Sunday, March 24, 2013

An Oddity--

I just realized that I hadn't seen my post from yesterday on my Facebook page so I came to Blogger to check. There it sat in my list of posts, still a draft and never published. So I hit the 'publish' button and off it went. And if that weren't odd enough, there was another post from a few days ago that was also still a draft. Strange!? I must have gotten interrupted (or more likely, interrupted myself!) before I took the last step in the process. In any case, two posts that were drafts are now published posts and I'm actually here "showing up" so that's a third small blessing for this beautiful Sunday.

Anita and Randy Morris own this 18" square wallhanging. I now have a second one available.
This is the second one that is now available. Ultimately, I will do
at least 4 of them and each one will be different, in terms of borders,
colors etc. This one is very "lime green",
which I personally am
attracted to. :)
Quiet day, in terms of customers, but a productive day in terms of getting work done. We have to finish the taxes and that will be off our shoulders for another year. One of my resolutions for 2013 is to enter my income and expenses each month rather than waiting until December or January for the end of January deadline. So far, I'm only 2 1/2 months behind. :( Another resolution was to set aside my collected taxes each month so that paying the Board of Equalization wouldn't hit so hard next January 31st. So far, I'm only 2 1/2 months behind on that, too. . . . . . I plan to try to catch up on both promises I made to myself. :)
What happened to my "Just Show Up!" plan? It seems that every day is so full that some things just get pushed back and unfortunately, blogging is one of those things for me. I find the immediacy of Faceback and the fact that it gets more responses and thus more interactions is more appealing to me than blogging. So if one has to go, it's always the blogging. And sometimes I feel like I'm repeating myself on my blog if I've already Facebooked about it so that's another constraint. I try to save the more "process-oriented" posts for blogging about, or the more thoughtful or longer ones.

As I read other peoples' blogs on my reading list, I find a lot of people blog about not having time for everything. And I don't blog about it, I just don't blog--but it's for the same reason. Time is of the essence, as are priorities. I like to blog but if it comes to painting or reorganizing the studio or planning for Sanger Art Hop, I choose one of the others first every time. And yet, in reality, I just need to show up and say something and let it go at that. OK, I'll try to do better.

My newsletter is rather the same way--I want to do it every month, but I just don't always do it. So, I'm going to start calendaring it again and see that it gets done because I always get results from it. It needs to be done today or tomorrow because this is the Blossom Trail time of year and this Saturday's Art Hop and next Saturday's Sanger Blossom Day Festival should be busy days here in town and at the gallery. Lots of people "hit the trail" to see all the blossoms in bloom along a stretch of road extending from near Sanger to the base of the foothills and into the surrounding small communities. It is really beautiful to see miles and miles of pink and white blossoming trees--peaches, nectarines, plums in many varieties.

What happened to "Just Show Up!"?

It's not that I'm not always busy--I am!--but rather that I just don't sit down at the computer and come to my blogsite every day. Some days, I start with good intentions only to find out the internet connection isn't working that day. Always 101 excuses, I guess. And usually the only reason I don't come is that I'm involved with something else. And I obviously must consider that "something else" more important than blogging.

I've always felt strongly that I don't like taking on commissions because I don't like to paint for someone else, sometimes in a style that's not my own. But I've decided that commissions can definitely be good things IF the request honors the style, thought processes, and final product that the artist comes up with. I'm recently working on 3 or 4 commissions or requests and I'm happy about all of them because I'm doing them my way, in my time frame, in MY style. So that's a great revelation, actually, and should have positive implications for the future.

Recently on my work table and now completed:

1. Two paintings about Duane Weston, Fresno music educator
2. Nineteen small bird paintings in watercolor for a painting for the local Audubon Society.
3. Three "Powerful Word" paintings and a cover for an upcoming calendar of 12 powerful words.
4. Three tiny owl paintings for a collector friend who saw the bird painting and requested owls
5. Thirteen small paintings for a set of Greeting Cards that are event specific, in a general sort of way

I'm feeling good about the paintings and about completing them. Onward and Upward now--on to other things on these gorgeous spring days!

