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!

An Unexpected Gift

An Unexpected Gift

Today it was good to feel the breeze on my face. To hear children playing and moms talking and sharing stories. To see my grandchildren climb and play on the playground and frolic in the water at the splash pad.

Today it was good to lay back in the grass and watch light filter through the trees. Just to be and not have to think or talk about it. Life’s dilemmas and challenges were not welcome here today. I needed the space.

It was an unexpected gift

Thank you

Hope you had a happy day

Cheryl

I Make Bread, and It’s Delicious!

I Make Bread, and It’s Delicious!

I am making bread today. Yes it’s a work day and yes I am working and yes I am making bread too.

There is nothing that clears the stagnation out of my brain better than making fresh bread from scratch. The kneading of the dough is such a wonderful stressless, repetitive motion that your mind just naturally relaxes and opens up.

I have spent the last few days on the computer. Not my favorite thing, but a necessary thing. So much so that I was tense and irritable by last night. And my mind just kept finding new ideas to think about. This morning I knew a dose of fresh bread baking was in order.

Today I am trying a  new variation of this bread, I have added some whole wheat flour and looking forward to seeing how it works. My bread recipes come from a cookbook I bought years ago but was too intimidated to try until last year. The book is “The Il Fornaio Baking Book by Franco Galli. I highly recommend it. I have tried several recipes and been happy with them all.

One of the wonderful things I love about making bread is that there are periods of time between steps that allow me to work on other projects. I am one of those people that is time challenged I guess. I wouldn’t call it Attention Deficit actually, but I get restless and unfocused if I spend too much time on one thing, especially paperwork or computer design. I need to get up and move and clear my head. Making bread, and watercoloring are good alternate activities.

I am writing this blog during the first rising, and there are 2 more before it bakes so I will have fresh bread for dinner. But in between, there will be more computer and design work. And my brain will be happy as well as my belly.

Have a happy day!

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

Art Requires Evolutions and Revelations

Art Requires Evolutions and Revelations

I can’t believe it has been 10 days since my last post. The time has flown and it has been a challenge to keep up.

On the 5th I was given the opportunity to be part of a festival which was one of the few in this area that is actually made up of really creative people. It was coming up on the weekend of the 8-9th and was one I had wanted to get in on earlier. But I got the information on it too late and all the slots were filled. This event was the biannual High Desert Quilt Show and although it seems questionable that this would be a good fit for a painter, I have other artist friends in various mediums, sculptors, jewelry artists, and ceramic artists, who have sold there in the past and done fairly well. I had the money and I had the desire to give it a try.  I had 4 days to prepare. My head was spinning. I needed to paint cards and I really wanted to get my newest painting done and framed as it is an important evolution in the direction I am moving. I wanted to share it and I also wanted to do well.

I painted note cards with spools of thread and quilt patches and lot’s of spring flowers and I did finish my painting. I was excited. about the show and about the art. My style and my focus are evolving and I am actually thinking about who my audience is and what they would like. These are 2 different aspects of being a creator. Because considering your audience is not important to make good art, but it is important to make art that sells. Anyway, I was accomplishing 2 objectives and I could see that all this marketing education is finally paying off as is the acceptance that I as a creator need to make art that comes from my soul. And somehow it is possible for those two to come together if you find the right niche.

Well, the weekend came, I set up a beautiful booth and I did have a very successful weekend. And even though I came down with a nasty cold in the process, from which I will recover, I made headway, and I discovered more about my direction as an artist as well as more about being a more successful artist and finding that niche that narrows my marketing strategy. I don’t have to try to sell to everyone! Got it! Finally!

So where do I go from here? My mind is in the process of envisioning my next painting, as I work on deadline projects that I must finish. I am also thinking about what I need to create for the next show, next weekend. Mentally describing the audience I will be connecting with and figuring out how the things I make can bring them joy and entice them to want to own.  This is really the essence, I think, of being a selling artist.

So the evolution continues as do the revelations, there is always more to learn and more life to live. As the story unfolds is not just a title for my blog, it is my life and yours as well.

Have a Happy Day.

Cheryl

P.S. I did sell the painting to one of my favorite collectors and I did do well with all of the art cards I created. More evidence that I am going in the right direction!

 

 

Let the Story Unfold and What does that Mean?

Let the Story Unfold and What does that Mean?

I have been going through my archives of paintings and drawings, some I have sold and only have digital files of, and some I have the originals still. Some of them I see daily as they hang on the wall of my home and I love them still. It is interesting all the changes I have gone through over the years. I have no clear style or medium. I go through periods of idealistic and imaginative art and periods of more commercial ventures. For example, painting architectural watercolors for location sales or for commercial clients and then painting detailed dreams or visions that come from emotions or ideas. Almost no one could look at my work over the years and say these all come from the same artist. As I have said before, I am adaptable. And I am so passionate about creating that I may just create a whole new style simply because it might sell better than what I am doing at the moment. Or it’s easier, less time consuming or simpler.

This year feels like a year to rededicate myself to uncovering who I am, not what I would like to be, or who others see me as. I would like to find something that goes beyond marketing and sales and making a difference for others to include making a difference for me.

I have heard it said that making art is more of an inner journey than any other endeavor, and when we start out to make art, we don’t start out to make it a profession, just to let the exploration of medium and emotion come together. However, once the decision gets made to turn it into a profession the message and the exploration may get lost. We think more about trends and input from those that want to guide us and less about the story we ourselves need to tell.

I am not suggesting that these aspects of making art for sale are bad, I am just speculating that maybe there is a way to combine them. Especially now when our market to make sales is no longer limited to where we live. Our market is global and our audience is broad enough to include my voice and yours and it doesn’t have to be a competition.

Maybe we can tell our own story, make our personal statements and still find an audience with whom it resonates. That is what the internet should do and to me, that is an incredible and amazing thing.

So I am going to continue making art and I am going to do some searching to find what really resonates with me. Maybe it’s a style or medium I have used in the past and maybe it will be something new. I don’t know. This feels like that time in my life when it’s time to delve into what my story really wants to be about.

Hence the name of this blog. Let your story unfold.

Have a Happy Day

Cheryl

We will figure it out

We will figure it out

It’s Saturday, it has been an illuminating week. It’s also been earth-shattering in the “now what?” category. The jobs I have been getting consistently the last couple of years are fading from existence which seems to be another sign that my renewed path to make art seems to be right. I don’t make as much per job in art yet, but I do make sales regularly. I am not depending on Etsy yet, but I do see the potential. And if I count it all up it is a decent wage, so even though losing a bigger job is scary on the outset, it also gives me the time and money I would have spent in preparation for it to use on other things. When transitions in my life happen, it always seems to take me a little time to think things through and to not panic. I have gotten all my chores done today and I plan to spend the rest of the day in the studio. And that is one sure way to make me happy.

It seems that many people are going through big life transitions these days. Finding our way through these times of economic, political, and planetary uncertainty really affects us all. We are all in this together and we will create a new world experience because we are adaptable and filled with creative energy.

I hope you have a happy day. I am planning on it.

Cheryl