The show circuit is over and the holidays have come and gone. This was a busy season not only with Christmas shopping but mostly because I signed up for several shows this year and in-between them I was always painting miniatures. Last year I was half done with my shopping by the time Thanksgiving showed up whereas this year I had barely started. I felt like I was behind in everything. But as usual, it all worked out. And I’m happy I did the various shows because I made some good sales that helped with my holiday shopping.
And now I can move forward with my goals for the new year. Speaking of goals, I wonder how many people out there actually write down their goals. My friend Kitty would always ask me, sometime in January, if I made my art goals for the new year. And I’ve read many times that if you ‘fail to plan you plan to fail’. People who write their goals are much more apt to reach their goals. There is something about writing your goals down that makes them more real, or we let the universe know we are serious about the things we want to accomplish and the law of attraction takes over and delivers what we want. At least that’s my plan!
Writings & Musings
There is something about living in the Northeast that to me, is more conducive to writing than say, living in the southern part of the country (I’m sure there are many authors, such as Carl Hiaasen, who is one of my favorite authors and lives in FL, who would question my conjecture). I could also follow that up with an equally seemingly prejudice opinion between the northern and the southern states when discussing reading. I feel like I get a lot more reading done during the cold, snowy, winter months than those spending their days lazing around the pool. Although I do remember summers at the beach being my favorite time to soak up the words in the latest NY Times bestseller.
But back to my favorite writing/reading time of the year, which would be winter. This is the best time for me to focus on writing my books. It is cold outside, and often snowy, I really don’t want to go out or if I do, it is for short periods before my toes turn numb. Focusing on a writing project is exactly what I need to do to get me through the 3-4 months of winter.
This is also the best time for me to read, typically something of substance that needs more attention than I can give it while sweaty suntan lotion runs into my eyes. Having lived in the Northeast my entire life, I need the season changes. I look forward to them and I use them to the best of my abilities, as the saying goes. Each season has its pros and cons and figuring out what each season offers and what your strengths are in each season is a challenge.
For me, the winter months are usually my most productive, the summer and fall, I’m selling and looking for shows to participate in to sell my books and artwork, and the spring, well, in the northeast the winter usually spills over into the spring so my most creative time extends for another month or so.
When I was a child, I always looked forward to the different seasons. For example, going back to school in the fall meant a new start and going into another grade. Winter brought Christmas and some time off plus participating in several winter outdoor sports or maybe just sledding. With spring came tree buds and snow melt. And then summer, well, summer was play time. I still look forward to the different seasons, to the chance to start anew, and the unlimited possibilities that await.
A friend of ours, who is in Rotary with my husband, Jim, is always on the lookout for sunflower paintings so I do my best to accommodate him. I had a feeling he would want this painting and I was right!
I had just finished painting this and had it available for one of the shows I participated in. Not surprising to me, it sold immediately. I really love this little painting with the 2 nesting phoebes. It was getting so crowded in the nest; there were about 5 of them that year. They fledged either that day or the next. See more miniatures for sale on my website.
As a reminder, books make great gifts whatever the occasion. When my niece was growing up I always bought her books. She got plenty of toys, dolls, and clothes from others but I wanted to make sure she started a library of books that, if she chose to have them, she could pass on to her children. And maybe these books would make a difference in her life, too. As it turned out, my niece is a teacher with a Masters degree (and also has three boys!)
The book you purchase for a young person might make a difference in her life, also. Reading really is fundamental!
I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.
- Harper Lee
As I mentioned in my last newsletter, I had the opportunity to participate in a gallery with the Lakes Region Art Association. They had their grand opening on November 8 and we just met as a group to discuss if the artists wanted to continue with the gallery. The majority of the artists said “yes” realizing that to really know if a gallery is going to work or not you have to give it more time, like a year or so. And in the few weeks that they have been opened, which is only on Fri, Sat, and Sun, they have made about $2200. I have already had sales and I’m looking forward to more!
Unfortunately, though, since they want to be known strictly as a “Fine Art” Gallery, I had to remove my books. Questions such as, 'can I have my jewelry, or my pottery in the gallery', came up so they decided that anything that is not strictly fine art should be removed.
This is my display at the LRAA Gallery in Tilton, NH for the winter months.
On My Easel
Throughout the fall season I painted miniatures. At one time I had about 50 miniature paintings available. And I did well selling them this year at the various Holiday shows I participated in. As Jim reminded people “everyone should own a piece of original art” and as I followed up “my larger paintings are much more expensive” I believe many were sold when people realized the great deal they were getting. But now, at the end of the year, my easel is empty. Well, not quite. There are about 3 paintings on there in various stages of completion. One of them I’m really interested in completing so that will most likely be the first one I’ll work on. It is an oil painting of a rhino. This is a very serious project for me - I plan on painting several other animals that will be part of my "Endangered Species" exhibit that I am planning for this summer.
I also plan on completing my 3rd set of Eye Help Animals eyes. I know I’ve said this before but I’m motivated to complete the final six or seven eyes that I have left to paint. For now, the 3rd set of eyes, all endangered animals, will be available as pins only.
(California Condor Eye, that will be part of the 3rd set, is shown above)
This was a miniature (5"x7") commission portrait that I did in December. A woman asked me paint it for a friend of hers who had recently lost her Pomeranian. Since I have had a lot of experience with Pomeranians, she knew I was the one to paint it.
In the photo I used, the Pom was very small so I had to increase the size to see some of the detail. She wanted some of the background in because the friend had taken her beloved dog to Prince Edward Island with her on vacation. I was able to do that for her in a small size that she was giving as a Christmas gift. This is one of the advantages of painting a portrait - you can put in it what you want and leave out something you don't want (like the leash).
Someone who is an author, an artist, and an entrepreneur. Any person who writes or has a published novel, who paints fine art/illustrations, and also has established businesses using the combination of artistic talents. - DJ Geribo
What I'm Reading
In the past three months I’ve read far fewer books than I intended. A couple of years back I averaged 2 books a month. I was far from that this year. But I attribute my distraction to,based first and foremost, finishing two more books which came out in July. And also, participating in several holiday shows with my paintings taking a front seat.
The books I completed were JFic (Juvenile Fiction) or YA (Young Adult) books and all were either recommended by my librarian or were ones I picked based either on my knowledge and interest in the author or having heard of the author but having never read anything by them.
The book I am currently reading, Scat by Carl Hiaasen, is another winner as far as I’m concerned. I have read several Carl Hiaasen books and have liked them all. He’s very entertaining, tells a good story, and often admonishes those who pollute or show blatant disregard for the environment.
I also read, for the first time, a novel by Neil Gaimen. I knew the name but was unfamiliar with his work so when I saw the title “The Graveyard Book” at my library, I knew I had to read it. And I wasn’t disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed his book that took place almost entirely in a graveyard.
And last month I read “Incantation”, a short novel by a familiar author, Alice Hoffman. The story was sad and disturbing, recalling a close relationship between two young girls that was torn apart by jealousy during a turbulent and violent time in history.