Friday, December 21, 2012

Snowflakes for Sandy Hill

I taught elementary Art for 10 years.  Probably the best job on earth.

There were the times when a child would raise his hand mid-lecture to show me his brand new sneakers.  Or tell me about her new puppy.  Or the cupcake that Mom had put in the lunch box.  It was hard not to smile at these interruptions.

Once I had my back to the class trying to clean a particularly messy palette when I heard a noise behind me that sounded like a dove's coo.  It got louder.  I turned around to see what was going on when one of the children said "Look!  It's snow!!!!!"  Paintings were abandoned as we went to the window to watch.

After Christmas all the art sets came in so I could admire them and sometimes explain.  The proud new owners were soooo excited.

The parents being dragged around the school to look at the "student gallery" where artwork from each of my students would be displayed during open houses.

Always joyful, always smiles.

Maybe that's why I'm having such a hard time wrapping my head around the senseless tragedy.  I've been trying to come up with something I can DO to help.  This is what I've found so far:

***Commit 26 random acts of kindness.

***The Sandy Hook Elementary School has suggested that people wishing to make a donation can forward it to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund at

***The U.S. Postal Service has created a special postal address for this school community. You can forward mail and messages to P.O. Box 3700, Newtown, CT 06470.


***Finally, the Connecticut PTSA posted resources and tips on its site. For example, it came up with a plan to have students make snowflakes for Sandy Hook. If you want to run this as a student project at your school, you can send the snowflakes to the Connecticut PTSA at 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT 06514, by Jan. 12, 2013.

Thanks to the PTO Today blog for the addresses.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Print Sale!!

From now until Christmas - All 8 x 10 framed prints are on sale for only $20!!

Posting the florals first, but I'll keep adding as time goes on :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

How to deal with an Artist

Every now and then, I get a little reality check.  Turns out that not everyone sees art the way I do.

Like a few months ago.  A perfectly nice seeming couple commissioned me to make a painting featuring their friend’s boat.  Terms were agreed upon, reference photo taken & approved.  I went back to my studio and made the painting.  When it was finished I drove to deliver it.  Whereupon, the husband decided to haggle.  His point of view was that it probably only took me an hour or so to paint it - like Bob Ross on PBS and that I was charging way too much for an hour’s work!  He looked for flaws (too much red, not enough blue) and told me that painting was probably just my hobby so I should be happy he wanted it at all.

My point of view is that if the purchaser doesn’t believe that he/she is getting a fantastic bargain at the agreed upon price, they don’t get to take it home. 

Funny thing, when he saw that I was serious his tone changed completely. 

But it still bothers me.

Monday, November 12, 2012

What is a Professional Artist?

I came across this on Facebok via Samantha Thompson.  I'm not sure that I agree with all of the points, but it is a good checklist for those who want a small business in fine arts.

Professional artists are:

-seeking to build a reputation as a professional artist
-making regular attempts to bring his/her work to the public or relevant market
-having regular public exhibitions of his/her art work
-offering work for sale, or selling art work
-having work acquired for public or private collections
-securing work, commissions or consultancies on the basis of his/her professional expertise
-undertaking arts projects
-securing residencies, teaching, lecturing or giving public talks
eligible to apply for or has been awarded government grants
-seeking philanthropic patronage or sponsorship
-carrying out work in a businesslike manner (e.g. keeping financial records, having formal written contracts or agreements, having a written business plan)
-regularly participating in activities designed to promote his/her work including establishing a website and other marketing activities
-achieving industry or peer recognition through published works, critical texts or media profile
-building industry contacts
-renting, leasing or owning space dedicated for art purpose
professionally qualified or has equivalent experience typical of others in the industry
-a member of a professional association or union (like NAVA)

Oh yeah and you have to make the art too!

Monday, September 17, 2012


So much going on right now!

An update on 'have a heART" - I've made the newspaper again and gotten my first donations!  YAY!

Secondly, I'm full-swing into creating more stage props!  This time it's styrofoam candybars, huge cardboard bowls and a portrait of a 1920's female entrepreneur!  I'll show the pics when I deliver them so they'll have the appropriate backgrounds.

Finally, I'm painting with watercolor again!  I love how it's either fiest or famine with art.  The best ideas always seem to come when you're busy with something else.  I wonder if it's the same for other artists.

Oh, and I should definately share this from Barbara Smock Painting!   The Instant Art Critique generator.  It's given me the best art-nerdly laughs in a long time :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Yay!  I made the newspaper!

Hopefully the publicity will increase donations for the students :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I’m back!

Now that my studio is in order, and I’m (mostly) caught up with commissions, I am turning my energies to giving back!

In an effort to share my excellent luck in finding such a beautiful (and conveniently located) studio, I’m taking up collections of art supplies and gently used musical instruments to benefit the arts programs in the local public schools! I’m posting hours for the “Have a heART” drive as Saturdays in September from 9 - 2.

As a former public school art teacher, I know what the economic decline of the past few years has done to arts budgets. I’m just so excited that now I have an opportunity to bring support to these important programs!

To donate, just stop by my studio at 3707 State Route 12B in Bouckville, NY!

Here’s a map:
As always, comments greatly appreciated!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

So exciting! I’m having a grand opening for my new studio in just 2 weeks!

The space is large enough that I will be able to split it nearly in half for a gallery area and a working space. The gallery area has large windows and faces a relatively busy street. The studio space will be large enough for me to have several artworks going at the same time, AND for students to join me :)

Click on the picture for a listing of class offerings and a registration form.

Monday, June 11, 2012

So much has happened since my last posting!

I started up a face book page and a google+ page (still under construction)

Gave up on ETSY, at least for the time being. There just didn’t seem to be serious interest there. Lots of views but no purchases.

Sold a few paintings :) The new ones were all commissioned portraits so I won’t be posing them.

Started volunteering at the local American Legion. They needed some assistance getting word about their charitable work out to the public, so I made a logo for them and set up a face book page for them as well. They are I like the look of their banner, but think it’s kind of funny that I still don’t have one myself. I guess it’s a case of “the shoemaker’s sons go barefoot” They also asked me to help with their float at the memorial day parade :)

We won first prize! I painted the 4’ x 8’ murals, but they were designed by R. Eccleston. The plan is to have the sketch turned into a war memorial for the city. Hopefully the murals will help in their fund raising efforts.

In other news, my son will be graduating from High School in 2 weeks, we’re moving, AND I’m moving into a new studio space!!