Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Turtle walks and Fisherman talks

Well day two is here. 
Blogger keeps trying to push me over to the new view, 
but I cannot find where to create a post in the new format. 
I am very pleased with this sea turtle today.
The day has proved long though, as I did not sleep well last night.
I awakened at 1:30 and could not go to sleep until 3:30.
Being awake has it's perks though, I was able to have a conversation with Alfred in Zimbabwe.
The situation there is not good, and there is no end in sight with the virus in tow.
I am encouraging him to create in spite of the world surrounding him, crumbling government, lack of money, but hopefully not food. Clean water is probably a concern as well. 
I have not seen Alfred's new home, but he says there is space to create. 
I am just trying to get him on track long distance. 
As artists, we are greatly affected by the environment around us. 
At least I am for the most part. 
I try not to watch the news, instead listening to 
Pandora with it's wide variety of music that I have selected to listen to while I paint.
My world is full of sea turtles, octopus, seashells, mermaids, and other sea life that is contained in my most loved area on this big blue ball we call home.
Today I offer a hawksbill turtle.
While not in our part of our gulf of mexico, 
they are still an important part of the species that is sea turtles.

I am trying to stay optimistic about shows for the fall this year.
However, I read this evening about one being cancelled in Birmingham, Al for mid September.
I do not have a show there, my first one is not until the end of September in Daphne.
We also don't have as many cases of Covid here as in Birmingham.
Just praying the shows go on with safety as a priority.
However, we artists still have not heard from a major show in our area for mid October.
Ominously quiet...........
Trying not to think about it too much!
I am pushing forward as the galleries are open, and they're starting to sell!

The fisherman by my friend Alfred will be beautiful, I'm certain.

He and I had an extended conversation today, long and late into his night.
He was still texting after midnight his time about various things. 
I was just trying to nudge him in the direction of completed pieces.
Alfred has a wonderful opportunity, with a collector wanting virtually everything he could create.
Oh if as artists we all had that problem!
He has told me he will be painting, but he does not think 
he can get more than one done every two days.
I told him that was fine, he just needed to discipline himself 
to keep working despite the situation in Zimbabwe.
He was so focused today his daughter told him, 
"now you can buy us a house, you are so serious"
Get this, a HOUSE in Zimbabwe can be purchased for under $10,000!
Can you imagine buying a house here for that!
Goals for Alfred, goals for me.
I must get to bed, I have to get up at 4:30am to walk for the sea turtles!
Day two is done!

Turtle walks, Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 24
Day 2 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2020

Monday, June 29, 2020

On the Main Hard Road

Thus begins the 100 days for 2020!
It has been a while, but join me on this journey of creating for shows.
This years posts promise to be interesting, with the pandemic still upon us, looming possibilities of more shutdowns, and lack of shows this spring.
The fall shows are also in danger of not happening as well.
Wear your masks people! Stay home unless you need to go out......
This virus is not going away, it's not a matter of if, but when you may get it.
I am praying for the scientists to develop both a cure and a vaccine quickly.

When the pandemic hit in mid March, I was preparing for multiple shows in the spring. After the initial closure came, all the shows followed suit. I had two new ones this Spring and was looking forward to the journey's with my husband on the road. Our local show, Arts & Crafts was the first, even before the official shutdown. The rest followed like domino's each one leading to the next. Only two shows rescheduled, one I could not accept because it would being during the National Shrimp Festival in October. The second one put theirs on the calendar for late June. 
It too, would eventually cancel.......
Then there was the teaching, and church.
All succumbed to the virus.
I lost three classes and a small group at my church.
Our mission trip to Zimbabwe probably will not happen either.....
It became hard to create.

As an artist, inspiration comes partially from creating, 
then the rest comes from both the pure joy and the actual selling of pieces. 
I love the connection to people and miss the interaction between me and the collectors that purchase my works. Instead of making art, I started making masks for the frontline workers.
I also had a short stint at the Mobile Museum of Art, reclaiming masks that had been found in a warehouse. It was a welcome respite from the staying at home.
To date, I have sewn over 700 masks, giving them away thanks to donations.
It was my only way to help in a helpless state.

Now we find ourselves trying to return to normal.
My normal this time of year is painting for shows.
This piece is called "On the Main Hard Road"
There is only one major road through Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
These elephants were crossing as we came home to 
IRoCK lodge one of the first nights I was there.
IRoCK is the lodge built by  Buy a Brick Foundation to give missionaries
 a beautiful place to stay while in Zimbabwe.
IRoCK stands for "I Rely on Christ the King".
It truly is a magical place to stay with beautiful people that work there.

Please join me on this beautiful journey with a twist.
The twist is that my friend Alfred from Zimbabwe will be 
joining me on this adventure of 100 paintings in as many days.
He is a fantastic painter, with an amazing eye, and beautiful ability.
His situation is much worse than ours, no government support, no income because the country is shut down, money that is worthless. You see, Alfred lives in Victoria Falls and their main industry is tourism. Alfred is a teacher that is out of work since the shutdown.
Over 50% of the people have left because there is no work as a result of the shutdown. While they have released some of the measures in place, much like our country the numbers are rising. As an artist, he too is having trouble creating much because he has lost his joy. 
People are starving, literally..... 
Food has become a very expensive commodity, but everyone has to eat.
We recently found out about a nursing home that had 15 people starving from lack of food. Through teamafrica.com we were able to help get funding to them and the food was delivered. 
We're both hoping to find our joy in the next few weeks and months.

He sent me this today, a quick sketch done in charcoal. 
It actually is a commissioned piece, so it means a little money in his pocket.
Very little it seems. Hopefully with God's grace he will find his groove and start finding the joy of creating again. I am looking forward to seeing his pieces fly from his hands.
I only wish we could hug his neck, bring him paints and canvases, and food for his family.
But our mission is probably not going to happen this year.
We will know more about refunds later next month.

Meanwhile tonight I painted with my Scripts & Strokes group tonight.
I sketched the canvases, poured paints, provided brushes 
and then went live on Facebook to teach the class. 
The reading had to do with Abraham, Issac, and a sacrifice.
We did a painting for Jehovah Jireh, "The Lord will provide"
Indeed he does, just when you least expect it!

I am expecting from my provider, and I know he will provide!

On the Main Hard Road, Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 24
Day 1 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2020