Tying it All Together.

Tying it All Together.

Moon Glow is my latest painting of a Datura blossom or Jimson weed in full bloom. It’s fullness is unfurled during the moonlight hours and to me it mimics and celebrates the full moon.

If you haven’t been to this website lately, I invite you to take a look around. Things have changed and will continue to do so. It was time to bring my blog and my art and photography galleries together under one roof, so to speak. I was getting very scattered as this artist seems to do without even realizing I am doing it! Website for art in one place, website for commercial photography in another, and blog on another platform and shopping cart in another. Well the shopping cart is going to stay on Etsy, at least for now but to put my art, photography and my writings together seemed like a necessary thing to do. Although this site is mostly a showcase, you will be able to access the shopping cart for works that are for sale with just a click of a mouse. Here you will also be able to find out about my architectural photography services if you need them and you will be able to see some of my fine art photography as well. I have been making art a long time and have much to share and it really is time to put it all in one location. New things will appear constantly as I have time to add them, and hopefully I will have enough sense to post new items as they do appear!

I am also making some changes to how I physically show my work and sell my cards. I am creating a home studio gallery space which will be a permanent showroom to show and sell my work by appointments and through open studio events here in Ridgecrest. I want to focus more on showing in fewer places locally and find some galleries in other locations where my work can be appreciated beyond this valley (if you know of any that might be a good fit, please let me know). Websites are good for that, however they don’t take the place of seeing art in person. No matter how expensive the camera is or how good the photographer is, photographs of art do not capture it all.

OPEN STUDIOS CELEBRATION

My first Open Studio Celebration will be held November 15th & 16th from 10-5 and will be by invitation only. If you plan to be in Ridgecrest, CA at that time and would like an invitation (and your not already on my email list) please send me an email and you will receive one. There will be art, cards, treats and libations and I am thinking even a door prize!

I am very excited about having a gallery again and having it in my studio where I actually create gives me a chance to share my work process as well as finished creations.

It’s kind of funny to me how Fall seems to be the time of year that changes in my life occur. Maybe it’s because my birthday is in the Summer and that is a time of reflection which is probably the origination point of change which then takes time to incubate bringing it to Fall for the blooming of it. Well, whatever the reason. It’s time for change and so I hope you continue to follow along. As you know my blogs wander and ramble and touch on many things. So stay tuned for what comes next!

Have a Happy Day

Cheryl

A Few Words about Pie

A Few Words about Pie

How many pieces in your pie?

How thin can you cut a slice and still savor the flavors?

Is Pie better shared or are you one of those that wants to keep it all for yourself?

Do you have conditions on which you are willing to share your pie? Who qualifies?

What if you run out of pie? Can you make more or is it a secret recipe that no one knows?

I want to consider myself unselfish and willing to share until I realize that I am not that willing. Is giving it away with no restrictions the same as that “doormat syndrome”?

I do want to share, however I do also want the last piece, just incase the recipe gets lost.

Silly me, there is a war going on between my brain and my heart or maybe it’s my inner child and the inner chef. I should know there is always more pie, if you are open to variety. Who wants to eat the same pie day in and day out. Not I!

So feed the child and keep making more pie and invite the others in for a bite. Pie is meant to be shared and that is all there is.

Have a Happy Day!

Cheryl

Cheryl McDonald is a full-time artist living in the high desert at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, to see more of her work click here!

Light at the end of at least one tunnel

Light at the end of at least one tunnel

So yesterday I was ranting about software companies. My rant was brought on by built-up experiences over time with a few different companies but came to a head when the software I had and wanted to use for my art organizing plan needed multiple upgrades because of Apple’s incessant need to update and change things.

Well, yesterday there was positive news and a person to person exchange working out a plan to not only get my software where it needs to be, but also a plan for me to learn a little more of how to use it. This company is not a faceless corporation, it is dedicated to helping artist succeed. The company is called GYST which actually stands for Getting Your Sh*t Together. It is a project started by an artist named Karen Atkinson and this is the About statement straight from the website

“GYST-Ink is an artist-run company/art project by Karen Atkinson, providing resources, technology, and solutions created by artists for artists. Our mission is to support arts professionals, educational institutions, and arts organizations with an integrated program of software, services, and information in order to keep artists working. GYST–Ink is dedicated to empowering and educating artists so that they can develop sustainable and successful careers on their own terms.”

