GALA Exhibit 8/5-9/15/22

Galleries at Lynn Arts has a new exhibit! Landscapes/ Oceanscapes/ Cityscapes. I am delighted that 3 of my paintings have been juried into the show.

My seascape is Peaceful Cove (Shown), 11″ x 14″ acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas was done en plein air by the ocean behind the busy street of restaurants and arcades at Salem Willows in Salem, MA. It was a perfect summer day and I was painting with a group of friends. I turned to a little rowboat moored among the waving sea grass with a view of the boat yard at Winter Island in the distance. Pure peace! It was fun to see the other artists’ various choices of subject.

The landscape painting in this show is Frosty Morn, 12″ x 24″, acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas. Frosty Morn was painted from my kitchen window; I was inspired by the beauty of my neighbor’s evergreen trees with coats of newly fallen snow and by the lovely early morning sky and a pair of noisy blue jays. The fun of painting is that I had the choice (and took it!) to omit everyone’s trash barrels and cars parked helter skelter along the street. I left out all the houses and added a beautiful frozen lake.

My third painting in this exhibit is Boston Skyline, 11″ x 14″, acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas. One day I was stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on Route 1 South, going into Boston and took a picture of the breathtaking view of Boston’s skyscrapers lined up against a soft blue sky. I loved the strong shadows and the contrast of hard edges against the organic clouds. I have since painted this study of Boston in a large format, in slightly different colors, which can be seen on my gallery page at Art In Giving, www.artingiving.com which is a wonderful charitable foundation.

Galleries at Lynn Arts (GALA) is located at 25 Exchange Street, Lynn, MA 01901. The show runs from the opening reception on Friday, August 5 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. until the closing on September 15, 2022. The reception is open to the public and will include music and refreshments as well as a LOT if wonderful art from talented local artists. A donation of $5 is requested to help GALA in its mission to support local artists.


Marblehead Art Assoc. Member Exhibit

The Marblehead Arts Association will be presenting a wide variety of their members’ artwork in the Summer Member Exhibit which will run at the same time as the Marblehead Festival of Arts. I was glad to learn that my painting has been chosen to be part of the show.

My painting for the Summer Members’ Exhibit is Marblehead Harbor Panorama, acrylic on canvas, 12″ x 36″. It was painted in 2019 as part of the MF0A Paint the Town Exhibit, a plein air event; and it was chosen for the People’s Choice Award at that time. It is the painting that inspired my 2022 Cod for the MFoA Cod Auction benefit.

The day of the 2019 plein air event, I drove to Devereux Beach in Marblehead hoping to make a painting of the colorful beach umbrellas in the sand. However, when I arrived, the sky had darkened and it had grown cool. Instead of painting the deserted beach, I turned and decided to paint the dramatic view of Marblehead Harbor. The sea was a luminous light green due to the sun just beginning to break through the dark clouds. The white boat masts of the many crafts docked because of the bad weather shone against the glowering sky.

The exhibit will be on display June 25 to August 7, 2022 at Marblehead Art Association, 8 Hooper St., Marblehead, Massachusetts. Call 781-631-2608 for gallery hours.


ArtBox Salem, MA 2022

It has been a tough few years! The City of Salem, MA has decided to brighten up the city and raise citizens’ spirits with their Positive Thoughts Art Box Project. Following the theme of Positive Thoughts, artists will paint their utility boxes with bright cheerful imagery and incorporate uplifting words into their designs.

My utility box is located on the corner of Boston and Nichols Streets in Salem, MA. When I first saw it, the box was dirty and covered in graffiti and stickers. Once it was cleaned, scraped and primed, it was ready for some Positive Thoughts. My design shows a sunflower garden, full of cheerful flowers, butterflies and bumblebees. The sunflowers march around the box on all sides and positive quotes are painted both on the street side and the sidewalk side.

The street side sports a quote I have seen associated with sunflowers. Sunflowers, which always turn their faces to the sun seem made to illustrate this quote. “Turn your face to the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.”

I had originally thought this was a quote from Helen Keller, but while doing research I also found it ascribed to Walt Whitman. Diggin deeper, I found that both of these people were using the quote, but had not initiated it. The earliest version I could find is an old Maori proverb, so that is the one I used.

The quote on the sidewalk side is by the Dalai Lama XIV. “To make others happy, practice compassion. To make yourself happy, practice compassion.” I like this quote because sometimes it seems that compassion is lacking in today’s world. But I also like the reminder to also be good to oneself

Shore Lights

Connectivity / Diversity Show

Help Celebrate Arts Days in Salem MA and kick off the Memorial Day weekend! The Salem Arts Association will host an exhibit, Connectivity/Diversity, during the Salem Arts Festival. It is an open-themed exhibit showcasing the diversity of artistic and cultural expressions within the community.

