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!

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

A Day Off in the Mojave Desert

A Day Off in the Mojave Desert

I took Friday off.

When you work for yourself and love what you do, it is easy to work every day and burn yourself out. I have learned over the years that I need at least one day off a week and on work days, I manage to take time out to recharge throughout the day as well. I knew Saturday I would be working at the Farmers Market and Sunday I had a Real Estate photo shoot scheduled, so that would be a most of the day’s commitment for shooting and processing. So when a girlfriend invited me on a desert day trip for Friday, I said Yes!

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We were headed to Randsburg which is a little abandoned mining town which is now an off-road Mecca on the weekends as well as a stopover for many on their way to Death Valley. I used to have a gallery there, which only didn’t really work out because most of the traffic was on 2 wheels instead of 4 so they could not take a painting or photograph on the back of their bike!

We took a less traveled road to get there and since I have photographed so much of this area before, I concentrated my photos on new views.

We have had so much rain this year and it is still continuing, very unusual for our desert, and because of all the rain, our desert is getting nice and green. There will be wildflowers in abundance very soon, and then I will share wildflowers of the Mojave with you.

Today I have some beautiful vistas and some found object art to share. We have a lot of old junk left over from the miners, the sheepherder camps, as well as just junk that city people bring out and leave because they think the desert is a waste land. NOT!

We have many quirky artistic types out here and why not use what is around to create something fun and visually interesting. Sometimes they are memorials, and sometimes it’s just fun.

So I hope you enjoy these images and maybe they inspire you to come out and visit our desert and at the very least I hope they give you some inspiration to take a day off.

A big Shout Out to the RandsburgGeneralStore.com for the best patty melt and chocolate malts in the whole world!

It’s Tuesday, Thank you, Abe and George, for Monday off!

It’s Tuesday, Thank you, Abe and George, for Monday off!

When I headed for the mountains with friends there were reports of probable snow and cold weather. So the 3 of us were all bundled up and in a Jeep, ready for anything! When we got up to the 5000 ft level, there were a few spots of snow on the ground and ominous clouds all around. We were on our way to Kernville for the annual Whiskey Flats Western celebration. I had not been in a very long time and had no idea what to expect.

Well, we had a really relaxed and fun day. Yes, there were snow clouds on all the mountains all around us, however, it was sunny and cool but very comfortable. We walked around town and over by the river where the authentic western encampment was set up. That was the only place I took pictures really, beautiful clouds and blue sky, just made everything beautiful.

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We had some lunch at a great Italian restaurant and wandered back home late afternoon. At one point on our way home we had to stop for pictures, the mountains were covered with new snow and there were teeny tiny snowflakes falling on the windshield! We got so excited you would have thought we had never seen snow before. I can tell you that folks who live in the desert get very excited about any kind of precipitation! It is rare and wonderful.

It was a great day and I felt rejuvenated and ready to start a new project on Sunday.

I have been wanting to paint my kitchen pantry with chalk paint for a couple of years now. Had the paint already, just needed to get on with it. So Sunday morning bright and early, I got started. I got 2 coats on fairly easily and then I had to wait for the paint to cure overnight so I could apply the wax. Monday was Wax Day. A coat of clear and a coat of dark and it is rubbed on and then off, just like in the Karate Kid. It was way more work than the painting part! Anyway, I did get it done, added some new hardware and I am very excited to have finally completed this. Now I just need new flooring, but that is for another day!

So now it’s Tuesday and I am back to work on art and design projects. Feeling more relaxed and motivated. Getting out and seeing new scenery and laughing with friends is really the best medicine for clearing my head and lightening my heart.

Hope you had a great weekend. Have a happy week.

Cheryl