Memory Gallery

I have been blessed with some truly amazing memories relating to my artwork and creative efforts.? It has been my joy to see my work, these creative “children,” out in the world!

One of my favorite memories was working with international award winning composer Robin Frost, who used my lyrics “House Cleaning Rag” to write an amazing ragtime song, called “House Cleaning Rag.” Here is an audio clip of Robin and I just singing the lyrics to his great composition – what a fun memory! -and you can hear I won’t win any awards for my singing!

Another wonderful memory was being a professional narrator (along with Dominic Byrne, a well-known BBC personality and narrator) for my children’s book, “Inca Dink, the Great Houndini.” I even took a photo of my Leonberger dog Inca with me to the recording studio, for inspiration. Here is an excerpt:

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In 2017 I was asked to read two of my works for television broadcast – very fun indeed! I chose two works that had a reference to knitting, in honor of my Mother and my Aunt and cousins, all of whom encouraged my exploration of the diverse world of knitting. When I did the readings, I wore my Dance of the Fall Leaves kaftan, based on my Dance of the Fall Leaves artwork. One of the readings was of a short story I wrote, “Nessie.” I had fun juxtaposing the traditional with the modern with the futuristic. This reading was broadcast on television 5 times in 2017 and has enjoyed some nice internet exposure:

I think the best way to share the rest of my favorite creative memories is visual – so below is a slide show sharing photos of exhibitions, openings, media, my wedding dress design,? licensed products, published books (poetry, philosophy, art, how-to and children’s books), parade floats, and much more.? In addition to the traditional slide show that follows, you might also enjoy my “Memory Ball” – this whirling, twirling ball is a fun way to visually see how “Memories make the World go Round!”

Another amazing memory are those times when I learn that my work received praise – especially when it gets on TV or famous people are involved – following are my two favorite examples:

The rainboots with my art were selected to be gifts given to the celebrities at the 2014 MovieGuide Awards, and it didn’t bother me one bit to be referred to as a “modern day Monet.”

Actress Jen Lilly holding M. Nicole van Dam's Bon Jour boot at the 22d Annual Movie Guide Awards

Actress Jen Lilly holding M. Nicole van Dam’s Bon Jour boot at the 22d Annual Movie Guide Awards

Another TV memory is a video of the Good Day TV Show on Fox TV that did a segment that shared the rain/garden boots based on my artwork with their viewers – luckily they posted it on YouTube so I can share the video here – Enjoy!

The boots in the video, plus other designs, are all available on Amazon

Fun, fun, fun!

Another great memory is having my art at Santa Barbara City Hall for almost a decade – from around 2006 until August 2016.? My artwork “Voting Booth” was the first thing a visitor to the Santa Barbara Mayor & City Council office would see when entering the office (see the artwork on the square wall).? The artwork was accompanied by an explanation of what the art meant:

My artwork "Voting Booth" first thing visitors would see at Santa Barbara City Hall Mayor & Councilmen's Office

My artwork “Voting Booth” first thing visitors would see at the Santa Barbara City Hall Mayor & City Council Office

I took a quick video:


I was thrilled when I was interviewed for television – never expected that!? The set was very professional – three cameras – all the equipment and lights – and the interviewer George Alger was a pro who made me feel at ease.? Of course I wore one of my scarves (“Bench at Giverny” as sold by Christopher & Banks departments stores).? I think the very best part of the memory was having my wonderful husband there to cheer me on!? Here is that interview in case you missed it the six (count ’em six!) times it aired on television:

In 2017 I was asked to read two of my works for television broadcast – very fun indeed! Of course I wore one of the lovely products with my art on it – the Dance of the Fall Leaves kaftan. Here is the first of the two to be broadcast – my poem “Life is Like Knitting.” I chose two of my works that had a knitting reference to tickle my Mother’s sense of humor. Following is the video of the reading, and below the video I have put the poem itself.

As background on the poem itself, I had written about knitting, and life, some years ago, when I was starting anew before I met my wonderful husband. Knitting was a lovely part of my relationship with my Mother and also with my wonderful Aunt Barbara and her daughters Rika and Claire. The poem is apropos of so many of life’s changes and decisions:

Life is Like Knitting

Life is like knitting
Sometimes each stitch falls easily into place
Each row upon row flowing with grace
And then, a mistake, not easy to erase

A choice must be had
Do we go ahead flawed, looking a bit bad
Or do we unravel and then
Begin, begin, begin again?

With each new start
The old design deliberately picked apart
Carefully the yarn from the needle unfurls
Undoing all the knits and pearls
Cautious not to harm
The tender texture of the yarn

This life’s thread must be used to stitch again
In our universal pattern of row upon row, til time’s end
There is no shame in each start anew
No matter how many restarts or how few

The rows undone
In the redoing are part of life’s fun
The lessons learned along each knitted way
Can be used another day
To last, to warm our souls a little longer
Making our life’s knitting that much stronger.

(c) 2006 M. Nicole van Dam. All Rights Reserved.

Another unexpected treat was to be the camera-gal for four music videos – never expected that! I wouldn’t have been able to do it with out quite a bit of patient instruction and direction, but what a fun memory to be in the studio with some talented musicians filming music videos! They even gave me cameraman credit at the end! IMDB watch out! Here is one of the four music videos, with Craig Andrews and Walt Dunlap of the group About Time performing their original song “Jet Black Crow”:

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Below is a screen show sharing more of my blog posts on a variety of things that might interest you – you can click on whichever post interests you to read the full post – Enjoy!



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In addition, you might also enjoy Nicole’s “Memory Ball” – this whirling, twirling ball is a fun way to visually see how “Memories make the World go Round!”

We thank you for your support and interest in my work!

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