Archive for November, 2009

So When Is It Considered Work?

Recently I was talking with Louise Shimon about my post regarding taking days off from work. And it got me to thinking about a blog post of Ulla Hennig’s a few weeks back about defining what work is. I am very fuzzy on what qualifies as work since what I do for fun is also my business.

I consider a day off as not coming into the gallery and just doing what I want at home. This is extremely rare for much of the year. Technically, I often have Sundays off (unless I’m working an event) but I still go into the gallery pretty much as any other day. (which makes it feel like it’s any other day.) My Sundays are usually reserved for artwork only but often I will blog as well. So is the act of creating art, work?

Or for that matter is blogging considered work?
I mean I started this blog with the intention of helping direct traffic to my website. Well that and hoping all this daily writing would improve my word-smithing abilities when writing for my Apples ‘n Oats column. Though, I think if anything my conversational style of writing has influenced my professional writing. Not the other way around.

So when I force myself to sit down and “work” on a painting that I am not “feeling” at that moment, would that then be considered work?

But then, is it “not work” when I sit down to do something that I’m all inspired and excited to do.

When I apply the parameters of “Would I still do this activity regardless of whether my financial stability was attached to it?” It helps me to get closer to defining work vs. play. I mean I have always drawn and created (for fun) long before the thought of selling entered into it. And if I became a millionaire tomorrow I would still create. But truthfully, I would spend far less time doing it. And I would spend more time doing things that I consider play, like riding horse and traveling.

I would have to say that I probably would never have started a blog if not for my art business. But for the most part blogging doesn’t feel that much like work, despite being surprisingly time consuming.

Oddly enough taking reference photos, though done exclusively for my art business, has never (not once that I can think of) felt like it was work. Totally fun.

It’s confusing for me because I have bundled my way of earning a living with my fun pastime (my art) suddenly everything can be classified as work even when at times it’s play. And the flip side of that is, that something I used to do exclusively for enjoyment alone, has now become my job.

Anyone got any opinions they’d like to share about how they define work in regards to their art versus play, please comment. Actually I would love to hear from anyone who is doing something they enjoy as part of their financial support.

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Spanish Gold work in progress
17 x 22
Watercolor Pencil on suede

Now that I have my background wash in, it looks so totally different I couldn’t help myself but to put up one more work in progress shot.

The suede makes putting in watercolor pencil washes so much easier than using wc paper. I’m not sure why but it’s almost effortless. What would have taken me most of an afternoon took about 20 minutes. Of course it then requires like an hour of dry time. But at least with that I can work on other areas or simply do something else for awhile.

As it’s Sunday I came in a bit late and plan on getting this painting up to the tweaking stage. The big job for this afternoon is to sketch out this year’s Christmas card and get it ready to go. I can see it clearly in my head. Now whether or not I get it out onto paper is a whole other matter.

To quote Angela Finney Happy painting!”

The background, shoulder area and forelock and mane are all just washed in. The finishing work is yet to be done in these areas. The final cropping will be decided at the end of the painting.

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Liberty: Friesian Stallion Prints are now available at Wild Faces Gallery.

Please visit our website for sizes and print information. (Also the website has a much better enlargement of the artwork.)

Honestly, we have a bunch of new images in print to add to the website. But I wanted to get this up before the next issue of Apples ‘n Oats gets out. Which from what I hear will be any day now.

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Blindy McBlind Needs Your Help!

Blindy McBlind is one of my barn cats. (yeah, I know. How politically correct am I?) He is only recently blinded and still learning how to cope. (And no I’m not psychic. Before this he was simply referred to as Young Gingy)

Blindy is a 3 year old ginger tom cat who was perfectly fine up until this Spring when he disappeared for a few months (as toms are want to do.) Sometime in early October he showed up one day walking oddly It was on closer inspection that I could see that his eyes were milky and odd looking. And that’s when I realized he was blind.

Artist Rendering of Blindy (because the artist kept forgetting to take her camera home)

And no Blindy does not wear dark glasses. But I bet he totally would if he realized how awesome he looks with them on.

My first instinct was to neuter him and bring him into the gallery. Mike was all “NO!

So okay, if I really wanted too, an argument would have ensued. But I never really “wanted” to. I mean he has lived outside his whole life, and at 3 (going on 4) he may still spray despite the neutering. Not to mention a blind cat in the gallery. A gallery full of glass and breakables and sharp edges. Yeah, I don’t think so.

