
--state should buy more land for parks and public access, especially along the coast
--clone Bill Moyers
--create a viable third party
--help schools reach all kinds of kids' learning styles
--teach foreign languages from first grade up
--promote cultural exchanges
--teach every kid to play an instrument and make instruments available
--teach local history in inspiring ways, storytelling programs, murals, etc.
--provide free childcare, top-quality, and Head Start programs
--create meaningful job opportunities
--hire home-makers to teach nutritional low-cost cooking to everybody who needs it
--set up apprenticeship programs for trouble teens
--give money for Haitian relief
--free pre-natal care and free abortions
--beautiful affordable housing available to all who need it
--create vegetable gardens and orchards at every school
--funding for diversity training, and civil disobedience training

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My List

Natasha asked me to come up with my own personal list of 50 things that I would spend the $2.5 billion of Maine taxpayers’ money that has gone to pay for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars up to now on. it is:
Retro fit Maine’s landmark architecture to net-zero energy efficiency
Invest in solar hot water systems
More park benches
Healthy food for every Mainer
Farmer’s markets
Art in prisons
More trains
Electric cars
Restore Mill buildings
More lobster
More wild sea life
50% for art in new construction rather than 1%
Paid family days off from work
Mentor programs
Drug awareness
Parades for every town in Maine
Local history museums in every town
Fishing lessons for every child
Free swimming lessons
Annual picnics for every business big and small
Free college education
Portraits of town elders
Pothole brigades
High speed internet to every household
More libraries
More boats
Bike paths
More technical schools
Doctors that make house calls
More farms
Medical universities
Less cigarettes
Less soda consumption
Exercise paths
Indoor activity centers
Swap shops
Building construction debris recycling
Toxic materials recycling
More bio fuel fill-up stations
More music programs in schools
More read aloud programs for children
More boat building programs for troubled youth
More performing troupes
More care for the elderly
More pizza ovens
Year round tourism
Local radio and television access
Cottage industry event centers
Small business convention center
More horses, cows and sheep

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Let's Collaborate!

Natasha and I were thinking up a way to make art at the Draw-In at the state capital in Augusta and we came up with the idea of creating drawings during the Draw-A-Thon that would have large blank areas in them, then make photo copies and use the photo copies to draw on during the Draw-In. Here's an example of one I just created early this morning before setting of to work. We thought that it might be fun to draw in this manner and that it would be conducive to creating a greater amount of drawings quickly...and would directly tie in our activities from the Draw-A-Thon. We'd like to be able to create many drawings so that each legislator gets an original work of art, but with 180+ legislators creating all of that work might be physically impossible for the time that we would be there. Maybe we could even create some kind of potato stamps or something to fill in the blank part of the drawings even quicker? I invite anyone out there who is reading this to go ahead, print out this drawing and try adding imagery to it, then scan the completed work and email it to me...I'll post it here. If this sounds like something you'd like to try then go to this link, click on "all sizes", down load the image and print it out:

Here's what it looked like after I added my own additional imagery to it. My process for drawing often involves looking through this old encyclopedia set (1966!) for funny images that I can then develop into a tableaux that comes around in some round about way to reference the theme of how to spend our war dollars. In this drawing I found an image of a town meeting, took away the audience, added some clouds, a heavenly arm with cash, a flag with a pine tree on it and a solar heating device...I'm sure that some one out there could probably do much better than that??!!

Monday, January 11, 2010


Natasha, Lisa of Code Pink and I are planning a draw-in at the State House in Augusta at some point during this 90 Day Campaign to bring our war dollars home. I was involved in a nation-wide draw-in that occurred in the early days of the Iraq war as a protest against the looting of the Iraq National Museum. The way it worked was that on one particular day artists all over the world went into museums that contained artifacts from ancient Iraq, sat down and did drawings of the artifacts. I organized one for the museum at Bowdoin College. It was a great way to get people's attention while being creative and enjoying some time drawing. Apparently there is an ongoing effort to recover stolen items from the museum and you can click on this link to learn more about that:
The Baghdad Museum Project
My thought for our anti-war spending draw-in would be to bring only pink pastels, crayons or pencils to show solidarity with Code Pink! If you are interested in being a part of our draw-in let us know, it would really help to know how many of us there will be. Of course when we finalize the details, they will get posted here.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Collins announces committee approval of DOD bill

It feels to me sometimes as though there is no limit to how deeply we are invested in designing, building and becoming economically dependent on the war economy. I've attached a gouache drawing here from a new series that I'm working on that will depict submarines from around the world. Though it was not created specifically for the 90 day campaign here in Maine, I thought that it would work well as it depicts all of those books sprouting circulatory systems...a nice metaphor for health and knowledge as an alternative spending goal? Here's the link to Collins' war spending achievements for it and weep: Collins' Report