First thank you: Darcy in New York.
In recent years, November became "Gratitude month." I don't know how it started, but I like it.
As an artist, I want to share my excitement for what I am doing, and thank people for their interest and support.
At every art show, I randomly choose a "winner" from the guest book and send them a print. But how can I say thanks for the likes, the comments and the shares, especially from website, blog and social media fans I haven't met?
A few years ago, I had the idea to start giving away paintings and prints on Facebook. It started with a painting of a single pear, and a few times each year, someone out there receives a gift package. At last count, ten paintings and prints have been given in that spirit of gratitude.
On November 1, I posted the painting "Balancing Act" as a giveaway on Facebook, to honor all those package delivery people whose jobs get a lot more difficult during the holidays. The post was liked and shared and reached over 3,000 people!
A woman named Pat commented that she used to live right near that location but had moved away. She shared the post and said she would love to win the painting. All of a sudden, there was a groundswell of shares and comments and pleas and promises made to "give the painting to Pat!" I did not know Pat, but realized she must be a woman who had touched people with a generous spirit - and they all wanted her to have the painting. The winner has always been selected at random, but this outpouring made me rethink the process. So, I chose Pat.
I've since learned who Pat is. After a colorful life as a San Francisco socialite, she has spent the past 30 years doing humanitarian work for peace around the world and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times! I suspect that Pat Montandon has "paid it forward" with gratitude often - and it feels good to know that by selecting her as the winner, her Facebook friends and fans got to share their thanks back.
Saying thank you is contagious -- and if you would like to send a note of gratitude to someone in your life, I'll send a free notecard to write it on! The first 10 people who leave a message in the comments will get a card - be sure to send me your address using the contact form
on my website. (If you would like to purchase cards, you can do that here.)Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Mt. Tamalpais, Bayfront Park Spring, 20 x 40 Oil
Hanging an art show takes time and patience. The opening night of a show over in a flash. Then the show hangs, until it's time to take it down. Pieces that have sold are delivered to new collectors, and the rest is packed up and taken back to the studio. Mill Valley Depot, 11 x 14 Print, $50.
My June landscape show opening (at Alain Pinel in Mill Valley, California) had over 100 visitors for art, conversation, and a glass of wine. It was a great opportunity to show my latest work to old and new friends, collectors and interested guests.
If you weren't able to see the show in person, here's a look at some of the new, and still-available paintings, all beautifully framed. Click on the image for a larger view, size and price:
Tomorrow it will be time to load boxes, padding and tools into the back of the Prius and unhang it all. Some pieces are headed to new homes, others are headed to photography for prints and notecards. But tonight, I will put away wet paints and clean out the studio to make room for what's coming back. And I pick a winner - not a painting, but a person.
At every show, I ask people to sign a guest book and one person is randomly selected to win a print. This time, the print was "Mill Valley Depot," and winner is Lydia Maroevich. Congratulations!
Sunday, May 13 is Mother's Day in the United States. I want to pay tribute to my mother, Melita. She was a kindergarten teacher and our home was always filled with art supplies. She was always crafting or doodling and took adult education classes in drawing and painting. She taught the Arts and Crafts badge for my Brownie troop - we made papier mache sculptures. Macrame plant holders, beaded flowers -- every craft du jour happened in our house. She would have really liked my new art studio! Melita loved creating things and giving them away for others to enjoy. This Mother's Day, I'm honoring the joy and spirit she had for art by giving away a painting. Share a positive "MOM" comment on this blog post at my website and you'll be entered. Make sure you are on my email list so I can contact you if you win!
It's the time of year when my little town of Mill Valley is bustling. Starting with the Memorial Day parade, and then the 101st running of the Dipsea Foot race and moving on to the 30th annual Wine, Food and Gourmet Festival.
To celebrate, I'm giving away a beautifully matted print of my painting, "Mill Valley Depot." To be eligible, (1) click on the Facebook "like" button below this post, and (2) leave a comment saying what you love most about Mill Valley. Thanks, and good luck!