Tag Archives: artists

Friday:) From The Cove~Meet the Artists of Empty Bowls

30 Mar

“When artists get together and collaborate, magic happens.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Friday and Saturday, the community has the opportunity to meet many of the artists and potters who collaborated to create dozens of beautiful hand-crafted bowls that will be auctioned off on May 16.

I was honored to have three bowls featured at the pre-view event. Instead of just standing around and mingling and nibbling, I decided to take my paints, brushes and a few white bowls to paint and demonstrate my signature bluebonnets. I got a chance to chat with other artists, potters, and visitors while I painted.

Alex Macias was home for Spring Break and was at The Cove throwing several beautiful clay bowls.

The large bluebonnet bowl that I under glazed last month was thrown by the talented Steve Macias. Lynne Weinberger’s cute bird and Marybeth Jagger’s hearts and birds were a lovely addition to the display.

If you missed the pre-view today, you still have a chance to visit The Cove Saturday evening, 6:30-9 pm, and meet some very talented artists, sip a little wine, and nibble some snacks. (I took some of my signature brownies, too)

Tuesday:) A Talented Creative Community

13 Mar

“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.”

~Leo Burnett

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McKinney Creative Community meets the second Monday of the month at The Cove in downtown McKinney for a pot-luck gathering. It’s a wonderful group of like-minded, talented and appropriately named creative people. We are artists, writers, photographers, dancers, musicians, and the list goes on. We get together for camaraderie, sharing our “New and good news,” meeting new people, and chatting with old friends. Then, we always have an inspirational guest speaker.

Yesterday, our guest speaker was Carolyn Selby, owner and baker/designer of Cookies In Bloom. Carolyn talked about leaving the chaotic corporate world to follow her passion, starting her own business and being her own boss.

When asked what keeps her going and motivated, she explained how delighted she is when people rave about the special personalized gifts they give or receive. Making people happy and loving what you do is motivation enough.

The cookies are delicious and beautiful. We all found out first hand when we were treated to some yummy samples, and saw a few tasty examples.

If you’re feeling creative, they also sell kits to make or share your own yummy creations. You can special order, pick up and/or ship your delicious edible gifts at their location. They are also a full service U.S. Post Office, at 2001 Central Circle, #107, McKinney.

Stop by or check out the website.

http://www.cookiesinbloom.com/M/index.aspx

We have such a great time at our McKinney Creative Community meetings. We have great food, talented guest speakers and members, and most of all, we share our love of community.

Friday:) Fun on the Square and McKinney’s Finest Firemen

9 Mar

“Friends… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.”

~Henry David Thoreau

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Wow! A fun busy Friday for Miss Toni. I started off with a heart pumping zumba class at the Y. Then, I picked up Helene, and we headed off to the Square. First, we stopped at the Art Studio to drop off my auction bowl for Empty Bowls, then over to St. Peter’s to drop off 25 event bowls. (More about the bowls another time.)

Did I mention it was a gorgeous day? 77 degrees, sunny, and a tiny breeze.

Helene and I walked around the Square, stopped for lunch at Snug, and stopped in a few shops.

Bay Willow Design is always a fun stop. Owner of the trendy millenary shop, and good friend, Jenny Foster, was busy reorganizing displays. But, she took time to stop and chat, showing Helene around the awesome shop.

Way in the back, I saw a couple cool artist friends, Leslie and Andrea. They were working on website designs.

Andrea, on the right, suggested we stop at Patina Green to see her bird paintings that she just installed. Oh, for sure.

Aren’t those cool? Those are individual wooden plaques, taking up an entire wall.

We stopped at the Antique Mall, and after a lot of browsing, I found a small white porcelain heart shaped box to paint this Christmas. I’m always on the look out for a white surface to paint bluebonnets for Mr. Dan’s dead wife who isn’t really dead. Some of you know that story. Too, long for this. I told Helene, and she laughed. So, when I checked out at the counter, I told the two ladies wrapping up the box, “I have a great story for you. I bought this to paint bluebonnets on for Mr. Dan’s dead wife.” Then, I told them the story. They laughed, and I think I made their day.

By the time I took Helene home and parked in the garage, it was almost 5 pm. I took a ten minute break, talked to my sister on the phone, then headed out for a walk. I just checked my walking app. 3.7 miles today.

It was still so beautiful out, so I decided to trim the front bushes after my walk. I had to quit when it got too dark to see, but I got a lot trimmed. I had the windows open all evening because it was cool and 68 in the house and 77 outside. Great day!

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Now, for my friendly neighborhood firemen. I stopped over to Station 9 on Wednesday, but I like to share my Firemen stories for Friday, just because I like alliteration. Wednesday morning on my way home from church, I noticed that several fire trucks and vehicles from other stations were over at station 9, so I decided to bake a double batch of brownies so there would be plenty to share. They were doing special training, and I’m sure would appreciate a little sweet treat after lunch. The hard part was that I had decided to fast all day on Ash Wednesday, so I didn’t even lick the spoon or taste test the crunchy edges,

I always get a big smile and a cool photo op. Oh, they also save my containers from the previous drop off. Everyone knows Miss Toni and knows to save my containers. One time, one of the veteran firemen told a new guy, “Oh, we have that in our fire fighter handbook. Save Miss Toni’s container.” Hmm? That just might be true. Ha!

