Retro Photoshop Adventures. Artist Virtually Painting Around the World.

Retro Photoshop Adventures. Artist Virtually Painting Around the World.

Retro Photoshop Adventures. Artist Virtually Painting Around the World. American Artist, Plein Air Painter, Erin McGee Ferrell uses digital play to travel from Maine winter all over.

Artist in Chemotherapy Room. New England Cancer Specialists Maine

Artist in Chemotherapy Room. New England Cancer Specialists Maine

Artist in Chemotherapy Room. New England Cancer Specialists Maine. Contemporary Maine Painter and Citizen Scientist, Erin McGee Ferrell, with Maine Arts Commission authors project bringing patients LIVE art to health treatments., Artist Craftman’s Supply, National Organization for Arts in Health.

Weeks One and Two

Artist in Chemotherapy Room. New England Cancer Specialists Maine


For Immediate Release (February 7, 2018). 

written by Oliver Payne.

Media Contact:                                               

Victoria Foley, NECS Director of Marketing.

New England Cancer Specialists Hosts Working Artist

at Kennebunk Location Through Maine Arts Commission Grant

Scarborough, ME – New England Cancer Specialists (NECS), the region’s largest medical oncology group, is hosting professional painter, Erin McGee Ferrell ( at its Kennebunk location each Wednesday afternoon for eight weeks through March 21, 2018. The project, which is funded by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission and Artist and Craftsmen Supply, is designed to assess the impact on medical facility patients and staff of an artist working in their midst.

After her first session, on January 24th, Ferrell reported, “Among the nine people I surveyed today, the majority said that watching me paint was a positive distraction from receiving the chemo treatments.”

“We are excited to bring this project to NECS for the benefit of our patients, staff and community,” said Steve D’Amato, Executive Director of NECS. “Our patients and their loved ones are going through a lot when they walk through our doors, so we try to do whatever we can to make their days brighter and a little less stressful. Ms. Ferrell’s work appears to do just that, based on her first session.”

“I have often placed big paintings on medical walls to distract patients from pain,” Ferrell notes, “but this project is more about the response to my working in the space than the paintings themselves. I am surveying anyone who happens to be in the infusion area of NECS Kennebunk and is willing to participate—patients and their supporters, employees, and others—and am comparing the results with my long experience painting in public on the streets.” Ferrell has received guidance on the project from her research partner, social psychologist Betsy Parks-Stamm, PhD, and two board members of The National Organization for Arts in Health (

Ferrell’s residency is part of a pilot project designed to look at active verses passive visual art in the Health Care Environment. Traditionally, people think of art playing a passive role on the walls of hospitals and in therapy programs. More recently, active visual artists have been shown to alter environments in a way that improves the patient experience, decreases anxiety and fosters community-building. Ferrell’s goal is to further research and document more opportunities for collaboration between the arts and healthcare.

For more information about the live artist project or NECS, please contact Victoria Foley, NECS Director of Marketing at or 207-303-3225.


New England Cancer Specialists (NECS) is an independent medical oncology group with nearly half of Maine’s board-certified medical oncologists on the team. The physicians at NECS are nationally recognized for their expertise and experience, and they participate in more clinical trials than any other practice in Maine. NECS providers are often the first to offer leading-edge protocols and drug treatments based on the latest research. By partnering with physicians across the state and with many Boston hospitals, they aim to further increase the availability of and access to these novel cancer therapeutics and programmatic advancements. For more information, visit

Erin McGee Ferrell has been a professional artist for 25 years. A two-time cancer survivor based in Falmouth, Maine, she often works in public places where onlookers collaborate in her creative process. Among her many works are large 2-D mixed media installations for corporate and healthcare facilities, and urban architectural oil paintings from the streets of Portland, ME and Philadelphia, PA. Represented in Maine by the Venn and Maker Gallery of Portland, she is nationally recognized and collected by numerous institutions and individuals. For more information, visit

The Maine Arts Commission is an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Artist and Craftsmen Supply is a Portland retailer of art materials and supplies.

Artist and Craftsman Portland


Erin’s FAVORITE Quotes and initial observations from the first two weeks of the project:

“I got more accomplished today than just housework (and Chemo), I signed my name on a painting.” Patient.  (Week Two)

1. What Patients seemed to really enjoy was watching nurses, social workers, patients and their patient supports who all said, “I can’t paint,” pick up a brush and join the project. So much laughter! The remarkable thing was that the patients who were actively undergoing Chemo were encouraging all the people trying to paint. Lots of, “give it a try! You can do it! You have nothing to lose! It looks great!” The ones who needs the most support were offering it to those around themselves!