It is unfortunate I let my past dealings with software companies color my view and make me think that there was no hope and I would just have to do it all myself in some half-*ssed manner to get my sh*t done. I still have a lot to learn and I am hoping that not only will I learn to use the database, but I just might learn how to be a more professional and successful artist. You see the whole point for most of us artsy-fartsy people is to create something that matters to you the un-artsy-fartsy. We know the value of creativity in the world and the change that can come when we are all open to see and experience something unique. The more we succeed, the more humanity does also. (Yes art is important.)

So based on my experiences here I want to say that if you are an artist and you need to get your SH*T together, here is a good place to start, gyst-ink.com

Thank you for reading,

Have a happy day!

Cheryl

 

Cheryl McDonald is a full-time artist living in the high desert at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, to see more of her work click here!

Existential Crisis Part II

Existential Crisis Part II

This is a rant and maybe it will make me feel better to get it out.

Maybe not we shall see.

The story starts like this; There once was an artist who in a strange dream thought it might be important and make her life easier if she got ORGANIZED.

I think the left side of my brain is so small that it’s a good thing my skull is hard or my head would just cave in on the left… Organizing is not my thing and silly me, I thought if I got the right software, it would be a piece of cake. Not. Over the years, I have tried many accounting and organizing programs, spreadsheets, etc. only to find that they all require me to be able to think in a much more logical fashion then I am capable of. Therefore I work at them trying to make progress for a while only to get frustrated and decide I should just give it a rest and come back to it later. Well waiting 2 years is apparently 2 long. Not only have I produced a ton more work, my software no longer works on my computer and now I need to upgrade it Twice! to be able to even access the data I had already put in it. This idea that software companies have come up with to hold our work hostage is pretty much ingenious on their part and really sucks on our part (software users). I do realize they are just trying to keep up with the computer designers who are constantly making things “better”, but when something works, why do I have to change it?

I have the same issue with Adobe Creative Suite, now that I only pay for Photoshop and Lightroom, all of the creative work I did in Illustrator and InDesign are now locked and unopenable unless I continue to pay ransom for it. I am not doing much of that work anymore and so I can no longer afford to pay the ransom just to have access to work I have done in the past.

I have never shunned technology, I even enjoyed learning how to communicate with it, like this blog or making art and design, a challenge but I was able to figure it out. However because it is changing so fast and I am not a software engineer, I am beginning to feel like a pile of rusty cans left in the desert. Not much use, but still not gone. LOL

From what I can tell, I have 2 choices. I can pay the ransom or go back to a program like Apple’s Numbers or Microsoft Excel or even a paper spreadsheet and just make simple lists of my work and my accounts and leave it at that. The latter is probably what I will do. Because what this has taught me is that if I want to control the work I do, I cannot count on the software companies to care and I am not willing to give them my work and I am not willing for my legacy, however paltry it maybe to be locked up in software that my family cannot open.

So, that’s my rant and thank you for reading if, in fact, you made it all the way through.

I am going to go make art and try to stay cool.

Have a happy day!

Cheryl

 

Cheryl McDonald is a full-time artist in the high desert at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. To see more of her work go to Etsy.com or click here

Am I a pebble on the beach?

Am I a pebble on the beach?

An existential crisis is easily ended
I leave footprints in the sand, and dirty dishes in the sink don’t just magically appear.
The notion of why am I here? 
who cares?

I am, and that cannot be denied. Our personal importance is of no matter in the Grand Scheme of things, it is our vanity that makes us think it is so.

The waves erase the footprints, the dishes are washed and returned to the cupboard, and the Grand Scheme drones on with or without me.

I read a blog the other day, I can’t remember exactly which one or on which day, but the message stuck with me, and that’s the important part.

The message was; it’s easy to want things to be different, to want to start on a new path because the one you are on is not working as well as you thought it would.

