Maureen Wilkinson: The Light and Energy of Painting


Artist Maureen Wilkinson magically captures the light and energy of everyday moments in her paintings. You’ll have to stop by her studio to see them for yourself! She’s number 10 on your Shoreline ArtsTrail map, in Stony Creek.

Working in both oils and watercolors, Maureen’s work includes pastoral scenes, seascapes, animals and portraits.

Perhaps you’ve seen her work before? It is included in a number of permanent collections including at United Technologies, The Coldwell Bank in Avon, Avon Old Farms Hotel, The Governors House in Simsbury, The Farmington Inn and the 1820 House in Simsbury.

She is a well-respected, local artist who is affiliated with the Essex Art Association, the Connecticut Watercolor Society, the Gallery On the Green in Canton, Avon Arts Association, the Guilford Art League and the Madison Art Society.

In addition to a fine career as an artist, Maureen has taught painting for over 20 years.

You can see examples of her work on her website, but do make time to stop by her studio during Open Studios Weekend, November 22-23, 2014.

Click here to read more Shoreline Arts Trail member artist profiles.

- by Jen Payne, Words by Jen

Welcome Madison Artists!

Pictured left to right (back row) Robert Parrott, Anita Griffith, Dayna Mankowski, Melissa Imossi, Stuart Alan Lerner, (front row) Susan Gillie, Alice Chittenden, Diane Wright, and Laura Lyons. (Photo by Shoreline ArtsTrail Member Artist Christine Chiocchio)

The Shoreline ArtsTrail is pleased to welcome the following artists showing in Madison for this year’s Open Studios Weekend: potters Alice Chittenden, Anita Griffith, and Robert Parrott; painters Susan Gillie and Melissa Imossi; fiber artists Laura Lyons, Dayna Mankowski, and Diane Wright; and sculptor Stuart Alan Lerner

Mark your calendar! This year’s Open Studios Weekend will run November 22-23, 2014. For specific locations and more information about events, discount offers and participating artists, pick up a copy of the Shoreline ArtsTrail map, available in libraries, town halls, Connecticut welcome centers, and visitors’ centers in Branford, Guilford and Madison, as well as at the Guilford Art Center and the various studios. Contact Martha Link Walsh at (203) 481-3505 or visit for more information.

Click here to read more Shoreline Arts Trail member artist profiles.

- by Jen Payne, Words by Jen

Diane Wright: Finding Her Passion


Discovering her passion for fiber art after several career attempts, artist Diane Wright considers herself a “late bloomer.” But bloom she has — and you’ll see why when you discover her breathtaking quilt creations during Open Studio Weekend, November 22-23. She’s number 27 on your Shoreline ArtsTrail map.

“There’s a saying that says ‘bloom where you are planted,’ Diane will tell you. “It’s a corollary of ‘when given lemons make lemonade,’ and it seems to be my motto!”

“After raising three children, resigning from a successful career, resigning from a not-so-successful career and countless relocations spanning three continents,” she explains, breathlessly. “I discovered my passion!”

Since the 1990s, Diane’s focus has been on the fabric medium: fabric of all kinds, hand or machine stitched, often embellished with beads, fiber “shards” or found bits. Her work is noted for its use of color, original design and a variety of fabrics that includes commercial, foreign, hand painted and vintage pieces.

Her resume of exhibits is impressive, as she has exhibited in both solo and group shows throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts, as well as North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. She is a member of the Studio Art Quilt Association, Sisters in Cloth, Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective, and Connecticut Women Artists.

“I can very seriously say that I’d rather be in my quilting studio than any place on earth,” and you’ll understand when you set your eyes on her creations.

You can see examples of her work and read her reflections on being an artist on her delightful blog Diane Wright Art Quilts. This year, Diane is exhibiting with ArtsTrail members Alice Chittenden, Susan Gillie, and Laura Lyons at Wildwood Farm in Madison. For more information, visit

Click here to read more Shoreline Arts Trail member artist profiles.

- by Jen Payne, Words by Jen

Save the Date for Open Studios Weekend!


What are you doing the weekend of November 22 and 23? Visit the private studios of 42 local artists during the Shoreline Arts Trails 2014 Open Studios Weekend, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm along the Connecticut Shoreline, with simultaneous gallery events at Friend and Company (Madison), and Wall Street Gallery (Madison).

Artists from Branford, Guilford, and Madison participate in this juried, two-day event, presenting works in cut paper, fiber, found objects, glass, jewelry, metal, mixed media, paint, photography, pottery, print making, sculpture, textiles and more. Open Studios Weekend is free and open to the public, and there’s something for everyone!

  • Make it a family event! Open Studios Weekend is an excellent way for children to learn about art up-close: watch a potter’s wheel in action, see an artist’s studio in person, learn how everyday objects become amazing pieces of art, and much more! Before you head out for the weekend, be sure to download a copy of the Family Activities Sheet from the Shoreline ArtsTrail website. It includes projects for the whole family, great ideas for looking at art together, an article on the benefits of arts for kids, and more!
  • Enjoy a couple’s weekend! How often do you say “we need to get away for the weekend.” Well here’s your chance. The Connecticut shoreline is the perfect destination, and Open Studios Weekend gives you a chance to explore the area a little more intimately. Visit the studios of local artists, spend time together along scenic back roads with panoramic views, enjoy lunch or dinner at the sponsor restaurants, and book an overnight stay at one of the two featured accommodations.
  • Plan a girls’ get-away! There are 32 places to shop, 5 great restaurants, 2 beautiful overnight accommodations, and 3 towns to explore during this two-day art event. Sounds like the makings of a great Girls’ Weekend. Pick up a copy of the Shoreline ArtsTrail Map, plot your course, then set sail for a fun weekend with friends. A regular Open Studios visitor says, “I come in from Massachusetts for the weekend, and look forward to exploring the studios, finding great new pieces of art to take home, and spending time with friends over drinks and good food. It’s too much fun to miss!”
  • Meet-up with other arts enthusiasts! Looking to spend the weekend with some like-minded people? Watch for announcements by local Meetup Groups, including Fun Frugal Events, which is coordinating a Meetup event for Open Studios Weekend. See and search Branford, Guilford or Madison for more information.
  • Start your holiday shopping! Scheduled the weekend before Thanksgiving, Open Studios Weekend gives you a head start on your holiday shopping. You’ll find different types of art in a range of price points for any budget, all locally made. Plus, many of the studios are only open several times a year, so this is a great chance to find unique treasures. Do you like to think outside of the box when it comes to gift-giving? Then save the date for Open Studios Weekend!

