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

Fall is time for Old West Day in Randsburg, CA!

Fall is time for Old West Day in Randsburg, CA!

Well, we made it through the Summer out here in Earthquake Land. I live in what some people call the earthquake capital or just Ridgecrest. Having grown up in California, I am very aware of earthquakes, however, here they were not really any to speak of. Tiny ones that no one felt until the July 4th and 5th of this year, quakes that registered a 6.4 and a 7.1 and there have been thousands of aftershocks since!

We are all doing our best to get to a new “normal” where everything is secured with museum wax and locks or bungees on the cabinets and a travel bag packed and ready to exit quickly if the next big one comes. They say there will be a next one which could be anytime between now and a million years from now!

Anyway, I am very ready for Fall. In the summer here it’s really too hot to do much of anything and my business slows down. After Labor day, suddenly things start happening again. Art festivals are plentiful in the Fall, leading up to Christmas, and I try to come up with at least one new holiday card each year which will happen in the very near future. Right now I am working on getting ready for my first event which is always a fun one. It’s Old West Day in the tiny ghost town of Randsburg just off US395. Western re-enactments and dress, and lot’s of desert art, country/bluegrass music, shootouts, and more. It is always the 3rd Saturday of September and this year that is the 21st. I and my junk art and collectible friends will be selling out of the Hole in the Wall by the Joint. Hope you can come and enjoy.

I used to have a gallery in Randsburg and may someday again. I enjoy painting the desert and the old mining towns of California. Back in 2012 when I was in Randsburg I had a series of cards which I have pictured here, and this year I added a new one of the Santa Barbara Church which is a local treasure. Nothing like a deadline to get me energized.

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Also working on adding more to this site then just the blog, consolidating my web presence is something I have wanted to do for a while. Sometimes you just have to try it all to figure out what works. At least that seems to be how it works for me.

Not only am I busier in the Fall, but the weather is much nicer. We are still at the tail end of Summer and it’s hot, however, it won’t be long when the fresh desert air, lasts all day long and into the night. Looking forward to that!

Have a happy day!

Cheryl

Somethings Are Better At a Snail’s Pace

Somethings Are Better At a Snail’s Pace

i like snail mail 

i love opening the mailbox
and finding a little bit of someones carefully thought out planned story, or sentiment considered just for me.
         time spent with me in their mind. 
         a gift that money can’t buy. 

a thread spun out across the distance to hold us fast to each other. Human to Human.

some things need time to travel…at… a… snail’s… pace.


Yes, letter writing takes time, sending cards takes time.

When was the last time you printed out all the memes you liked on FaceBook or Instagram? Did their sentiment stay with you through the week? Or even through the day?

And how many of the cards and letters you have received in the last year or even longer that are still in your possession? Are they pinned up on your bulletin board may be where they can remind you of the special greeting that someone took the time to share with you?

I have something around 56,000 emails in my inboxes. Deleting them is an overwhelming task and most of those are spam from companies I may have purchased from or often a company that found me on the internet and just started sending me junk mail. There are probably 3 or 4 a day that I actually read and it is often hard to find those among the junk mail. Unsubscribing does not usually work, they don’t care, they still keep sending me stuff. The email has lost its specialness.

Text messaging is tedious and often spam as well. Most people don’t use their phones as phones anymore, and some don’t want to be called unless they get a text first. It’s ok, we all get to choose what works for us. One of the few things we can still have some control over.

An interesting time we live in.

Once the only form of communication across distances is now a luxury and very rare. Maybe that’s what makes it so special.

Sending cards and letters take time and brainpower. Things we are often short of in this day and age of constant endless communication. However, how special would it be if once a week or even once a month your family or close friends received something in the mail from you? A thread of love that connects you to them across the miles.