2. Sharing stories: While the cluster of patients, staff ect was gathered people were talking and sharing stories.

“Yes, I served in the army in Korea too.”
“I itch sometimes after also.”
“Oh you know Greg from that little store in….., we went to school together.”
“My daughter knows her….”
“Happy Birthday!!!”

3. Patients across the room who weren’t participating actively seemed to be affected. A patient supports wife across the room receiving Chemo was enjoying that her husband who usually walked around bored was actively painting. We brought the painting over to show her the parts that he painted. Other patients could hear the laughter, conversation, cheering, and they commented that it “uplifted to usual somber environment.”

4. I think the best role I can play is to provide a subject (such as vase of fresh tulips), introduce myself, create a large drawing with sumi ink stick (Bold, good composition), and then get others to paint in the colors. I guide the participants to explore wetting the paper and dripping ink and brushes of watercolor (wet in Wet) to wonder at the organic and uncontrolled spreading of colors into each other.

I’m encouraging exploring and play. Let’s see what happens when we drip in this color. What’s the contrasting color to blue to make this vase “pop.” There are no mistakes..we can fix what we don’t want to be there later. The drips can add beauty.

My army patient observed that all the drips coming from my sumi ink sketch reminded him of a spring rain.

5. Patients wanted to fill out surveys and sign there names to the painting. They all signed themselves except for one patient who couldn’t use his hands and the social worker signed for him with a balloon next to his name because it was his birthday that day.

6. Patients rescheduled their chemo the following times to when I would be coming next.

7. Robin Colby, the head nurse told me that the patients stayed beyond their Chemo time to finish watching the painting.

8. The painting was completed by me adding a layer of micro sharpie lines to adhere the piece. When I had finished I asked the patient near me if she thought it was completed. She asked me to add an additional tulip in a blank space and then asked me to paint it pink. I did both, she then added her name.

Erin McGee Ferrell


Painting BANDALOOP Portland, Maine. Portland Ovations. Erin McGee Ferrell

Painting BANDALOOP Portland, Maine. Portland Ovations. Erin McGee Ferrell

Painting BANDALOOP Portland, Maine. Portland Ovations. Erin McGee Ferrell, contemporary Urban outdoor artist. Aeriel Troupe Sept 28, 29.

Portland Urban Plein Air Painter captures Aerial Dancers on Canvas Sept 28 and 29. 2017

Portland Ovations Maine presents: Bandaloop with Plein Air Painter Erin McGee Ferrell capturing the performance LIVE on canvas.


Mixed Media on Wood. 30 x 40 inches each. Erin McGee Ferrell

Erin McGee Ferrell. Bandaloop


Ink on Watercolor paper. 36 x 36 inches. Erin McGee Ferrell

SEPTEMBER 28, 2017 – SEPTEMBER 29, 2017
Thursday, September 28 at The Westin Portland Harborview Hotel at 12 PM
Friday, September 29 at One City Center at 5 PM


Project Bandaloop brings to audiences performances of aerial dance. Under the direction of Amelia Rudolph, it creates a blend of dance, sport, ritual and environmental awareness. Inspired by the possibilities of climbing and rappelling, the choreography draws on aerial, vertical and horizontal movement to craft dances, many site-specific. The work explores the relationship between movement and gravity and stimulates viewers’ awareness of their natural and built environments. The dancers, climbers and riggers have enjoyed bringing their form of aerial dance to new audiences and have performed for close to half a million people at major city landmarks and outdoor sites such as Yosemite Falls, California, USA.” Wikipedia

Erin McGee Ferrell has been invited by Aim’ee Petrin, Executive & Artistic Director of Portland Ovations, to paint on location looking up at the performances. Bring Your easels and brushes and join Erin painting this fabulous public community wowing event!!!!!

For more information: Contact Erin .

Portland Ovations: “We are a non-profit performing arts organization in Maine connecting artists and audiences through diverse arts experiences. Be thoroughly entertained by live shows spanning the traditional to the contemporary, the popular to the unexpected. Learn from and be inspired by artists who openly share with us their passion and craft.” PortlandOvations.Org


Artist in Cancer Center. Maine Arts Commission Award

Artist in Cancer Center. Maine Arts Commission Award

Artist in Cancer Center. Maine Arts Commission Award.  Erin McGee Ferrell Granted Arts Health Care Initiative. Altering Environment.

