Saturday, August 27, 2016

Bring it, Grab it, and Sell it now!

"Auburn Nights" 16 x 20 Oil on canvas, available @ 
Neatness has its drawbacks. I find that “out of sight, out of mind” is what happens when I over-organize. Items or projects that have deadlines also must be near at hand and visible forcing me to critique them often, and to make necessary changes when ideas are fresh on my mind. 

If my schedule doesn’t permit, I at least make a note or use white charcoal to highlight the adjustments on canvas. Knowing where your gear is stashed away is another matter. When I sell something, I want to know exactly where my weigh scale is and my packing materials so my turn-around time is cut short.

Having a specific place for drawing papers, pencils, markers and charcoal makes it easier to capture an idea before it gets away instead of wasting precious moments scrounging for the things you need.

These same tools will assist you when you want to make quick edits or adjustments on a painting. If you are forced into hunting for the right object, you may forget what you were going to change in the first place.
"Fall in Apple Valley" (MN) acrylic on silk, available @ 
Everyone has their own unique way of working. The important thing is to keep working. I find I’m a little rusty after summer travel and vacations, plus this past year ill health impaired my ability to keep doing the things I love. I’m hoping it’s like riding a bicycle, but it’s not. Practice is the byword that keeps those brush strokes fresh and intuitive. 

Now I’m playing “catch up.” Plus I’ve always believed in going that extra mile. Using the best products to create and then adding in something special makes satisfied customers smile which turns them into repeat buyers.
Painting by Julie Paschkis
One of my favorite artists and authors is Julie Paschkis. She knows all about going beyond what is required. She once took a Spanish class in order to illustrate a book for Spanish speaking children. Words are used as design tools to enhance the learning experience. 
Her artwork is so joyful it literally jumps off the page. 

You’ll enjoy her web site:

A video allows you to meet the artist as she shares her work: 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Fellow Travelers Represent you, me and the Average Joe Blow

"Auburn Nights" 16 x 20 Oil on Canvas, framed
I saw a lot of colorful people on our vacation; first in the airplane, and then at the places we visited. What stories they could tell. And yet, we are all so alike. As we worried about our plans to deplane and whether to stay on board or go out for an hour to walk, eat and relax.
The woman a few seats down expressed the same concerns. 

The catch, we all agreed was the required removing of our luggage from the plane and then having to again re-board. We all made a group decision to escape for awhile in exchange for waiting in line a brief time before reclaiming our original seats.

Across the aisle, a man in his sixties captured my attention as he read an actual book rather than a Kindle. How did he read such small print? His gray hair was pulled back in a ponytail hanging down his back. His face was covered in a scruffy short beard and mustache; a new retiree perhaps heading for Florida?
"Window on Pine Island" 16 x 20 Oil on WrappedCcanvas
A red-headed young woman on my right hovered over a hand-held device playing a game. She didn’t say a word the whole flight. Finally she buried herself in a shroud of covers and went to sleep for the duration. When she awoke, I was stunned to see that her lips and jaw protruded far beyond how the average young girl might look. Later, my husband described her as looking “old for her age.” When it was time for her to leave, my heart went with her.

On the airplane, people of all colors, shapes and sizes laughed, talked, slept or read; each adapting peaceably to their surroundings. In this setting, it was hard to imagine that any would seek war or choose to maim, kill, or jeopardize the safety and well-being of others. And yet we read about this happening almost every week. We wonder about the mind-set of those who are capable of such atrocities.

"Blending In" Acrylic on Canvas
(We saw a few of these in Redwing, MN)

We are always on guard. When the airplane finally puts up its wing-flaps and the craft slows, we breathe easy that we’ve almost made it. Prayers of gratitude are mumbled. The passengers collectively brace themselves as the plane hits the runway. They apply imaginary brakes together and sigh when the plane makes its way to the gate.

For the length of this flight, the people have smiled politely at one another, gone out of their way to be courteous and respectful, even assisted with luggage when necessary. Where are the violent protesters and the mobs that create chaos and harm to law enforcers and business owners? Where are the bullies who wreak havoc on others? Who ignites the spark that sets off a chain reaction of destruction? What is their agenda?

My friends it is lawbreakers, gangsters, international syndicates, terrorists; and unfortunately, our local, state and national officials. For their own nefarious purposes, they set ablaze communities, instill fear and anger, destroy law and order to gain power over people, and the control of city and national power structures. 

When the party is over, they scatter like rats. Disguised as innocents, they offer money and support as they feign ignorance over cause and effect. And they get away with it! Not only do they play deaf and dumb, but they blame someone or something else for the carnage.

There are stories to be told, all right. But the tales are not about average people who go about living their lives in peace; who work and play, travel and contribute to society and in their neighborhoods. The bigger story is about corruption in government, about power-hungry ideologues who seek world dominance, and about why the people who elect them are willing to ignore their dishonesty and the stench that goes on right under their noses.

"Americana" 16 x 20 acrylic on canvas, in barn wood frame

Monday, August 8, 2016

Vacation Musings bring Insight and Patience

This morning I had my first cup of coffee on our son-in-law's deck in Minnesota. It was in the mid-70s with a slight breeze. Exhilarating after leaving Fort Myers 95 degree 90% humidity. We had to take a breather from the heat, so headed for Minnesota's cooler and breezier climes. Here the weather may change in an instant, but for now it is intoxicating.

We're on the go so much that I haven't been in one place long enough to blog. Today we're going to spend some time with my husband's great grandson Marcus. We haven't seen him, except for photos, since he was a few months old. Now he's walking. The family was eager for us to see their new home.

After 13 years in Fort Myers, my husband wants to move back to be near family. Now we've added house hunting into the mix on the condition that we can sell our villa. My online life is not affected in any way except for the transition periods, and the reason why this blog and others are super late.

Since my own children are scattered across the country, where I live does not seem to matter. The only change will be that they must visit us rather than have us fly out to see them. Aging does have its disadvantages. But more than getting older, ill health this year has cut a big swathe across my extracurricular activities.

We all have ups and downs in our lives no matter what age. How we handle the crises that come to us will determine whether we allow circumstances to get us down or to serve as a stimulus to our malcontent which motivates change.

Degas taped his paintbrushes to his arthritic hands so he could continue painting. Beethoven lost his hearing, but could hear the notes in his head and continued composing.

Countless other artists and musicians have overcome obstacles to create beauty with their feet or teeth. They have been blind and limbless, but have gone on to become famous using their internal gifts in spite of their disabilities.

Fall in Apple Valley, MN, water color on silk

Why not you? Why not me? You are more than the imperfect body you have been given. Your spirit and soul reign supreme. Your gifts are eternal and intrinsic to who you are. Don't give up on life just yet. Discover the power you have within. Test your limits. If you believe in a higher power harness your dreams to something greater than yourself.