And just imagine how cool it would be if as an entrepreneur you did this with your customers? I often send thank you notes for purchases, but what about just as a reminder of how important that customer is to you? Yes, I know mail is not cheap and what about the trees? But hey consider it a cost of doing business instead of that email client or social media advertising. Imagine how much more impact it would have to actually receive a handwritten note? Your per-click ratio would be quite a bit higher I suspect.

I realize this is something I need to do, how about you?

Have a happy day!

 

Cheryl McDonald is a full-time artist living in a high desert community at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. You can find her work on Etsy or by clicking cherylmcdonald-art.com

Architectural Illustration, Why Yes, I do that!

Architectural Illustration, Why Yes, I do that!

Going through magazines on style and arts and crafts lately it seems like I am reliving the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s! Macrame, retro architecture and furniture, polka dots and more are all the rage again. Nothing wrong with that! I loved those things the first time.  And I was a little surprised to see hand-painted architectural illustrations as a service making a come back.

Seems like a lifetime ago that I was an architectural illustrator. I used to paint in watercolor and pen & ink homes, restored buildings, beach town locations, and even painted a shopping center once.

I was hired by homeowners, real estate agents who wanted a unique gift for their clients, investment companies, and sometimes just painting locations because I loved the buildings. But then computer-generated illustration and photography became the style that everyone wanted and hand-painted illustration was just old fashioned and boring. And my business as an illustrator dried up and blew away.

Fast forward a few years and once more hand-painted illustration is cool again so maybe it’s time to revisit my skills and offer my services. Now that everyone has a camera in their pocket and computers create perfect drawings with just a few clicks, these have become the norm and having a unique style, as I do, of combining watercolor or ink wash and dancing line over a hand-drawn perspective gives my clients a one of a kind art piece. That can hang on the wall or be digitized for personal stationery, (which I can also do).

So I have added a listing on my Etsy page at cherylmcdonald-art.com where you can order a painting that can be created from your photos on beautiful Arches Watercolor paper using professional watercolors and archival inks. I have added images from my archives in several styles on my Etsy page, to give you an idea of options for you to choose from. I work with you personally throughout the process to create the size, style, and perfect illustration of your unique property.

Sometimes everything that’s old becomes new again and we once more appreciate the time and talent of artisans with unique skills. Going back to watercolor has been a wonderful renewal for me. Lately, my camera in on vacation and my paintbrushes are busy. And I am ok with that. If I can be of service to you please drop me a line. Creating unique works of art for my clients is my favorite thing to do.

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

It’s Spring and the Super Bloom in California has arrived in our desert!

It’s Spring and the Super Bloom in California has arrived in our desert!

Spring arrived over the weekend here in Ridgecrest. This side of the Sierra Nevada is popping wildflowers like crazy. Most are just beginning to bloom. I have quite a crop of wild mustard and belly* flowers in my own backyard!

I have not had much time to get out in the desert yet as projects and a nasty cold have kept me tethered to home so far. One of the projects is preparing for a new selling event called the Home Show here in the Valley. I will have a booth this weekend and so I am painting cards. Right now I am painting wildflower cards, duh!

The 3 in the photo above are in process and they are taken from photos I have of our local flowers in the past. These are some of my favorites. The top one is called the Desert 5 Spot and is typically found in Death Valley, Bottom left is called a Mariposa Lily and it likes to hang out in a little higher elevations on the mountain slopes and tends to be a little more elusive, and the third is a Thistle Sage which is a little more common. Can’t wait to see them finished. Very fun!

This year I am hearing stories of fields of Evening Snow and Phacelia and many other things. It’s time to get out. Wildflower season is always exciting here. Every year brings a different mix of species. My daily walks will move a little farther out of the city so I can commune with the flowers. Yesterday the Painted Butterfly migration was in my neighborhood. The puppies and I got to be in the midst of them as they flew on. It was magical.

Have a Happy Day!

Cheryl

*Belly flowers are not really a species of wildflowers. They come in all kinds. The reason we call them belly flowers is because you have to get down on your belly to see them 🙂