Way To Go Bro!

I have to give a shout out to my brother, Alan, who is one of my best friends (hoping it is reciprocal!).  In February, he was able to move into a house, right across the street from us.  He has worked for the past 17 years with an insurance company and has always wanted his own house.  Thanks to our dad, who purchased the house, Alan is able to make payments on a rent to own basis and he knows the landlord pretty well.

So, for the month of February and most of March, we have been busy painting, especially the doors, windows and trim, plus cleaning the house as well as the apartment he moved out of.

Als house
Alan at home

He wears a leg brace from the hip down due to a birth defect, Klippel-Trenauney-Weber syndrome, and a luxating patella, so he just needs a little extra help.  It will be nice to have him so close.  He truly is an inspiration to others, as the doctors said when he was little that he would never be able to walk very far.  However, in Philippians 4:13 the Apostle Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me”.  Amen to that!  Alan is an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, has white water rafted and earned the Swimmers merit badge by swimming a mile across a lake in Michigan, plus showed horses in 4-H.  Way to go bro, indeed!

Al and his 2013 Equinox
Alan and his Equinox

Alan has lived in apartments for over 16 years, but he loves the peace and quiet of the country.  We are in the middle of farmland, with cattle on three sides, and he loves it here.  Next door there is a herd of sheep and the man that owns them has asked if he can fence in the back of Alan’s property to extend their pasture.  Of course he said yes, (less mowing for us) and he is looking forward to watching them graze as he sits with a coffee or iced tea out back.  After all, its the Southern thing to do!  Congratulations Alan!

Jonathans new lambs
New lambs at the farm next door
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Its Coming, Slow but Sure!

Azalea 2018

It really is coming, even though the calendar said it had arrived about three weeks ago.  I am talking about Spring, and it has had quite a challenge in getting here as Old Man Winter is not giving up without a fight this year.

 

The azalea above is in front of our house and has been adamant about blooming this year.  It started budding about a month ago and once the blooms started opening I covered it up as we were having freeze warnings many nights so far this spring.  If the buds hadn’t opened it would be ok, but as you can see, as of March 31st, it was in full bloom!

Red Tulips 18

I also wanted to share with you the wonderful red and green in this photo of some tulips my parents got us at Easter with a geranium blooming behind them.  It really brightens up the kitchen on these dreary days.  It is raining again here in Middle Tennessee, but like they say,

“April showers bring May flowers”!

Can’t wait!

Hope you have a color filled spring!

It’s Been Way Too Long!

Yes, it has been way too long since I have posted anything!  So, what have I been up to?  Well, I am always busy with daily chores of caring for our 29 year old Tennessee Walking Horse, Master, our Dachshund, Rembrandt, the lawn and flower beds and other typical chores (plus cleaning my brother’s apartment).  I have also spent way too many hours on technology issues, such as antivirus software overhaul and my tablet not working properly (still working on this issue), and I transferred a multitude of photos from our phones to our computer.  I have been going through them trying to organize them as well.  I also did a bit of cleaning and rearranging in the studio.

I have gotten in some painting, although not as much as I would have liked.  One of those projects was a set of bookends a client ordered for her son for Christmas.  I won’t show them now, we will have to wait until he opens them!  I have painted a number of vintage spoons with latex house paint and I have been on a song bird trend that has been extremely popular.

Spoon triangle-Denny Martindale
Northern Cardinals in pine tree, American Goldfinch on Purple Coneflower, and Eastern Bluebird in apple trees  Hand painted vintage spoons, latex house paint, Denny Martindale

Another project my husband and I both worked on was the process of going through my grandfather’s 8mm and Super 8 movie reels.  My dad found them along with a projector and screen for viewing.  They had been left to my mother by her dad when he went to Heaven as she received his camera equipment.  David cleaned and tuned the projector and we set about going through them to see if they were any good and if the projector would even work.  It clacked and clicked away (don’t you just love that sound), and the films were in much better condition than we thought.  I mean, it is 2017 and these were shot between about 1953 and the mid -’70s.  Most were around 60 years old!  We realized we had a task on our hands as there was a lot of film, as in over 30 reels, many with 200 feet of film.  Plus, we didn’t necessarily recognize a number of the people in them as they were filmed before or around the time I was born.

