The Artist—Maddy Brookes

Maddy Brookes’ idea to fund a trip to Europe next summer by selling her paintings to study art and culture and lend even more depth to her work is absolutely brilliant.  Maddy is a junior at The Rhode Island School of Design. She’s a remarkably prolific painter and also happens to be the lovely girlfriend of my son, Ellis Govoni a student at Landmark College in Vermont.

Think about the art market right now.  It’s nuts.  A small investment in a young painter could be very valuable one day.  Jeff and I made a small investment in the early 1990s in the artist—Ethan Murrow.  It was a really good investment, even if it was a stretch for us at the time.

Here’s the link and a chance to acquire a Maddy Brookes original painting:  https://www.gofundme.com/vz5sr2rd

Cake Maddy Brookes

Maddy Brookes acrylic still life two

See more work of Maddy’s at: https://maddybrookesart.squarespace.com/

I’m very inspired by the boldness of Maddy doing this and I have to tell you why.

As an artist myself, the idea that I have “a product” is very challenging…the work is personal and makes you vulnerable to criticism.  If I sold furniture, cars, sweaters, lawn mowers or cut your hair no one would think twice about me promoting myself and being very upfront about the price of that item. I’m going to challenge myself to put a few pieces up with the price tags and see what happens.  Thank you, Maddy.

Even when perspective buyers visit my studio I treat them like they’re visiting a museum.  That’s crazy.  I have a product.  Actually a very large inventory of products and I basically don’t ever let anyone even know that they’re for sale.

However, with art there seems to be a different relationship. Stay with me a moment.  If a 20-year-old college student told you that they were working to save money for a trip or to buy a car or further their education everyone would praise that effort.  However, with art there’s a perceived arrogance and it isn’t remotely fair.

Maddy has an AMAZING PRODUCT and she’s selling them to fund her desire to travel and further her education as an artist.  I hope you’ll check out Maddy’s work and even if you’re unable to purchase a painting, please send a note of encouragement or forward the link.  You have no idea what an e-mail saying, “I like your work” can mean to an artist.

Maddy Brookes acrylic still life one  Maddy Brookes self portrait

If I was invited to my own studio…

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I would think it’s a co-op of about five different artists and I wouldn’t even know what to pay attention to.  No wonder when I get there I’m not always sure what I’m going to work on—I want to do it all and sometimes, unfortunately, that’s immobilizing.


I think at this stage of my life I am seeking a more direction.

I don’t want to get static or rigid, but good grief, I think there’s a space in between.


I’ve decided to take a few minutes, get quiet and see what I want to work on BEFORE I take off for my studio.  I’m hoping that simple act will get me more focused and deliberate.  I’ll let you know if it works…but I might forget and you may need to e-mail and ask me about how it turned out. It seems like this just might be a natural state of our world…but I want to fight it.  There are so many things to pay attention to that it’s overwhelming.  OK, off to the studio, but first, I want to check out that song, book, technique, read my e-mail, the news, oh there’s a video I bookmarked…aaaarrgggghhhh.

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