Artist in Hospital Project. Maine Arts Commission Award

“I will spend 8 weeks as a LIVE artist with the New England Cancer Specialists. This project will be carried out in the Brunswick and Kennebunk Office locations February and March 2018 under Executive Director Steve D’Amato. My observations made from painting in public on the streets for twenty five years as a professional artist can be directly compared/ contrasted and surveyed in the Chemotherapy Infusion Treatment Center.” Erin McGee Ferrell

Funded in part by a grant from The Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

This project will receive guidance from Claire de Boer, Vice President of The National Organization of Arts in Health 

This project will receive guidance from Jill Sonke, Director, Center for Arts in Medicine, University of Florida.

Research Partners, Lisa Barelli Miller, Betsy Parks-Stamm, and Deborah Copas.

“This pilot project is designed to look at active verses passive visual art in the Health Care Environment. At this time art can be found in hospitals on walls and in therapy programs. Active visual artists:

1. Alter environments and improve the patient experience.

2. Decrease anxiety

3. Foster Community Building

This project will allow me to research and document more opportunities for collaboration between the arts and Health.

Watching a LIVE Artist in the Hospital ER waiting room expands upon my previous Pecha Kucha from the 2015 Global Alliance for Arts and Health in Houston, Texas, “The LIVE Artist in the Hospital Lobby.” After two years of continuing to paint in variety of public spaces my observations of outcomes remain the same. Live Artists alter environments, induce relaxation, and create spontaneous community. The artist creating alters the environment from one of fear and anxiety to one of engaged curiosity. The presence of the active artist induces relaxation for those who watch. Spontaneous community occurs around the artist. Patients and families talk with each other.

Related Research Articles:

The Effect of Live Music on Decreasing Anxiety in Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy Treatment

Alejandra J. Ferrer, MM, MT-BC

University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine Research Database:

White Paper: Talking About Arts in Health

The National Endowment for the Arts Guide to Community-Engaged Research in the Arts and Health:

The working visual artist in the Hospital ER Waiting Room alters the environment, induces relaxation, and creates spontaneous Community.

1. Watching an artist create while sitting in an ER waiting room induces relaxation in patients and their families.

2. Having an artist creating in the ER waiting room alters the stressful environment.

3. Spontaneous Community forms around the active artist, bridging strangers of all ethnicity.

4. Reinforces the Artist’s role as an active verses passive healer in Health Care Environments

Over the past two years I have worked with Maine’s refugee communities. Whole Foods Market Maine sponsored my Art/ Urban Garden initiative bridging diverse economic communities using visual art. My family has provided a home for two Sudanese children of a refugee mother for the past year. My experience in medical and health clinics with the children and also within the refugee community places me in direct engagement with this population group and their eyes into the health care environment.
My work as a professional artist and educator has spanned twenty five years. The experience I have renders me comfortable in all mediums and practices of Visual Art Creating.

In the Chemotherapy Infusion Treatment Environment I will sit with an easel and paint in watercolors. Patients and their caregivers will have the opportunity to watch and engage with me or not. I will paint from still life or take subject requests from observers. I speaking with friends who have received Chemo I understand that a variable in the experience could be the number of treatments received. I will be observing and asking  patients and caregivers, interested in participating,  their level of engagement and reactions to the active painter.

Data from participants surveyed will possibly be presented at the North American Organization for Arts in Healthcare Conference September 2018 in Austin, Texas as well to Maine Arts Commission. The project will be artistically strong in the renderings of the watercolors, demonstrative in professionalism in the healthcare environment, and thoughtful in the documentation and presentation of this research.



Cape Elizabeth Land Trust Plein Air Painting Auction 2017

Cape Elizabeth Land Trust Plein Air Painting Auction 2017

Cape Elizabeth Land Trust Plein Air Painting Auction 2017. Contemporary American Artist, Erin McGee Ferrell, Maine Lobster Truck Art.

Photos by Dave Dostie with Maine Magazine


10th Annual Wet Paint Auction Benefit

Sunday, July 9, 2017 from 4:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Breakwater Farm Road, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

30 Artists selected by Greenhut Gallery Owners, Kelley Lehr and John Danos.

“I created four large paintings over the weekend event. From Sun up to sun down. Maine Lobster Truck, was the painting I chose to donate for the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust Event. The other three works which depict the Cliff Walk of Fort Williams can be purchased through Portland Art Gallery.”

Erin McGee Ferrell

Photos by Erin McGee Ferrell

Maine Lobster Truck. 30 x 40 inches. Oil on Linen. EMFerrell SOLD

Erin McGee Ferrell

Collection of MaryAnne and Chris Cary.

Three Other Paintings Erin McGee Ferrell Created over the Plein Air Event Weekend:

“Stone Sculptures along The Cliff Walk. Fort Williams, Maine I, II, III

36 x 36 inches. Oil and Mixed Media on wood. Portland Art Gallery, Maine.