Who was Martin Grace?

First, get a look at me at the age of 32! This photo was taken in the wardrobe tent for the movie, The Truman Show. For three months I was an extra, stand-in and double (for Laura Linney and Holland Taylor).


So who was Martin Grace? He was Roger Moore’s (Bond, James Bond) stunt double. He was also a stuntman for The Truman Show. If you’ve seen the movie, he’s the real driver when Truman, played by Jim Carrey, is driving around in the gazebo in circles. I was the car stunt double for Laura Linney who played Truman’s wife.

I felt safe with Martin driving, though when we stopped, we all looked at the tires and there were HUGE gouges in the tires. We nearly had a blow out! Martin was super kind, a real gentleman, and told me stories about working on the Bond movies. I hate to say it, but I was not, and have never been, a Bond fan. Still, it was like a fairytale to work with him that day.

The Truman Show had two stunt doubles for Jim Carrey. His other one was Pat Banta, who looks nothing like him in this picture. But, on set, he looked a lot like Jim Carrey. When we drove through the wall of smoke (in the movie Truman is trying to escape), we were blind, nothing but a wall of white. He could not see to drive.  A walkie-talkie person was telling him how to drive and how fast. He kept saying FU&*, FU&*, FU&*! We made it safely though the smoke, but I was wobbly legged when I got out of the car. Incidentally, earlier, I had first rode with Pat in the front seat while director Peter Weir and Emmy Award winning cinematographer Peter Biziou sat in the back seat deciding how to shoot that scene!!! So COOL!

See the photo of Jim Carrey and Peter Weir discussing a scene? Jim Carry was very attractive in person, he has a great smile & looks you in the eye when he says “hello”. I blushed EVERY time! Still, he has such a flat butt – LOL!

This movie filmed December 1996-February 1997 in Seaside, FL. This was before cellphones with cameras. We had strict rules about cameras and I followed them. That means I have very few images. Here are a few favorites.


Hanging with the extras at the tent. I made many wonderful friends!

When I was Laura Linney’s double, I got a trailer dressing room. It was small, but darn it, it was MINE for the day and my name was on the door! I am wearing the same outfit Laura wore for her character in this photo. I have a painful bun attached and I’m baring my high forehead, which I’ve always been self-conscious of. I think I was teased  when I was little and never got over it.

My mother-in-law Gayle Newman cared for Lily during this time as I was gone for long hours, and even did all-night filming. Lily was 6 at the time. Here they are visiting the set on a quiet day.

One of the call sheets I saved and some other memorabilia including a script. I have all my pay check copies too! I mean, I was being paid by Paramount Studios. It was all a dream come true, even if it was only for a brief time.

You may be thinking, if you watch the movie will you see me? I was what is called a “Featured Extra”. Most of my scenes did NOT make the final film. But, I am in the background many times, walk right by Truman in another scene, and have close-ups of my hands (but you all think it’s Laura’s hands). I was disappointed about not being more visible in the movie, but I was all over behind the scenes and met the most marvelous people. Peter Weir called me by my first name in his charming Australian accent!

One final bit: Here’s a photo taken around 5am in the extra tent.


My hair is pulled up in curlers win the back. Our days were LONG, but we were well fed. I also forgot to mention I was a stand-in. The director used me in place of the actress to set and block the scenes. I hung out with a lot of the crew and watched the actors shoot many of their scenes. I saw Jim Carrey throw a terrible tantrum one day – OH MY! He finally got the scene right when he was done with his hissy fit.

So, it was 100% a grand experience in every way and I am filled to brim with ARTitude over every minute of it!!!

I’ve been galavanting about…

going to art museums and events absorbing all the creativity. It’s been GLORIOUS!

For Mother’s Day, dear hubby, dear daughter, her sweetie and I headed to Fort Worth. We toured the Kimbell and Aron Carter Museums, went to the Stockyards to see a parade full of longhorn cattle, ate pizza, drank (responsibly), and were merry!

My favorite photo from the day is this one I took of Lily. She is conjuring the spirit of art!


Less than a week later, my friend Midge and I headed to the Nasher Sculpture Center for the Roni Horn Members Preview. O.M.G.! They do it right at Nasher.ARTBASEL2013_MEG_05_211_hornFullSizeRender Roni Horn’s giant glass objects in pastel colors are magical to see in the unique lighting of the Nasher gallery. Members and their guests arrive to champagne, wine, fruity water, delicious hors d’oeuvres, and a cold slab ice cream station. So Fabulous! Look how happy Midge is while she waits as her ice cream is made fresh on the spot.

We also made time to see the Dallas Museum of Art’s Mexico: 1900 – 1950 and Iris Van Herpen: Transforming Fashion exhibits.

Yesterday, on Sunday, I went back to Dallas all by myself. I saw the spiritually moving Wisdom of Compassion exhibit. I don’t even know how to describe it…it is deeply Buddhist, deeply illuminating, deeply loving. As he painted, artist Iwasaki Tsuneo prayed, offered incense, and chanted to infuse his paintings with healing energy. The art works have also been blessed by the Dalai Lama. Meditation pillows are placed in front of the works so viewers can meditate in front of them. The gallery is a super peaceful and healing place to spend time in.


My photos do not do his work justice. Mandala of Evolution “Who is my family”


Big Bang: E=mc2  “Where is Home”  The tiny details are breathtaking and impossible to capture with my iPhone.


On my way to my car, I saw a sign for a FREE concert by the Dallas Symphony for the Soluna International Music and Art Festival. So I was treated to an amazing 50 minute concert. The “cherry on the top” to my afternoon.