The Shoreline ArtsTrail’s Open Studios Weekend is presented in collaboration with Guilford Art Center, and supported by local sponsors including Branford’s HOME, Luckey ReDo, Tommy Sullivans, and Words by Jen; Guilford’s Mix Design Store; and Madison’s Friends & Company, Tidewater Inn, and Wall Street Gallery.

Enhancing the weekend’s experience are local Lodge and Dine Partners offering special deals for ArtsTrail visitors. Enjoy a free glass of wine with purchase at HOME (Branford). Get discounts off meals at Bualina (Guilford), Friends and Company (Madison), La Rosticceria (Guilford) and Tommy Sullivans (Branford). Treat yourself to an overnight stay at the Kelsey House Bed & Breakfast (Branford) or Tidewater Inn Madison) at discounted rates, or have one of your purchases framed at Wall Street Gallery for 20% off. All you have to do is show your ArtsTrail map! (Check out the Shoreline ArtsTrail website for more details.)

Be sure to make time to visit the two concurrent gallery exhibits featured in November at Friends and Company and the Wall Street Gallery. The Friends and Company show will run from November 10 – December 28, with an Opening Reception to be held on Sunday, November 16 from 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. The Wall Street Gallery Show will run from November 4 – November 24, with an Opening Reception on November 7 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

The Shoreline ArtsTrail was started in 2002 by a small group of shoreline artists. Their intent was to create an annual open studios event to allow local residents and weekend visitors to interact with artists and experience the creative process first-hand. The seeds were planted then and have continued to grow.

Now in its 13th year, the Shoreline ArtsTrail and Open Studios Weekend is a great way explore the shoreline’s arts community. Enjoy refreshments while you watch demonstrations and ask questions, meet the artists one-on-one and explore their studios, see new and amazing art, get a head start on your holiday shopping and much more. So, save the date and make it a weekend event with your friends or family!

During Open Studios Weekend, the colorful “Open Studio” signs point you to all of these artists and studios. For specific locations and more information about events, discount offers and participating artists, pick up a copy of the Shoreline ArtsTrail map, available in libraries, town halls, Connecticut welcome centers, and visitors’ centers in Branford, Guilford and Madison, as well as at the Guilford Art Center and the various studios. Contact Martha Link Walsh at (203) 481-3505 or visit, and its companion blog or Facebook page, for more information.

Thursday After-Hours with Martha & Maggie


Join Shoreline ArtsTrail members Martha Link Walsh and Maggie Dean for their September Thursday After Hours, MAKEUP WITHOUT CHEMICALS with Beth Records of Clippers Salon, on Thursday, September 11, beginning promptly at 6:30 p.m. at the Martha Link Walsh Gallery in Branford.

Beth Records of Clippers Salon will introduce guests to Youngblood Cosmetics, a line of mineral makeup gentle to all skin types. Learn to apply makeup to get the look you want with the help of a professional make-up artist. Bring your makeup bag to match colors and trade up!

Upcoming Thursday After Hours include Creating a Space You Love with Amy McNamara-Higgens on October 23, and Look Up! with Jen Payne on November 13.

Thursday After Hours are held at the Martha Link Walsh Gallery, 188 North Main Street (Rte. 1), Branford, CT 06405. Refreshments are served. A $10 reservation is necessary as space is limited and interest is high. Please contact Martha or Maggie at 203-481-3505 for more information, or visit

Shamanic Painting Workshop with Catherine Steinberg

Shamanic Painting is a meditative approach to expressing inner images, words, emotions, and sensory experiences with paint on canvas. A shamanic journey consists of listening to a specific drumbeat for about fifteen minutes and allowing oneself to be led to a dream state, and thus experience an altered state of consciousness. We will alternate shamanic journeying and longer periods of painting impressions from your journey throughout the day. Painting from this internal perspective can be liberating and exciting. There will be time for writing and group processing of your journeys and painting. No prior experience with painting or shamanic journey work is necessary. Please contact the Mercy Center for registration

Where: Mercy Center, 167 Neck Rd., Madison, CT

When: October 4th, 2014, 10-4pm; Workshop Fee Includes Materials and Lunch: $100

Contact: Mercy Center at 203-245-0401 or for information and registration

Recommended Reading: Shamanic Journeying by Sandra Ingerman

Bring: a journal, a bandana & wear comfortable clothing

Catherine Steinberg, LMFT, is a psychotherapist, shamanic practitioner, artist, and member of the Shoreline ArtsTrail. She has been doing shamanic work and facilitating expressive arts workshops for fifteen years. For more information, visit:

Melissa Imossi in Lyme Art Association Show


Shoreline ArtsTrail member artist Melissa Imossi is participating in the Lyme Art Association’s Summer Painting and Sculpture Exhibition, August Light. The exhibit is an all-members show, with an Opening Reception on Friday, August 8 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. The show runs through September 19.

The gallery is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme. Click here for more information.