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Tuesday:) Two Talented McKinney Artists~ Wayne & Valerie Batchelder

12 Feb

“Happiness [is] only real when shared”

― Jon Krakauer

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Last night, we had such a wonderful potluck gathering at The Cove for our monthly McKinney Creative Community meeting. There was great food, friendship, conversation, sharing, and a presentation by local artists Wayne and Valerie Batchelder.

The main focus wasn’t as much on the creativity and craftsmanship of the couple, but more about how do two artists manage to work independently, stay focused, and stay married. The summary from both Valerie and Wayne was that they both admired each other’s talent, never criticized or critiqued, but most importantly, that they both understood that inner drive and need to create, no matter how long it takes or the time it takes away from other things. They both “get it.” How cool is that!

Valerie loves to create her whimsical portraits, but also enjoys stylized or realistic landscapes and florals.

Wayne is a gifted potter who spends endless hours forming lumps of clay into beautiful works of art.

It was fascinating how he described with such excitement how an old twisted piece of wood was destined to become a handle for an organic platter or coffee mug.

And the best part of our wonderful McKinney Creative Community is that everyone and anyone is welcome. Everyone learns and shares. Everyone is inspired and everyone knows that art is a part of all of us.

If you’re interested in joining us, check Facebook or Google McKinney Creative Community.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

12 Feb

“Mindful Monday Humans, May your coffee kick in before reality does.”

― Napz Cherub Pellazo

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It was pretty much a cold, bleak, grey, gloomy, drizzly and yucky week. Isn’t it great to be alive? If you can keep busy, create, pray, smile, spend time with friends and family, that makes for a great week.

A week in a peek….

Sunday Sermon and an Etch A Sketch

10 Feb

“Have no fear of perfection- you’ll never reach it.”

~Salvador Dali

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Another drizzly, cold, sock monkey hat kinda morning. Greeting before Mass is always the highlight of my day. I passed out a couple of matchbox cars, and a few bright pink heart necklaces from the Dollar Store to my seniors on the Chateau bus, and one for little Avery. Lots of hugs and smiles this morning.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus going down to the lake, and asking Simon to take him a little way from shore so he could teach and address the crowds. When He finished, He told Simon to go out into the deep water and cast his nets. Simon said they had been fishing all day and caught nothing, but cast the nets as instructed. They caught so many fish that they called for the other boat to help carry the bountiful catch.

Simon Peter and the others fell to their knees and followed Jesus.

“Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.”

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My take on it… sometimes we have to blindly cast out our nets and trust that God will do as he promised and take care of us. We also each have a purpose in this life, and once we find our calling, talent, or our gift, we need to honor our Creator by using that gift to the best of our ability.

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After church, I stopped at the store. I know, I was at Kroger just the other day, but Tom Thumb is right by church and eggs were on sale 79 cents a dozen, limit 2. Egg salad sandwiches tomorrow for the potluck. Tuna was also on sale 69 cents a can. I have two potlucks tomorrow, so I’ll make 10 egg salad and 10 tuna sandwiches. Eggs are cooling now.

While I was boiling eggs and contemplating life, I was going through my photos. Last week, my son Joe asked me if I still had his Dick Tracy lunch box from the 80’s and action figures. I went trough a zillion bins labeled boys toys, and I found the lunch box, but it was empty. I found a couple of random bad guys, but I didn’t sort through every action figure. Mr. Tracy might still be in one of these bins.

Inside bin number 5, I found an old Etch A Sketch. I remember having one when I was a girl… a million years ago. This one is from the 80’s. So, I was curious about the history and how much the toy had changed or evolved over the years. NOT MUCH?

This is from the 80’s. They made their American debut in 1960 and were a big seller.

Wow! Look how far the Etch A Sketch has evolved. They added a plastic string and a stylus. Some even have a little color.

Just goes to show, sometimes you can’t improve on a good thing.

Saturday:) Some Seriously Amazing Artwork By Brad Donaldson

10 Feb

“A really great talent finds its happiness in execution.”

