Friday, September 28, 2007

Helping Others (or how to not feel sorry for self)

"The Long Walk"

ACEO Original Colored Pencil Drawing

2.5 x 3.5"


It's true that the best way to feel better about your own situation is to help others who may be struggling more than you. Therefore, it is time for me (and you) to revisit and follow up on one of my earlier blog post about Kiva, the wonderful organization that allows you to make direct loans to people trying to better their lives in third world countries.

I have made loans to three women, close to my age range, all with children and working very, very hard to support a lot of people in very, very poor circumstances. Poverty we cannot even imagine.

These ladies are very strong and very brave. My loans have been so small for me, and so big for them. I don't even miss that money. If they pay it back, fine, I'll make more loans; if not, fine, too.

If you want to see my "gals" check out my Kiva lender page. Or better yet, get your own "gals"!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My Timeout

The Wrestler
Colored Pencil drawing
Sometimes when life gives you lemons, you just can't make lemonade. Instead you just have to pucker up and learn to deal with a very bitter, sour taste for a while. Which is what I have been doing for the past week or so; hence my lack of blogginess.

My son, who posed for the Wrestler, has decided to enlist and did so last week. He will be leaving for training two days before Thanksgiving. (Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out......)

Coping with his decision has been and is such a turmoil of emotions for me and therefore, has made it very difficult to be creative right now. Solitude is so necessary for an artist to create unless your mind is racing; then being alone is not good. Not good at all.

As in some of my past posts, I have shared that I have a huge need for control and order in my life. So, when things are completely out of my control, I clean, purge and organize. Trust me, you don't want to talk to me when I am dealing with difficult emotions, but you do want to turn me lose in your house! I have cleaned out closets, my studio, organized my pantry, kitchen cabinets and given away old items I no longer need. I have had to stay very, very busy, but not quiet.

My son has always been a warrior, I guess. He always dressed up as an "army guy" even when very small; he still gets together with other grown men to play paintball for hours and hours. This is something he has always wanted to do. One half of me would change this in him; the other half would never do that. But, I am beginning to deal with his decision a little bit better each day and expect to be making more work soon. So stay with me. I'll keep you posted. Here's how I've been feeling lately and I hope you can understand.


Colored Pencil Drawing


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New Slideshow!

Completed this piece very, very late last night and couldn't get a new photo done until today. Hope you like. Still trying to name this one.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Still at It

Colored Pencil Drawing
12 x 16"
I am still working on this piece and feel like I am struggling with it. Most of the time, I have a distinct vision of what I am working toward; other times the vision is a little blurry and the end result begins to emerge as I work. This is definitely one of those "emergence pieces". I will know when it's finished - not there yet, but very close.
My time spent making art has been eroded lately due to tending to the business side of my work. It's not the fun stuff, but I do know that if I want any kind of success, these are things I must take care of and can't ignore. This side of the business should be taught in art school so that it's not a complete surprise when you really begin to work out in the real world. (Thank goodness I had many years of experience in corporate America!) Here's just a sampling of what I've been doing:
  • Inventory and catalog my work
  • Take new work to the framer
  • Spend time with the printer, proof and order prints
  • Design and order new marketing materials
  • Keep track of financial matters
  • Schedule commissions
  • Prepare and package prints for resale
  • Package and mail e-bay orders
  • Constantly pursue and follow up on new opportunities to display my work

And that's just the basics. There's so much to do and many of us spend 30 to 50% of our time on this stuff. Not fun, but necessary.

Nevertheless, it is all worth it when I get to spend hours and hours making art. It's the best job I've ever had and I love it!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Knowledge is Power

"Big Talkers"
ACEO Original Colored Pencil Drawing
2.5 x 3.5"

One of my favorite things about life is learning something new. If I can say I learned something I never knew before, it's a really good thing in my book. It might be about science, the universe, philosophy, health, the definition to a word I've never used before, something about an author, a bit of history, some trivia, words to a song, how something works. Doesn't matter what it is - I love learning. If my life would've permitted it, I would be a full time college student forever.
So imagine my stunned face when I learned, while watching the View the other day, that I had never really known how to measure for my bra size! How could I have grown to be 48 and never known that before? I have worn a bra for most of those years (of course I didn't need the one I got when I was 12 and I didn't wear one at all while in college - it was the 70's) but apparently, I have been doing it wrong all this time.
At first, I was stunned. Why is this secret not handed down to us with all of the other "girl" knowledge we get from our mothers and the P.E. teacher (OK, maybe not her)? I have talked to my sisters and girlfriends about EVERYTHING, and yet, this topic has not come up. Were we all ignorant and afraid to show it? There is a bit of math involved, so maybe that explains it. I don't know.
But now that I have this empowering knowledge, I plan to use it and shop for THE PERFECT BRA. Now, if I could only find my tape measure. Yardsticks; not so good.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Buddy, The Supermodel

ACEO Colored Pencil Drawing
2.5 x 3.5"
Recently, I have been on a roll doing these little chocolate lab ACEO's, which I could not have done without my muse and supermodel dog, Buddy. He is there for me 24/7 whenever I need a fresh pose or some inspiration. He never complains, is always eager to work for little pay and needs no makeup or fuss. He is also not conceited or egotistical about all of his new-found fame. Better yet, he thinks all the drawings I have done make him look good - not one critical remark! Amazing.
I think there are a few celebrity "dogs" these days who could take a lesson or two.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

If I Didn't Need Sleep.....

ACEO Original Colored Pencil Drawing
2.5 x 3.5"
"Anywhere You Want to Go"
Why is it that one measly day out of the week for a holiday can set you back eons in your work schedule? Huh? Is it a time-warp thing? Did Einstein ever theorize on that?
Not only did I get behind in my work, but I think I picked up a gazillion (yes, I'm sure that's a word) other jobs to do. It's all good though and I hope to tell you all more and more later but here's a few highlights:
  1. Three calls from potential commissions - of course, all by Christmas. (But THEY are on time; I love the calls I get a week before. As if!)
  2. I have accepted a wonderful opportunity to participate in an art crawl in my own little suburb. Great idea and great opportunity. What was I thinking that I could pull an entire outdoor show together in two weeks. And during an Ohio State football game, no less! But it's coming together.
  3. I have been approached to teach a class for colored pencil drawing. Scares the bejeepers out of me; but I probably will step up and do that, too.
  4. I have been asked (and I accepted) the challenge of helping to set up a blog for our Columbus Short North Arts District. I accepted this challenge early in the spring and I KNOW I must have had a martini when this happened. BUT, I can do it!
  5. Oh, yeah, and just making art for all the shows I have coming up as well as for this blog! (Which I'd rather just be doing all the time anyway!)
  6. I have also agreed to supply snacks for one of the Monday night soccer games for my son.


When is the next holiday?