Then there is the figuring out, do you just need to do alterations or do you need a whole new path. I have a habit, I think of changing paths completely before I have done everything possible to make a plan work, I give up midstream or more appropriately mid Dip (Seth Godin, “The Dip”). I lose track of the goal, it changes mid-stream sometimes and I lose focus. I guess it’s hard to decide if I am beating my head against a wall or I’m just not doing the work I need to do to get to the next level. Mostly, I think it is the latter.

Am I still battling that fear of rejection? Searching for the right medium and message that will satisfy my longing to make “important” art, they say you should pick one and stay there. I have not been very good at that… Going through archives of all the art I have created over the last bajillion years, I see so many styles and messages that I am happy I made and it feels like now I am just going with the flow, following instead of leading as an artist.

This has been a transitional year for me, even an earth-shaking year for me. So many changes in my world and more to come. I guess it is only right that I am also questioning my creative path. Maybe what I need to ask myself is; How can I let the changes I am going through infiltrate my art? How can the madness be expressed? Why do I feel the need to remain calm in my art when my life is in earth-shaking upheaval? And maybe my frustration and confusion are really about the fact that I do need to make big changes, but I am resisting because it seems I am always making changes. Change is good, right?

And even a pebble on the beach causes things to change.

Have a happy day.

Cheryl

 

More Spring Artwork to share

More Spring Artwork to share

Good Morning All,

My goodness, I have been having fun, painting fresh Spring flowers, iconic Easter images like bunnies, baby ducks and chicks. Creating mini art pieces that others can share is becoming a habit. I love the fact that they are mailable and hangable. My new tag line is “I make usable art”. As I’ve said before art is everywhere we turn so why not surround ourselves with art we love and art that makes us happy, and spreads a good feeling. We need more of that in our lives. The crazier the world seems, the more we need to spread the love.

Yesterday and today I put several of these new items on my CherylMcDonald-art and I even started a business page called Cheryl McDonald Creative! on Pinterest. This is the next step in becoming savvier about selling online.

I am learning that taking this task of online sales on in steps, sometimes even micro steps, makes it seem less daunting and much more manageable. Taking breaks to work in the garden or make art helps as well. It is exciting to see progress, in the form of sales and happy customers that I might never have met without this shop. Spreading the love as far as I can! One of the next steps will be figuring out global sales, not just United States sales.

Hope you are having a productive week, and I hope you are giving yourself time to recharge as well. Easy to forget to do when the world keeps throwing more and more at us.

Have a happy day!

Cheryl

Happy Vernal Equinox!

Happy Vernal Equinox!

Yesterday…

On this end of the planet, it is Spring, at least on the calendar. We have had such crazy weather, a few days of sunny and warm and then yesterday as if to say “I’m not finished with you yet!” Winter gave us thunder, lightning, hail and a sprinkle of rain.

I have decided I am just going to pretend it’s Spring and make it so! I love to garden and in the Spring every year I think about actually planting stuff. It grows till mid Summer and the 117F temps and high winds kill it off. So far it has not mattered what I try to do to keep things protected, I have not been successful. But I am a die-hard gardener, farming is in my blood, albeit not desert farming. It’s hard here. There are people who make it happen, and I have been getting tips and ideas and I am ready to give it a go again this year. This year I decided to plant seeds, and I will be planting in containers I can move if necessary. Yesterday just prior to the crazy storm, in the nice and sunny afternoon, I planted lettuce and radishes which I hope will have enough time produce before the heat. However, I think it’s kind of like washing your car, I tempted Mother Nature, and when the winds came up and others in the valley were shouting Hail!! I was moving my newly planted containers into the potting shed. I may be on to something here and we shall just have to wait and see how the season progresses.

I planted flowers too, I have been painting sweet peas from a photo I took a couple of years ago and it really made me want to plant my own. All I can say is we shall see. I am hopeful, Spring always brings that out in me, however, there seems to be lot’s of new possibilities in the air and some of it is also letting go of things that don’t work for me anymore. Less baggage, more room to grow. So I am planting seeds in my garden and seeds in my heart and soul. Hurray for Spring and new beginnings. The cycle of life continues.

Have a happy day.

Cheryl