Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Holidays are upon us! Every year I need to re-asses what they mean to me THIS year.

I love the many traditions about this time of year; they are all about light--spiritual or physical--coming in a time of darkness. I cannot do justice to any of them here, but here is a smattering with links if you want to explore further. Be sure and add any I may have missed!
  • The day Buddha realized the way out of earthly misery and experienced Nirvana is celebrated by many Buddhists on   Bodhi Day, Dec 8th
Golden Phoenix raising the sun, a Chinese Solstice Story

  • St Lucia's Day, Dec 13  is a Swedish holiday I love celebrating with children. Lucia--or Lucy, meaning light--is said to have brought food to Christians hiding in the catacombs in Rome in about 300 AD. When I ran an earlychildhood program, we made crowns with paper "candles" and cinamon rolls to bring to the elders.
  • Solstice, Dec 21st --I love calling Winter Solstice the day of the Birth of the Sun (Son)!
  • Many Sufi celebrate the Urs of Rumi on Dec 17th. In this tradition, the day a saint dies is the day he or she is reunited with the Divine. It is called the Wedding Day and is celebrated as a day of joy!
  • Christmas--Some of my friends consider Christmas to be unChristian because the date and some of the customs we still use are based on Roman holidays of Saturnalia and Dies Natalis of Sol Invictus (Birthday of the unconquerable sun).
  • Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday celebrating the one days worth of oil that kept the temple light and kept burning for  8 days. Like many other winter holidays, candles are an important part of the celebration.    
  • Yule--remember hearing about the yule log?
How do you celebrate the winter holidays?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Its a Wrap: Vashon Island Studio Tour--Profit?

Cloud Study, Tramp Harbor (6"x9") -- Sold!
How does one figure profit? I plan to give all my profit to the International Rescue Committee, but 
how much is profit?

It's not as simple as looking at how much I spent getting ready for the show. I spent a lot of money on things that didn't sell this time but will over time, and on equipment I will use later. In fact, I believe I invested more than I brought in. Not to mention the hours spent making materials, getting things ready, setting up the space. If I counted my return only in dollars, I would be seriously in the hole!

And yet...there is something very nourishing about telling people the stories behind my paintings. I believe my core mission, to bring people closer to nature and to the Divine Within through my art, is served when I tell the stories of the paintings, and when people buy the art.

I am nourished when people buy my art! It gives me courage to keep on painting, and to keep on showing and telling my stories.

It also serves my core mission when I give money earned from my art to meet some need in this world. So I look for models on how to figure profit.

I remember long ago when Greyhound Bus boasted a %15 profit margin. That was a lot in those days; now corporations are expecting a larger and larger profit margin, but is Greyhound even still around?

Now that the Vashon Island Holiday Studio Tour is over, I need to crunch the numbers and see how much is left over after cost of goods sold and the expenses of renting the space, among other things. I need to look at what I need to spend on materials and on professional development in the near future (long term planning is not really my forte'). Even if all this exceeds the money I brought in, I want to give at least %15 of my gross to the International Rescue Committee.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Just to let you know....

small (6" x 9") watercolor of Orcas we saw--sold!
I plan to resume my series on watercolor techniques on Monday or Tuesday.

Coming up is the second (and last) weekend of the Vashon Island Winter Art Studio Tour. I sold some paintings last weekend! Also sold some of my Peacock Princess story coloring books and my calendars with my photos of Vashon Island. Not a way to pay the bills, but I think I've made expenses so far, and a little profit to give to the International Rescue Committee.

I feel so blessed to be living a wonderful life! I have time and inspiration to pursue my art, money for materials, a sweet loving man for a partner, healthy compassionate children and grandchildren. I wish this happiness for you as well!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

#35 on the Studio Tour

Oh, man! I've so much to do and so little time. I need to put the watercolor painting tips on hold until next week. So sorry!

Today, the 4 of us artists and 2 friends sat down to plan how we would get the old Grange Hall ready for our show opening on December 5.

You've heard the term "herding cats"? Well, that's us! Of course it was very interesting learning about Will's experience in New York, and what George will charge to replace the roof, and why we are #35 instead of our usual #1.

Not very time efficient, though.

And those last minute changes about how we will use the brain ached!

Still, the camaraderie that develops as we work together is priceless!

Thank you to Will for getting us motivated and for doing so much of the grunt work!

Thank you to Rifaat and Paul for pitching in to do those "guy things"--pounding nails, hefting heavy boards,  using noisy equipment.

Thank you to Marcia for quickly cleaning very grody spots.

Thank you to Valerie for mapping where we would put the signs.

Artists showing at #35 on the Vashon Island Studio Tour:

Will Forester: watercolors, oils
Marcia McKinsky: watercolor batiques
Suzanna Leigh: hand painted silks
Valerie Roberts: abstracts

Also appearing
All Things Rich: artisan spices and blends
Jasper Forester: products from Green Man Farm