Old movie projector
Old movie projector for 8mm and Super 8 reel films

So, after we had viewed them, we decided to see if we could get my mom and her three siblings (two in other states) together to go through them and identify the people and places.  After much planning, it all finally came together over Labor Day weekend, and as they watched and laughed they told me the names, places and dates they could remember and I wrote them all down to the best of my ability on pieces of paper we then put in their respective tins.  Some of their cousins heard about them and expressed interest in having copies made.  They all thanked us for getting everyone together and showing the movies and loved the memories they brought back.  We found a place to have them put onto DVDs, and since they are near one of my uncles and they don’t ship the film out, the price is pretty decent, especially when you have a number of families going in on it together.  I am looking forward to seeing them again, this time on DVD, as so many of the people in the films have gone on, and places have changed so much.

Hope you have had a wonderful summer, and blessed memories and days ahead to you!

All photos and artwork ©2017 Denny Martindale, All Rights Reserved

 

Do YOU like it?

Make no mistake, but everyone’s tastes are different.  Whether it is art, clothing, music, food, you name it and we each have our own individual style.  While this is the way God created us, to be unique, it can also ruffle a few feathers, so to speak.  Our uniqueness gives the world great variety and color and it would be a truly boring place if we were all the same!  Whats more, we all have our own opinions, especially when it comes to art.

People buy art for many reasons, maybe a piece has their favorite color, or it matches the sofa in the living room.  Perhaps the subject matter reminds them of a special place, or a particular event or person in their life.  Whatever the reason, it is their reason and yes, they have to live with it.  I am often asked by friends or family what I think about a piece of art they are contemplating purchasing.  I may not care for it for whatever reason, but I try to help them make sure it is quality materials, and asking where they might be displaying it (as a general rule, paintings should not be in direct sunlight).  If pressed about whether or not I like it, I explain that it isn’t about what I think but what they think and how they feel about the piece.

Recently, a friend of mine brought over a painting for me to look at that she had purchased at a thrift store for $1.  It would look good in the kitchen of her new apartment.  She was so excited about her find, but before she showed it to me, she explained that it was of a rooster and when she saw the piece it reminded her of a rooster I painted on a mural a few years ago.  She had always loved that rooster, so this painting really touched her.  She said that it was  ‘not like the way you paint’, and thought possibly a child or a beginning artist had painted it.  I told her that was okay, and if she liked it, that was all that mattered.  Upon seeing it, I agreed that perhaps a child or beginner could have painted it, and explained that it was a point and time in that artist’s life, style and ability, and the art she chooses for her home doesn’t have to be like what I paint.

I asked her if she liked it and of course, she did.  I replied that is what really matters, and truthfully, it is all that really matters, the fact that she liked it.  I explained to her that I have seen a lot of art that I didn’t particularly care for, but that doesn’t mean that someone else shouldn’t like it or buy it.  Furthermore, if she found something she really liked for a dollar, then more power to her!  She phoned me later to tell me she had asked a couple of other people what they thought, and they said the rooster was too skinny, that the painting had a lot of issues.  With that, she donated it back to the thrift store and is on the hunt for something else.  Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.

I hope you are surrounded by artwork and things that you love that bring back fond memories.  It really doesn’t matter who did it, how much you paid for it, etc.  The bottom line is, do you like it?

 

 

It’s Here Again!

Yes, it is here again, tax time that is.  Here in the United States, most everyone is required by law to file a federal income tax return for the previous year with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which must be postmarked by midnight, April 15 every year.  You may also be responsible for State Income Tax as well, and this varies from state to state.  Yes, I said most, as there are some exemptions, and you can take a survey on the IRS website by clicking on the link here.