I am feeling so incredibly blessed by the opportunities in my life to experience the art of the masters. I am deeply blessed and feeling the ARTitude.




Lil’ Bunny

As promised, I’m posting a picture of the completed pillow made from an old family quilt.

I think bunnies can be enjoyed all year long, not just during Easter.

The appliqué materials are old, felted sweaters and a wool blanket. The design was inspired from a pillow I saw on Pinterest.


Yippy Yappy Doggies

Each night when Jeff comes home, the doggies greet him with great enthusiasm. Here is a poem I wrote honoring the yippy yappy beasties. (With a generous nod to “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe.

Once upon a daytime cheery, while I cooked, well…in theory.

Over air came yippy yapping, a furious volume in such a pour,

While I applauded said yippy yapping, suddenly there came more yapping,

As Daddy smiling did appear to yippy yapping at our home’s red door.

“Tis Daddy home,” I uttered, “yapping doggies greeting him at our door-

only this, and nothing more.”

So succinctly they remember to daily greet our pack member,

When the closing day’s sun turns amber, casting last rays to adore.

Eagerly I rushed the door-o: vainly seeking sweet kiss before-o

From beneath us abundant fur-o – fur-o of doggies on the floor – 

Steal away dear’s radiant kiss to instead greet doggies on floor –

Happily for evermore.


Look closely, can you spot three doggies behind all the yippy, yappy, yip-yap-yappys?

ARTitude + doggies = happiness

The Light of the Sun

By Ann Marie Newman

The shotgun blast of the screen door slapping shut

Announces to the bright, sunny world

The arrival of



My eight year old legs

Leap off the top step in a single bound.

I soar through the air




My landing is muffled in the pillowy, green grass

Surrounding my grandma’s farmhouse.

Overcome by the delicious ecstasy of warm, crystal clear, sunlit air,

I twirl, leap, and dance upon my bare toes like the

Bolshoi ballerina I imagine myself to be in that very moment.

With one final spinning leap,

I land, fall, and roll

One, two, three times, finally stilling

Spread eagled on my back,

Cradled by the grass whose silken blades

Tickle my bare legs; their welcome, gentle.

Beneath the calming midday sun,

I rest beside Grandma’s flower garden,

Where my eyes are treated to a brilliant, polychromatic rainbow

Of lusty blooms swaying in the breeze.

There I bask,

In the in-betweeness

Of soothing, cool earth embracing me

From behind,

And warm, flower-scented air caressing me

From above.

My right hand reaches blindly into the grass.

Plucking free a few blades, I bring them to my mouth and chew.

Mmmmm…the grass is a savory blend of sweet and bitter.

It tastes GREEN, and green tastes like life.

In the safety of Grandma’s yard,

I dare to close my eyes against the brightness of the sun,

So brazenly exposed in the naked blue sky.

I inhale. I exhale.

My breath slows and deepens. I feel my heart

Began to beat in rhythm with the pulse of the earth.

My hearing intensifies, magnifying the cacophony

Of living beings vigorously celebrating the day with me.

Bees humming, crickets chirping, Grasshoppers fiddling,

Birds singing, trees waving their arms and rustling their leaves.

Their symphony flows deep into the

Very center of my being…

I am in complete harmony with the universe.


In Northern Minnesota, summers are far too brief.

Days such as these must be appreciated with purposeful intensity.

The sensation of the sun’s warmth upon my skin,

The vivid sight, the heavenly scent of flowers, blooming,

The sacred songs and sounds of life, living.

The sensual feel and taste of luscious green, green, green grass.

All must be absorbed into my every cells memory,

As I lay in communion with the light of the sun.

So that I may be sustained through the long, cold winter

That will surely arrive

All too soon.

Like the shotgun blast of a screen door, slapping shut.


My cousin Mauri Torgerson (younger girl) and I standing in our Grandma Torgerson’s luscious flower garden while trying to ignore the busy bees about us.

I Remember…

I remember the Lake House best,
Not so much the Farm House that came first.
I saw the Lake House get built
The summer I was seven.

I watched Grandpa push a
Wheelbarrow full of wet cement
Across the soon to be
Walkout basement floor.

He accidentally lost control
The wheelbarrow rolled
Spilling a gloppy, glumpy
Pile of cement goo.

Oh he was so mad!
So mad at himself that he
Cried big boy tears.
Grandpa felt feelings like me.


Me and Grandpa and a dog at the farm in Clearwater, Minnesota.

I was born two days after his 61st birthday. I always felt a close, emotional bond with my Grandpa Peterson.


Reading the evening paper together. I still read the newspaper every day.

Grandpa was a “do-it-yourselfer” who liked working with his hands. Me too! He also felt feelings strongly. Me too! I try to channel those feelings into my creative endeavors in healthy ways – though, when things go topsy-turvy, you just might find me struggling with big girl tears. It’s all part and parcel of living my life with ARTitude.

April is Poetry Month, and so, so, so…

Doncha’ just know, know, know…

I’m reading a bit of poetry.


I’m also giving it a go, go, go…

Doncha’ just know, know, know…

At writing a bit of poetry.

Here I go, go, go!

ARTitude Gratitude 

Written by Ann Marie Newman

With extreme gratitude

I hereby direct my attitude

Towards an enduring certitude

That keeping one’s days trued

To the celebration of magnitude

moments of ART-filled solicitude

Blesses life in plentitude

With energetic fortitude

Making each day ever renewed

always imbued

With ARTitude!

It’s my personal Proc-la-poem-a-tion! >snort<


Expressing gratitude for art in it's many disciplines.