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!

 

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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!

Thankful

autumn-time

Yes, I am rather late with this post, but Thanksgiving (even though it was last week) is a season, in my opinion, not just one day, that we should be thankful.  I have been busy with a few commissions for Christmas, and have been fighting what I thought was allergy/sinus issues for over a week.  However, on Thanksgiving night, a severe cold hit and needless to say my weekend has strictly been some much needed rest and hot tea with numerous herbal remedies.  Finally on the mend now, so I thought I might write a post on what I am grateful for.

I am always grateful for the love and support of my family and friends, who are my constant cheerleaders.  They really help out when I need it, doing everything from helping to set up at shows, assisting when I just need an extra hand, to critiquing my work.  I asked my brother one time what he thought of a sketch I had done for a watercolor painting of a cutting horse and cow.  I loved his honesty when he stated, “Why is that horse chasing a deer?”  Made me re-examine my sketch and yes, I erased the cow and started over.

I am also thankful for my clients, who not only help support my artistic habit, but also have become good friends, even if over long distances.  I guess I am thankful too for technology, as it has opened up a way to connect with clients farther away, even overseas.  It is an awesome experience.  My clients also push me in a sense that I learn something new in each piece of artwork I create, and to them I am grateful for the opportunity.

Not only am I thankful for the support my clients give, but also for the stories I am privileged to have them share with me.  One client had me do a portrait of her husband’s beloved mixed breed dog, a true Heinz 57 as we like to call them.  She related to me a story that happened shortly after they had gotten Flint, who used to make a warfle like noise.

flint-warfle-i
Flint Warfle I

They were at a dinner with their priest and other parishioners when someone asked one of the couples in attendance how the season had gone with their registered show dogs.  With great flair and exuberance, they elaborated the wonderful show season the dogs had that year, inserting their registered names at every chance.  The priest then asked my clients how it was going with their new dog.  He is a great dog, they replied, not really wanting to elaborate that he was a mixed breed.  Then the owners of the show dogs asked what breed he was, and what was his name?  My client’s husband who has a wonderful love for humor, stated that he was a one of a kind Czechoslovakian Sport Spaniel, (no, there is no such breed) and his name was Flint Warfle I.  The show dog owners were quite impressed, as was the priest.  For Christmas that year, the priest gave them a blank photo album.  On the cover he had inscribed, “The Complete History of The Czechoslovakian Sport Spaniel”.

I also loved the story this fall from a man who collects spoons.  I had my booth set up at the Art On The Fly Fest in Fly, Tennessee, and a gentleman and his wife came in to look around.  He noticed my painted spoons and asked if I had any that said ‘Oneida’ on them.  I knew I had at one time, but I wasn’t sure if they had sold or not.  He started to browse through them and immediately came upon three miniature spoons and said “Yes, these are Oneida”.

 

Upon looking at the backs, they were stamped ‘Oneida’ and he said he would take them.  He was happy that they said ‘Love, Joy, and Peace’ in a Christmas theme as they were going on his “Spoons” themed Christmas tree.  He said he had worked 34 years at the Oneida Silverware company in New York, and every chance he got he would purchase Oneida spoons that an artist had worked on.  He was so happy to get them, and I was honored to have them placed on his tree!

I am also thankful for the people who look at my art and are appreciative of it, even if they aren’t able to purchase anything.  My last show this fall a young woman and her friend entered my booth to browse.  She was really impressed with my work and we chatted about the wonderful weather we were having so late in October.  I mentioned I liked her shirt, and she replied that she had purchased it at a store on the base she was stationed at.  Wow, she really didn’t look much out of high school, I thought, but she had done a tour and was leaving out again the following week and wanted to go to college when she returned.  I am thankful for her service  even more than her appreciation of my art.  God bless Katelynn!

Finally, I am thankful to the almighty God Who gave me what talent I have, and am honored to do it for His glory.  Truly, I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.  I pray you have had a wonderful Thanksgiving season, and hope you have a blessed week ahead!

The Big Move, and why I haven’t posted for a while

I truly cannot believe it is post Labor Day already!  This summer has flown by, and as some would say, it goes faster the older you get.  Well, if that is true then I must have aged a lot and quickly!  So, just to bring everyone up to speed, here is a synopsis of the past few months:

For the past few years my husband and I  have been thinking of selling our place.  This was a very difficult decision:  on one hand we loved where we lived, the neighbors, location, the barn we built with my father, uncle, and a good friend, plus the sheer beauty of our property.  On the other hand, life was changing for us, and we had some goals we wanted to meet:  closer to family, a set studio space for my art as my business has been growing and it was taking over the house, garage and barn. So, we decided in 2013 to list our small farm.  We had numerous showings and then in May we did sell.  After nearly a month of rigorous house hunting, we finally found a wonderful place.  It is a little less acreage, is much closer to my folks, brother, and aunt and uncle, the drive for my husband’s work is the same, plus it has a room that is my new studio! 

Barn we built
Barn we built

 

However, we did leave some wonderful friends and neighbors, but we are only in the next county over, so it is not that bad.  We are boarding the horse until we get a barn built here, and there is a wonderful canvas for future flower and vegetable gardens.  I am really looking forward to getting the raspberry canes in again! 

Since moving in during late June, I have painted 4 full sized whiskey barrels, 4 new fox cutouts, a toilet seat lid, plus a huge mural.  My aunt from Michigan was here for two weeks, my cousin from Texas and his son were here for one week, plus we helped put on a surprise anniversary party for my aunt and uncle.  We had to replace the motherboard in the computer, but outside of that the move went quite smooth over all, thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus!  I believe we are at a place where we are catching our breath once again and moving forward. 

View 1 of studio
View 1 of studio                                                                                                                  
View 2 of studio
View 2 of studio

I have a lot to do to get the studio ready, and I really need to catch up on computer work!  I will post photos and info about the aforementioned art pieces soon.  I hope you and yours have had a fun, safe and memorable summer!