I live in a neighborhood where there’s almost always something happening in the square: Saturdays are for the Farmers’ Market; Sundays are for antique and flea markets; and weekdays are for sitting on benches while people-watching. I was walking through the square on a Sunday in April observing vendors displaying a wide variety of wares when I was hit by a blinding flash of the obvious — this would be a perfect place to paint and sell my cards!

After securing a spot at the next month’s Second Sunday Market, I set up a table, displayed my printed cards, and arranged a vase filled with yellow roses for an in-person painting demonstration. Although business was quite slow for the first hour or so, I found the process of creating a new card to be a useful conversational starting point for anyone who ventured my way. I ended up chatting with lots of people that day (and selling quite a few cards!), but my most memorable interaction was with a young woman who had taken her mother out to Fells Point for Mother’s Day brunch.

The young woman was trying valiantly to get her mother to pick cards from the selections I had on display, but her mother kept looking for something she couldn’t find. When I asked her daughter what was going on, she told me that her grandmother’s favorite animal was the hummingbird, and her mother and aunts always looked for items with hummingbirds on them whenever they were out shopping. I immediately told both mother and daughter that I would be happy to paint a card with a hummingbird on it and let them know when it was available.

Just a couple of weeks later, I had a brand new hummingbird card painted, printed, and ready to be delivered to a woman who wanted to share these special birds with her sisters. Although there are 330 species of hummingbirds, I chose to paint the ruby-throated variety as they are the only hummingbird that breeds in eastern North America. The red and green jewel tones of this bird stand out beautifully against the white of the card and it has very quickly become one of my favorite paintings.

Do you have a special connection to any one particular flora or fauna? If so, please send me an email at or I’d be happy to create a custom card for you to give to others or keep for yourself — now that’s something special!

P.S. At the next month’s market I received a request for a seahorse; take a look at this custom creation here.

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