My entry in the show is Shore Lights, acrylic, 16″ x 20″. This painting was inspired by an evening walk along the shore of the beautiful beach which runs from Swampscott, through Lynn and all the way to Nahant. That night, there was no moon and it was very dark. The water and sky were black, and the white foam of the waves was illuminated only by the headlights of the passing traffic and the streetlights. The ocean was brightened a bit by reflections from colorful taillights and traffic lights.

The artwork in this show will be on display from May 21 through June 25, 2022. The opening reception will be held Friday, May 27 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public at the SAA galleries at 159 Derby Street, and also at the SAA virtual online gallery, the online shop, and on social media. Salem Arts Association gallery is open Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 6:00 p.m.

The judge for Connectivity/Diversity will be Linda Mullen. Following 15 years in architecture, Linda launched Grace & Diggs in 2016. Grace & Diggs began as a shop on Salem’s Artist’ Row where Linda sold hats made out of paper bags and provided photo backdrops made out of recycled materials. She credits that experience for helping her set down roots in Salem, grow as an artist, and expand her work into the area of public art. She is involved in multiple committees and advisory groups including Salem Main Streets Steering Committee and Culture House Advisory Board.


Environmental Awakening Show

My small painting, Nasturtiums (watercolor & ink, 10″x12″) has been curated into the GALA Environmental Awakening exhibit! The show will be up 4/1 – 5/12/22 at Galleries at Lynn Arts, 25 Exchange St., Lynn, MA 01901.

The curators were Emmanuelle Le Gal, Stefanie Timmermann and assistant curators Nathan Hammerschmitt Le Gal and Nathanial Boyd. Many thanks to all the behind-the-scenes volunteers as well as the cleaning and hanging crews!

The Opening Reception for Environmental Awakening is Friday, April 1st from 5:30PM to 7:30PM. Three special guests will be attending. The first two, Lisa Wallace and Richard Valine, are founders of The Community Path Coalition. The association gifted us a bench made out of 100% recycled plastic waste that can be purchased at the exhibit. All proceeds will support GALA. Our third guest is Nathan Gray, owner of House Factory US, who worked with The Community Path Coalition. He’ll show us how he recycles plastic waste by shredding it, melting it, and then molding it into new objects. Creating small gifts made on-site to take home, Nathan will be located in the back of the LynnArts building (parking lot), so make sure to stop by! At 6:30PM all special guests will share insight on their collaboration and what’s coming next for them.

Additionally, Curator Stefanie Timmermann will present a unique installation out of recycled materials. She built an igloo-style prototype out of all the recycled milk and juice cartons donated by members of the community. At nearly 6 feet across, this dwelling is big enough to crawl inside, and once installed, she invites you to do just that… She’ll even provide a blanket!”

Due to Covid restrictions this will be a casual drop-in affair with no refreshments or food. We’ll return to our usual lively fun filled affairs as soon as we are able! Masks are strongly encouraged.

We’re asking attending guests (not artists) for a suggested donation of $5 if they are able. These funds help keep our ALL-volunteer organization going! Please invite family and friends and help spread the word about the show.


Solo Show!!! 11/2 – 12/28/21

My first solo art show since before COVID is being exhibited at The Peabody Institute Library South Branch for the months of November and December 2021. The library is located at 78 Lynn Street, Peabody, MA 01960.

Twenty-five of my paintings are on display throughout the library in the Main Section, Computer Area and Children’s Room. The Main Section contains many of my plein air paintings done on location in beautiful places throughout the North Shore. The paintings are seascapes and landscapes of scenes in Salem, Boston, Gloucester, Essex, Marblehead and more. The painting shown on this post is Stubb’s Landing, acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas, 16″ x 20″, $350. It was done at an idyllic road landing in Essex, MA on a perfect summer day. The two white birds showed up just in time to get into the painting!

The paintings in the Computer Area contain more plein air landscapes and also a collection of my tree paintings. Trees are my favorite subject and these fanciful paintings feature mostly my season paintings where the trees are shown through all four seasons. Many have a soft dappled metallic background achieved by painting many layers of metallic paints and glaze. These backgrounds were inspired by Asian panels at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. This type of painting changes its look depending on the quality of light that it reflects.

The Children’s Room features many of my colorful and lively abstract paintings, some done in the Op Art style. There are also many cute children’s illustrations of little animals and other subjects.

Any of these paintings would be perfect holiday gifts, or treat yourself!


GALA Member Exhibit

I am thrilled that my mixed media piece, Stairway to Heaven has been chosen to be part of the GALA Member Exhibit! This artwork was inspired by the rock classic by Led Zeppelin and I think its message is particularly apt these days. With all that has transpired internationally this last year and a half, it is all the more obvious that “all that glitters” is certainly not gold. The piece measures 20″ x 24″ matted and framed, $150.

Galleries at Lynn Arts (GALA) is sorry to inform that due to COVID, they will still be unable to host an Opening or Closing Reception for this show; and they look forward to when they can go back to hosting their trademark gala events. The show will be up from November 4 until December 9, 2021 at 25 Exchange Street, Lynn, MA 01901.


