October 5th kicked off the 8th annual “Art for the Animals” charity auction hosted by Howards’ Arts and Frames, with all proceeds benefiting Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
The money raised by artwork sold at the auction helps to offset the costs of raising and training service dogs. Last year, we raised over $3,000 for Guiding Eyes. That sounds like a lot, but it costs thousands of dollars to care for each dog.
(This picture turned out so much better than the doggie-slobbering “selfie” shot I tried to capture with Hank. He started licking all over my face exactly as the shutter clicked, and I instinctively pulled away!)
Every year, I vow to get a jump-start on this fundraiser… which begins accepting artwork in August. And every year, I wind up painting right up until the deadline. Literally, delivering the painting(s) 30 minutes before the store closes, on the final day of submissions.
This year was no exception, unfortunately. I started on my four entries one week before they were due, and spent approximately 2 days working on each of them.
The theme was “Wizard of Oz”, chosen by my Facebook fans and friends. Appropriate ~ as the movie will be celebrating its 75th anniversary soon, and is cropping up everywhere from McDonald’s toys to Pez dispensers. My work usually isn’t so well-timed. LOL
I’ve bid on four paintings this year: one from a high-school artist and three from “amateur artists”… which is such a confusing category. What does “amateur” mean anyway?
A quick glance at the paintings in that group would leave little doubt that they could hold their own against the professionals.
I chose the Amateur category two years ago, when I submitted “Africat”, because I’d never been represented in a gallery or published anywhere in magazines or books. Those were requirements I felt a “professional” should have.
Last year it was suggested that I should be in the Professional category because I’m a working artist, with a customer base and regular sales. So I reluctantly switched.
Two ladies were admiring my paintings when I sheepishly asked if I could get my portrait taken with my art hanging behind me. They were happy to oblique.
Art for the Animals is a silent auction which will continue until Thursday the 24th of October. People may visit Howards’ Arts and Frames (located on the Dual Highway/Route 40 in Hagerstown, MD) to place bids, and phone-in bids are also accepted until Wednesday the 23rd. They can’t accept phone-in bids on the final day; all bids placed on the 24th must be in person. All bidding ends at 7:30PM on the 24th.
I encourage everyone who is in the area to stop in and check out all the talented artists! :)
We already celebrated Halloween on Friday, the 26th of October, in Funkstown, Maryland.
Lydia was attending a sophisticated party for 10-year-olds, while I accompanied my two toddlers in their homemade My Little Pony costumes; Mia was Pinky Pie and Jacob was Rainbow Dash.
It certainly wasn’t a Martha Stewart project, rather they kept changing their minds until the very last minute.
Joe grudgingly went along with the rainbow-colored yarn tail and felt “Cutie Mark” that I fastened to his son’s rear….
Although he grumbled, “Aren’t there any boy Ponies?”
“Why, yes, in fact ~ There is a male unicorn called Joe! His Cutie-Mark is an iced doughnut. Wanna come Trick-Or-Treating with us, Honey?” ;)
I’m actually On Time for a Halloween post this year! Although Hurricane Sandy did her best to knock our cable and Internet offline for a couple of days, and I was worried this post might not go live until next week ~ we were obviously lucky! We even managed to keep our electricity throughout the storm.
Last November, I wrote a slightly belated Halloween post about decorating vampire fanged cupcakes with blood-shot eyes. I had just transferred to the bakery as a part-time cake decorator to bring in extra income for the holidays.
This year, I took the bakery manager position while Joe was out of work… so my plate was full this October.
I still had to worry about producing enough cupcakes to fill the main display (I have three cake decorators to help me!)… but also needed to keep this wall of featured goodies full….
And this other display….
I personally decorated these Jack-O-Lantern doughnuts. 106 boxes so far…. and they’re selling like crazy!
Artwise, I’ve finished up two commissions, and am ready to jump into a third. I can’t share the finished portraits yet, because they are meant to be gifts.
The wait is excruciating!
The charity auction at Howards’ Arts and Frames raised over $3,000 for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. My two Baroque-style portraits netted $20 (to the same bidder ~ so thank you, mystery cat-lover!) and I won my bid for a beautiful mixed media collage by Kate Williams, incorporating one of Shel Silverstein’s famous poems:
Listen to the Mustn’ts, Child
Listen to the Don’ts
Listen to the Shouldn’ts, the Impossibles, the Won’ts
Listen to the Never Haves
Then Listen Close to Me ~
Anything can Happen, Child.
Anything can Be.
~ Shel Silverstein
This inspiring piece deserves a special space on my studio wall, because it truly sums up how I’ve felt this year ~ with all the set-backs and difficulties we’ve experienced (some which I’ve shared online, and some I’ve kept to myself) ~ I believe that having the right attitude makes a world of difference.
I could listen to that inner voice (and a few outer voices) that tell me to “give it up” and accept my future as a retail employee, or return to college to earn a sensible degree.
Or I can continue to push myself further into this uncertain world, head to Megacon in the spring, cough up entrance fees for bigger shows, and see what happens.
I do enjoy my job, though. It’s been awhile since I’ve shared any discarded grocery lists (I still find them, and read them!) … but I did uncover a list of my own, stuffed in a pocket, while I was doing laundry. I thought I might share with you, because my short-hand is rather funny.
This is a work list of items we needed in the bakery a few days ago:
- 8″ Rain
- RV – 2
- Boston – 2
- Lemon from Steps
- Sliced Marble
- Rasp Thumb
- Oat Tub
- Dutch Snicker
- Dutch Peanut
- Gooey Pump
- Devil’s Holes
- 4ct Blue
- Asst Mini Family
- Mini Snicker
- Haw Bread
- Hall Cookies
My bakery associates are so awesome, they can actually interpret my list!
Well, except for the 8″ Rain … I had to explain it was an 8-inch Rainbow Layer Cake for the cake showcase.
Heaven knows, we don’t need 8 more inches of rain!! :P
I wish I could take my ladies with me to help with the fall Farmer’s Market this Saturday in Westminster. They’d have a blast!
Unless the venue washed away in the flood. It’s better to be safe and dry at home, than risk life and limbs to sell art in a hurricane.
Although I will take advantage of the next severe storm, and channel those 70-mph gusts of wind to promote my work…. I will tie my prints, in weather-proof cellophane bags, onto strings of helium balloons, and let Mother Nature distribute them across the East Coast. One might land on the penthouse balcony of a famous art director or celebrity cat-lover.
Hey, anything can happen, Child! Anything can be!