Happy Friday my friends. Time to fix my Black Russian. It is Friday, after all!

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.

Wednesday:) What’s Happening in McKinney?

24 Jan

“Caring can be learned by all human beings, can be worked into the design of every life, meeting an individual need as well as a pervasive need of society.”

~Mary Catherine Bateson

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Last evening, a wonderful group of talented artists met at The HUB, at First United Methodist Church of McKinney. Our objective was to create beautiful underglaze paintings on the already fired bisque-ware bowls thrown and fired by local potters for the upcoming Empty Bowls Event in May.

For those of you not familiar with the Empty Bowls charity event, local potters, artists, painters, students, instructors, and other creative souls decorate, paint, glaze or create unique bowls to be auctioned or chosen with an entry fee ticket. The concept is, these lovingly created bowls will remind us of all the many Empty Bowls of the less fortunate and hungry people in our own community.

When you purchase a ticket, (I believe they are $25) it entitles you to chose one of the hundreds of bowls on display. Then, there are fine artisan bowls in the silent auction, and extra bowls that can be purchased. Also, local restaurants, bakeries, and eateries provide samples of their soups and desserts while you browse and visit with friends and neighbors. You get a beautiful bowl, a wonderful meal, and the knowledge that you helped to feed some hungry folks. A win-win.

Last year, over $75,000 was raised to help provide meals for families in Collin County.

Here are just a few bowls that I chose over the years at Empty Bowls. I’ve gone every year since it started. Some were made by middle and high school students, and others by local artists.

When I walked into the HUB last night, it was like The Who’s Who of the McKinney art world. Of course, most of them are already dear friends from the Art Club, or long-time artist friends.

Everyone was hard at work, creating a masterpiece that will grace the auction tables in May.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to paint when I arrived, so I went to my signature bluebonnets and roses. Keep in mind, these under glazes will be brighter and shiny once they are fired in the kiln. Another huge task that the volunteers undertake.

Our good friends Steve and Minda Macias, Jamie St.Clair, Jennifer Burke, Wayne Batchelder and others, organized and set up this 2-D artist event, and have been busy all year organizing other creative events for Empty Bowls.

You can Google or check out Facebook Empty Bowls McKinney for more info.

Minda commented on Facebook that I was an over achiever because I finished two bowls while others were still struggling to finish their first one. I laughed because I can do these with my eyes closed…and I have demonstrated that on occasion.

I still haven’t painted my artist donation bowl yet, but I’ll keep you posted when I do. It’s all for a great charity and for a great community. We have the greatest, kindest, most generous and talented people you’ll ever come across in your lifetime. I LOVE MCKINNEY!!!

Tuesday:) Toni Talks About McKinney

16 Jan

Small towns make up for their lack of people by having everyone be more interesting.     

Doris “Granny D” Haddock

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McKinney feels like a small town even though it is growing by leaps and bounds. But, it still has that small town atmosphere. There are no strangers, just people you haven’t met yet. Hang out on the Square a while, and you’ll make new friends.

Monday afternoons, I go to the Senior Center for the country line dance. Growing up and spending nearly 50 years in the Chicago area, I know nothing about country music or dancing. Hey, you’re never too old to learn. Right? I’m learning. I’m having fun. Then, I stayed after for the group line dance instruction class.

No, I don’t wear boots and a cowboy hat, but it’s never too late.

After the dance and the instruction class, it was almost time to go to McKinney Creative Community over at the Cove. I was already on the east side, so I just hung around until 5:30.

This group of talented local artists, writers, musicians, and creative people meet the second Monday of every month for a pot-luck gathering, to share, care, and stare at one another. We usually have a wonderful guess speaker. This month, Rachel Reitan, provided a very interesting presentation on portrait art and the motivational and inspirational process of an artist. Fascinating!

It is so interesting to learn about other artists and their creative process. Rachel spends hours with her clients before and during their portrait painting session, learning about their life so she can express that feeling into the portrait. If you want a photo, take a photo. Don’t expect a portrait to look like a photo. If you want the heart and soul of a person reflected in a painted portrait, call Rachel Reitan. If you live somewhere far from McKinney, find a local artist to paint your special portrait.

I love living in my little town.

Tuesday:) Talking To The Artists~ McKinney Creative Community

14 Nov

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”

~Coretta Scott King

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Last night was our monthly McKinney Creative Community monthly pot-luck and gathering. Everyone is welcome, and the members and visitors are artists, writers, dancers, musicians, and pretty much anyone interested in sharing or learning creative endeavors. We gather at The Cove the second Monday of each month at 5:30, sharing food, drink, and all the wonderful

things happening in our world,

Our guest speaker was Amy Rosenthal, Main Street Program Director, who gave a wonderful presentation on the history of McKinney and how the community has changed over the past few decades. But, the exciting news Amy shared was that McKinney recently received the honor of being a Designated Texas Cultural District. She said that the local artists, musicians, etc. have been an integral part of making that honor happen.

The group did some brainstorming and making suggestions on how the arts community can participate and contribute to the growth of the city and how the city can help promote and support local artists. It was a very productive and inspirational meeting.

McKinney is a great place to live. I have been blessed with so many creative and talented friends.