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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This evening, I had the opportunity to see the wonderful artwork created by my friend, Brad Donaldson, at his artist reception at The Martin Place in McKinney. Brad is a self-taught, curious, experimental, and talented artist who works mostly with resin art , but has also recently expanded his creative horizons with whimsical sculptures.

This evening was a very cold and rainy night, so the reception was not that well attended. But, the good news is, it looks like there will be another chance to meet and talk with the artist at an additional reception February 23rd. Brad is always happy to discuss his techniques, inspirations, and insights. That’s what I love about my artist friends. They are always happy to share, and even offer to teach you their methods. Brad has mentored and shared his techniques with many artists,

Another cool thing about Brad’s work is that he also researched, investigated, and taught himself how to build his own huge canvases, molds, table bases, etc. So, his amazing original work is pretty much all a personal labor of love from start to finish.

This black pecan wood and resin table below is my personal favorite. Just stunning.

Now, for the whimsical side …

If you’d like to check out this really cool artwork this month, feel free to stop by or call The Martin Place.

Friday:) February’s Frigid Temps Forces Artist to Stay Home and Paint

9 Feb

” When the going gets tough and cold, the tough and smart artist stays home and paints. Well, most of the time.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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This freezing weather here in North Texas has put a damper on my galavanting and procrastinating. Just a few days ago, it was in the 80’s and I barely saw the inside of my house. The last couple of days has been so cold…how cold was it Miss Toni? Well, suffice to say, St. Francis still had his winter coat and hat on when I walked today.

So, here is how my day went. I bundled up and walked the dog this morning. It was about 25 degrees.

I went to the 11:30 zumba class at the YMCA and rode the exercise bike for 25 minutes-5 miles, then stopped at the new Kroger on the way home. Butter was on sale $1.99 a pound. Can’t pass that up with Valentine cupcake season just around the corner.

Once I got home and had some lunch, Bella stared at me with those big ol’ eyes and wanted to walk again. I think she forgot it was so cold. So, off we went, through the park and around the pond. Then, I dropped her off and walked for another couple of miles, very briskly, I may add.

All that cold air, adrenaline and Catholic guilt forced me to stay home and be productive. The choices were laundry, housework, vacuuming, and tedious stuff like that OR do something creative like painting wine glasses. I chose the latter. My house is a mess, but I have a mess of beautiful wine glasses instead.

More discarded glassware transformed into treasures. My dear friend, Mr. Jerry, gave me a whole big box of wine glasses, martini glasses and misc. glassware a few months back when he was cleaning out his curio cabinet. He knew that I would turn them into something special. (Thanks Mr. Jerry)

Here they are. What do you think?

Three walks, zumba class, 5 miles on the bike, and ten hand-painted wine glasses. That’s a slow day for me.

TA DA…….

Thursday:) Thrift Store This to Treasured That

8 Feb

“Take something old and discarded, give it love and attentions, and create a beautiful work of art. The same goes for people, places, and things.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I like to scour through thrift stores searching for special glassware to paint. I’m always on the look out for large bowls to paint for the Empty Bowls charity event in the spring. Sometimes the cost at the thrift store is a bit pricey for a used discarded item, and often times marked even more than it would cost new. But, I like to hunt for an old discarded item and transform it into a beautiful new treasure.

I’m not sure what this large glass bowl was in it’s previous life. Maybe a chip and dip bowl, who knows. This was my challenge. Did it want to have bluebonnets or roses painted on it? The flowing low horizontal shape of the glass asked for bluebonnets. (My projects talk to me, but only if I ask a question.)

This is what the wanted to look like…

A little paint, a little love, and now someone’s discarded bowl will be someone’s treasure. Not to mention, it will raise a little money for Empty Bowls on May 16.

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom From Facebook

6 Feb

“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.”

~Marcel Proust

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I don’t watch much television nowadays, and I NEVER watch the news. Therefore, most of my worldly information and entertainment comes from Facebook. Sad, right? But, I do glean wonderful words of wisdom from my many friends who post great quotes.

Here is what made me smile, cry, ponder, commiserate with, and learn from on Facebook just today…

Yep, I’m going to take that trip, buy the shoes and eat LOTS of cake.