Member Exhibit 10/3 thru November 2021

After a very long break because of COVID-19, the members of the Swampscott Art Association are happy to announce their Fall Member Exhibit! The show will be on display at the Swampscott Senior Center at the high school from October 3 through the month of November 2021.

Members have brought a wide array of styles and mediums to be exhibited. My paintings in the show are both from my abstract collection. They feature bold design and bright colors and represent my urge to move forward with life! The painting, Hot Jazz (shown), 18″ x 23″ matted & framed, shows the excitement and movement of jazz music with bright color and lots of intersecting diagonal lines to keep your eyes moving through the artwork. The lines represent the hands of the musicians playing their instruments together and the clapping of people enjoying the music. The other piece, More Power, 21″ x 24″ matted & framed, is the piece that inspired my utility box mural at Riley Plaza in downtown Salem, MA. It shows electrical plugs moving and grooving against a colorful background. Maybe they are listening to Hot Jazz!

I hope you will visit my website, www.SheilaBillings.com to see more of my work. Also visit the Swampscott Arts at SwampscottArts.org They have also set up a also set up a Swampscott Arts Association Group on Facebook and an Event for exhibit at the Swampscott Senior Center.


Punto Urban Art Museum 2021

The Punto Urban Art Museum http://puntourbanartmuseum.org/ brings art to the streets of Salem. MA so folks can enjoy it as they live their daily lives and I am thrilled to be a part of it! Kate Fox of Destination Salem says, “The Punto Urban Art Museum brings something totally different to downtown Salem. The experience of walking through the open air ‘gallery’ to experience the large scale installations is a fun, unique, and colorful addition to the rich fabric of Salem.” The Museum is a project of the North Shore Community Coalition  Info@northshorecdc.org and is located in the El Punto neighborhood and features over 75 large scale murals by 30 world renowned and 25 local artists within a 3 block radius. The website says the art aims to create neighborhood pride and increase economic opportunity for local businesses. VIEWThe ArtMEETThe Artists

I was honored to be chosen to be part of the very first Punto Urban Art Museum back in 2017 as one of the local artists creating 8′ x 8′ murals on Peabody Street. And I was thrilled to be picked to do it again this year! We have a couple of weeks in which to finish the work, and half the fun is chatting with the other artists painting nearby, being amazed at the gigantic bridling-sized murals done by muralists from all over the world as they work from power lifts, and interacting with the many residents as they walk down the street.

This year the theme is “The American Dream” and each mural shows a different artist’s take on the idea. As a retired public school teacher, I was inspired to use our free public education system as my starting point. My mural shows multi-hued books (in all the colors of the flags of our families’ old countries) flying from the darkness of ignorance to the light of freedom and knowledge. In the lower corner two books labeled Truth and Facts sleep. I was referring to the habit of some Americans lately to accept lies and unfounded nonsense as fact without ever researching for themselves. Perched on top of the pile, and beginning to wake up, is a book labeled Curiosity. That book is looking with fascination at the soaring books: Math, Languages, Culture, Geography, Literature, Science, Art, Music and History as they fly to the light of freedom, encircled by the words, The American Dream. In the lower corner is the phrase, “Education Gives Us Wings”.

I hope that my mural inspires kids to take full advantage of the good public education being offered to them. Adults can be reminded that they need to constantly feed their curiosity as life long learners, and keep track of the difference between Truth and Lies. Please visit my website www.SheilaBillings to see more of my work.

The enormous building-sized murals can be seen all over The Point neighborhood in downtown Salem, MA. And the smaller 8’x8′ murals by local artists are lined up all along Peabody Street. I hope you will treat yourself to a walk through our museum!


H7G Museum Store — Autumn 2021

The House of the Seven Gables has the nicest gift shop! And it’s in the oldest building at the site, the Retire Beckett House which is also one of the oldest homes in Salem, MA. I’m delighted that they show some of my work there including my Salem coloring and activity books, original paintings, prints of my artwork and blank cards. They have also given me permission to paint in the gardens whenever the mood strikes, which is quite often! Between the glorious gardens, the lovely old buildings, the fresh seaside location and the interesting visitors from all over the world, it is a very inspiring place to paint.

My newest works being shown are mini original acrylic paintings, each on it’s own wee easel. They’re only about 3″ tall and the ones I just dropped off are all autumn and Halloween themes each created exclusively for The House of the Seven Gables. The scenes include various views of the famous house, some real and some with fanciful Halloween additions. These little paintings are perfect for hostess gifts and souvenirs. The can add a whimsical and colorful touch to your decor.

Autumn is the perfect time to visit Salem, and The House of the Seven Gables is a great place to go to learn so much about Salem’s history. The tours are conducted by friendly, knowledgeable guides and the grounds are lovely. If you don’t have time for a tour, did you know you can just visit the shop? Simply request a special sticker from the entry desk, and no admission fee is required. Have fun!