Tuesday 11 February 2014

Good Causes

Every artist I know has been asked at one time or another to donate a piece of art to some worthy cause. With so many 'causes' now-a-days it is not unusual to be approached a number of times a year.

Mist on the Water - Art Trot
Over the years I have donated over 12 of my original paintings. Some were small, some were large but I was happy to support the different causes. I think that Art Trot has been the recipient of most of my donations in the last few years. It is a very good cause in the small community of Creston BC: fund-raising for the Therapeutic Riding Society which sponsors horse riding for the physically and mentally challenged.

Slim Pickin's - Art Trot
 Unfortunately, I am becoming disenchanted with the whole donation scene. Most of the artists who donate are trying to SELL their paintings - how can we compete with silent auctions where a painting with a suggested minimum bid of $200.00 ends up with a high bid of $40.00. Also, last year the Art Trot started accepting re-gifted items for their auctions. This year I was surprised to see a painting of mine that was donated to the Creston Art Club for their last Annual Fall Show and Sale door prize, on display at the Art Trot. Okay, the painting raised money for two different causes but, somehow, I still felt insulted.

Garden Bouquet - Art Club
 Like others, I have heard all the hype: it's for a good cause, think of the exposure, you have plenty of paintings, well, it's just a hobby etc. etc. How many plumbers or electricians get asked to donate?  Don't artists work as hard (and have as many expenses) as plumbers or lawyers?

Reaching Out - We Imagine Peace (FB)
 I don't even want to know how much (or how little) my paintings have earned for the various causes because I have seen how low the bids have been. I could probably rant more about this situation but right now the question is, do I continue to support these worthy causes while undermining my value as an artist? I am thinking more and more that a cash donation is the route I am going to follow in the future.


Monday 3 February 2014

Going Overboard

I have noticed in the last few years that I have a tendency to go overboard when I find something I like doing. I think it started with the purses I sew and paint.

Bell Flower purse
Daylily & Hummingbird
I really enjoyed coming up with new designs and figuring out what to paint. The first year I made them, the bags sold well, so I made more, and more, and... well, you get the picture.

I think I was alright for a few years, just doing my normal painting, in between housework and volunteering. Then I took a mixed media workshop with local artist Win Dinn http://windinnart.blogspot.ca and discovered a new toy.

Gauze Scarves
tar gel brooches
Once again I went overboard! I was having so much fun playing with color and shapes that I made so many of these items I might never sell them all. It is a good thing that I enjoy wearing them!

There may have been a few other things between then and now, but this winter I found a new creative outlet that has (almost) taken over my life. Crocheting! I learned to crochet when I was young and over the years have made a number of afghans - useful but time consuming. Just before Christmas I saw some crocheted ornaments and I thought "I can do that".

I found a number of patterns on line and started making things, then I adapted the patterns and made more, then I started making my own patterns. Before I knew it I had gone through 2 balls of crochet cotton and now I have enough ornaments to decorate a tree. I plan to sell them at this year's Wynndel Christmas fair.

I ran out of enough of the cotton to make another ornament so I made a few earrings - white, of course. My granddaughter commented that she wished they were in color and there I was, off on a new venture.

Not content with just earrings, I have started to make some pendants to match them. I have no idea if I will be able to sell these items but they are so much fun to make I just can't help myself. I continue to make up more patterns for the earrings and the pendants.

  Every time I come up with one of these 'crafty' ideas my husband suggests that I wait to see if they sell before I make too many. Unfortunately, once I get started I almost always end up going overboard because I am enjoying myself and that is what counts most!