So then my next thought was to help him cope. Mike’s like, “You don’t really expect him to live through winter do you?” And I’m all indignant like “I don’t know but I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt.” while mentally adding “so bite me.”

What this has meant is taking extra time calling to him so he can navigate to me at meal times. Recently he has gotten really good at this. Early on every time he would step into a twig (or a stiff piece of grass) he would alter his direction by 90 degrees. So one or two twigs later he may be halfway across the yard in the opposite direction. I’d call and call and sometimes I’d just have to go over and pick him up and carry him into the barn and plunk him down in the middle of a pile off food. He’s gotten so good now he is almost always at my feet by the time I’m done putting out the food. (Sometimes he’s even purring.)

I had thought about drawing some mice pointing and laughing at Blindy, but I figured I was already pushing my luck (politically correctness-wise) but publicly admitting I called him Blindy McBlind.

This morning I was watching him thinking maybe he has some partial sight restoration because he is so vastly improved in directionals and walking confidence. He then promptly walked into a wall. But I called out and he then came right to me.

I also put down a bowl of water next to him while he’s eating. I splash a little so he hears it. He has yet to drink so he must be getting water somewhere. Year round the only constant water source is the horse water tank (which is heated in winter.) However he would have to jump up to get a drink and Blindy has become quite terrestrial. I can’t picture him jumping up into the unknown, so I still put the water bowl down every day, anyway.

I told Mike I was doing this and he’s all “You can’t do that all winter.” all I say (slightly huffy) “I’m gonna do what I can.” And besides why the heck can’t I?

Okay, so Mike is not usually so negative a guy. (Actually he’s quite positive usually) But we have a dozen barn cats and he’s a little tired of me bringing them in the house and nursing them every time one of them gets a sniffle. But seriously, when he met me I was a vet tech. Even after all these years, it’s like he doesn’t know me at all.

So here’s my question. Does anyone have a blind cat? Particularly a blind barn cat? And if so is there any tips or pointers you can offer for making his life a little easier? At the moment he seems to be doing well. He is fat and has a good coat coming on for winter. His confidence is building so he is far less timid than he was. But I want to give him all the possibilities for a healthy happy life.

UPDATED: So when Mike seen me working on this post, I told him I was asking for tips for taking care of Blindy. He said “Find him a good home. (pause) And of course that doesn’t mean this one.” See what I have to deal with all of the time.

So I say “You know, I’ve been blogging about what you’ve been saying about Blindy.”

And he’s all thoughtful for a moment and then says (with a whole lot less snark) “Well really, the best thing for him would be to find him a new home.”

And I’m thinking “Sure Buddy, you’re trying to look like the humanitarian (catatarian?) now that you know the public eye is upon you. Too late my friend, too freaking late!” Because I know all along what he’s really thinking is “Are we really gonna have to feed this blind cat who is incapable of hunting mice for the next 10 years.”

And my answer. “Yes. Yes we are.”

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I'm Thankful For . . .

I am thankful for a day of excess and rest. My plans are to have too much food. Followed by too much tv/video games and most likely too much sleeping. Oh glorious day.

Besides, I’m pretty sure pumpkin pie qualifies as a serving of vegetables. So I’m really just being extra healthy by having that 2nd piece.

Yes, I know I should be thankful for things like family, friends, freedom and that I’m still alive. But I have (and am thankful for) that everyday.

What I don’t have everyday is gluttony, sloth and ummm . . . Hmmm . . . what other deadly sin qualifies? Extravagance maybe? Ah heck you get my meaning.

So Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating it today.

And now if you’ll excuse me. I’m going to go slip into some stretchy pants followed closely by a turkey coma.

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Spanish Gold work in progress
17 x 22
Watercolor Pencil on suede

Probably, notice I said probably
As in, I foresee the background and all his bodacious floaty mane going in quickly and easily (just planting the seed there for my muse) and only taking one more afternoon’s work. We shall see.

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Liberty: Friesian Painting Start To Finish

Forgotten Post
So I was looking through my folder of unfinished blog posts and I realized I forgot to post the Start-To-Finish on my Liberty painting. I would have just deleted it but I thought I kinda went from picture 3 to finished photo without showing the in between steps on the blog. Plus it’s kinda interesting (to me if no one else) to see all the wip shots together..

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