Wreath by Susan Klassen of Reedley

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Recent Letter to the Editor/Sanger Herald

I've only written 2 letters to the editor in my life, this being the second one. The first was about the time that we started Art Hops in Sanger. I never thought I'd do this, but it's a great forum and I'm finding out that people DO read them!

February 21, 2013

A Love Letter to the Blossom Trail, the Sanger Community, and the Sanger Art Hop

The onset of the Blossom Trail season makes me aware that I want to live in a world where EVERYthing is capable of blossoming, not only the trees--but also the flowers, the economy, peoples’ attitudes and abilities, positivity, acceptance, creativity, talents, and beauty. According to the dictionary, when a plant blossoms, it produces flowers before producing fruit which can often be eaten. When people blossom, they become more attractive, successful, or confident and when good feelings or relationships blossom, they develop and become stronger. When communities blossom, there is no stopping them. I am convinced that Sanger is a place to believe in.

I’m so tired of people not moving forward toward their hopes and dreams by taking the next baby step because they are afraid, broke, tired, sick, stymied, unloved, bored, stagnant, ignorant, or afraid to take a risk. They don’t maintain or  improve the looks of their rental home or rented business because it’s not their responsibility, they don’t want to spend the money, the landlord should do it, or they’re too lazy to do even the basic things to keep up a  place that is a direct reflection of themselves. On the other hand, I’ve had people from out of town tell me how clean our streets and restaurant bathrooms are and how friendly they find the people in Sanger.

I want you to look around you and see that some people clean up the trash in their yards, wash their windows, pull the weeds growing in front of and around their businesses, sweep and/or hose off their sidewalks, wave to their neighbors, smile frequently, and speak highly of their community as a desirable place to live and of their leaders as true vanguards, pointing toward a better future for our children. Their yards and their hearts blossom with goodness, generosity, and enthusiasm for life. Most of these things cost nothing so lack of money is no reason not to indulge in them. 

I want you to have the ability to see the best in people, our community, our state, and our country and let the good thoughts blossom and mature, rather than dwelling on the bad ones. The “bad” buds can be allowed to wither and die or they can be nourished and encouraged to thrive also. I encourage you to choose to help others blossom by boosting their spirits and feeding their souls. Sometimes it only takes a word or a smile.

It is because of all these wishes that I have for Sanger and for you as a member of the Sanger community that Sanger Art Hop was created. Seeing beauty through such venues as art, music, poetry, dance, and literature is a way to encourage bodies, spirits, and souls to take off and fly higher than they ever thought possible. Visiting different locations on Art Hop Saturdays and those same locations on any other day can lift your spirits and you can, in turn, lift someone else’s. A kind word to an artist in any of these venues can keep them creating or give them the lift they need when they are in a slump.

Right now, I want you to consider what YOU can do to help Sanger continue to blossom and mature. It might be visiting the Sanger Youth Center and encouraging the boys and girls to keep creating art. It might be going to the Sanger Music Center and listening to a young musician as he strums his first guitar. It might be donating a book to the library or a school library or writing a poem and sharing it with your children. It might be drawing a picture together while listening to music. It might be picking up a piece of trash from the street and putting it in a nearby trashcan. It might be donating time to help Hope Sanger or attending a Sanger Art Hop event to get inspired by all the artistic talent that IS in Sanger.

It all begins with the first step that you take. Will it be today, tomorrow, or next week? Right now is the best time. As Les Brown once said, “I believe that life is a journey, often difficult and sometimes incredibly cruel, but we are well-equipped for it if only we tap into our talents and gifts and allow them to blossom.”

With all my love for Art and for the Sanger Community,

Kathleen Mattox
Sanger Artist
“Mixed Messages” ART