This always leads to long lines at the post offices as people have put off filing, and again, it needs to be postmarked by midnight, April 15.  However, this year the filing date has been extended to midnight April 18 so you have a couple of extra days!  Efile.com has a table of filing dates which you can view by clicking here.  For more in depth information on State Income Tax, you will need to visit the website of your state’s government offices or contact an Income Tax specialist in your area.  Art, taxes

Unsubscribe

unsubscribe

One of my New Years resolutions was to simplify more.  Simplify not only my life in general, but also my MAW (Martindale Artworks) business.  I have three email accounts, one for my website, one that I had from a previous version of the MAW website, and my personal account.  After the first of the year, I sat down and started cleaning up emails and the first two accounts went rather quickly.  However, the personal account has been overwhelmingly inundated in the past year with an unbelievable amount of junk.  The account is arranged with Primary, Social, and Promotional tabs, and I knew that I had been strictly dealing with the emails that seemed important, and letting the rest go.  “I will get to them later”, I kept telling myself.  Therefore, I had over 2100 emails in the one account!  Yikes!  So I set out to start hitting the delete button.

Well, not so fast.  I was curious to know where all this stuff was coming from.  The Primary tab was pretty much items that I had saved for information, or pertained to something that was in progress, so that tab was good.  Social had the least, and is basically blogs I follow, Facebook notifications, etc. and I whittled that one down pretty quickly.  Now for the Promotions tab.  They were literally from everywhere.  Places like Nashville Paw Magazine, Professional Artists’ Magazine, Hobby Lobby, etc, were fine.  The rest I wanted to know how I made their list.  Some were because I ha signed a petition, contacted a congressman, bought or inquired about something and one of their affiliates was sending me an offer.  Others were much more vague, loosely tied to some entity I was familiar with, while a few were just randomly sent to me.

This REALLY irritates me for a couple of reasons:  first, it loads up everyone’s email accounts with things we aren’t even interested in.  There were actually a couple of good blogs in the mix, but I unsubscribed for the simple fact that they never asked me to sign up.   Second, it makes legitimate businesses that send out legitimate newsletters look bad.  I send out a MAW newsletter once a month (on average) and I DO NOT give, sell, lease, rent or buy email addresses.  I just don’t play that game.  I want people to sign up because they like my work, I mean I truly have enough to do without all that. Furthermore, I have run into people at shows that are leery of signing up for an art newsletter, afraid that they will be bombarded with email.  I actually heard an art marketing coach tell her followers to send at least one lengthy email every other month, and 2-3 mini e-blasts per month.  Seriously???  Once a month is plenty, and maybe a quick one line reminder if there is something special going on.

Third, it is against the CAN-SPAM ACT (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003).  This is a Federal law that actually has procedures businesses must follow regarding building a mailing list and using email for marketing.  Just adding a person at random is not one of them.  Prospective recipients must opt in by signing up to receive email from a business, or tell them to be put on a list.  The entity may add them to a list as long as they send that individual a notice stating they have been added but are free to unsubscribe at any time.  You can read more about the CAN-SPAM ACT by clicking here.  There are also guidelines to follow if you feel you are being sent unsolicited email or have tried to unsubscribe and it didn’t appear to go through.

Understandably every business is trying to build their mailing lists.  But blatantly adding addresses is not the answer.  If you are tired of the junk, just hit ‘unsubscribe’.  I ended up unsubscribing and deleting an overwhelming amount of email, and it is a huge relief.  Now I can actually concentrate on and enjoy the stuff that is truly important to me such as newsletters from businesses and artists I am interested in.  Whats more, the more clicks and opens a newsletter receives the better.  Remember, you can visit my website to ‘opt in’ at any time!  God bless!

To Germany With Love

Once again a client in Bavaria asked if I could paint on a couple of buckets for her to give this Christmas as gifts for their children.  I said of course, and the hunt began for a couple of older buckets that were in decent shape.  Some of the old buckets are in bad shape and actually need to be reshaped, but these were pretty good.  They sent me some photos for reference, and I set to work prepping, painting and sealing.  I finished them in time to ship out (international shipping takes a very long time during the month of December, so when the post office says to get your item in the mail by December 1, they mean it!) and received notification that they had arrived in Germany.

Daughter’s Bucket

helene-and-pets-side-1-denny-martindalehelene-and-pets-side-2-denny-martindale

 

Son’s Bucket

konrad-and-pets-side-1-denny-martindalekonrad-and-pets-side-2-denny-martindale

The insides of the buckets are painted to have an antique metal appearance.  They are both coated in spar urethane.  I thoroughly enjoyed working on these pieces, and I just love the dress of the children and the flowers in their horse’s manes.  As always I was happy to hear they arrived and everyone loved them.  Thank you for looking and have a blessed day!