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Barbara Ann Clay-Marshall is an amazing lady who often can be found pontooning around the St. John’s River. I met her through the Gateway Center For the Arts Photography group. She is the kindest person, so caring and genuine you can’t help but embrace her. I knew her through her photography,  but remembered she told me she painted also. This week when she emailed me and said she hoped she would see me on the 3rd, I immediately emailed back, “what have I forgotten?” I was sure I was missing out on something I was supposed to be responsible for, but she said she was having a reception for her exhibit at The White Cup Coffeehouse in Debary. How could I say no? So, I went and I am so glad I did!

I parked and outside sat a woman who had you sign a card for a drawing for free coffee and there was also a chance of winning a portrait painted by Ann.

The place was filled with people and as soon as you walked in, someone handed me 3-D glasses. It turns out that Ann had painted in a way that everything was dimensional while wearing the glasses.   It was so much fun!   Have a look

Too bad you don’t have your glasses on — these are too cool,  a hat lifts off the head,  eyes raise above the face, flowers want to be plucked.

Ann had a thick notebook with prints of her work, here ya go…   She paints in all types of medium,  

some in charcoal, acrylic, oils and pastels.  Ann taught elementary school for 24 years and now spends many hours working at and enjoying her art.

Ann looked so happy as she greeted friends and family-   she always has a smile, it’s the way I think of her, with her zest for life and learning and that’s how she affects people, they can feel her warmth just by being anywhere in the same room. So if you happen upon the city of Debary, on 17/92 across from the Winn Dixie, get ready for a treat with your coffee or tea or good eats at The White Cup – the scenery will have you trapped within the dimensional art world of  Barbara Ann Clay-Marshall, all you can do is go with the flow…

Yesterday I worked on a new website in the am then got tired of it all and had to run and get my taxes finished in Casselberry.  Distraction number one. Afterwards,  I stopped at the Goodwill, (distraction 2)  on the way to see what they had in baby necessities and wow, they had plenty. cribs, highchairs, strollers, toys bassinets, there was a lot of stuff. I guess I will need to be keeping some baby things of my own after the little he or she is born.  I have been amazed at the prices of car seats and cribs and miscellaneous at places like Target or Toys R Us – I am in sticker shock! Baby needs seem much more expensive these days. But it was fun looking. The only thing I saw that I was tempted by was a cute vibrating baby ‘recliner, kind of a reclining seat for a very young baby. It had a cute sea horse and fish theme that stretched above the seat on an arch and it was all supposed to move with batteries, but they had no way to test it, so I decided against it, but I would not mind an adult version it looked so relaxing! (OMG, is it time for a barcolounger for grandma/Abbe?)
Next to the Goodwill on 17/92 in Longwood is Decor Galore, a used furniture and antique store, (distraction3), since I am an antique myself and I love wandering and reminiscing.  They had a lot of interesting stuff, here’s some examples:

the buggy looked really old and right next to it was this…
I thought it would be very effective if this boar head was sitting in the baby buggy!
There was this velvet painting of an Indian, but did not understand the ‘hand moustache-beard thing’. What was this subliminal message saying?
It’s kind of scary!   a cool old childs car.   And then there was a wooden carved hawk by Ohio Artist, Spirit Williams who is a carver/sculptor.  It was about 2 feet long and hung on wall. The detailing was beautifully done, and it wasn’t cheap either,  over $300.  Click on pictures to look in detail.

http://www.sculpturebyspirit.com/  link for Sprirt Williams.
They had a good selection of pictures, lamps, chairs and knick knacks.

It’s always fun to go into these places and see things of familiarity. (As a distraction from building a website)
Today I didn’t even work on the site, Instead I traveled to another real antique,  

DeBary Hall, built in 1871 by Frederick Debary. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. And at one time it was quite a hunting and social lodge in it’s day. Four generations of deBary’s lived there and now it is owned by the state, managed by Volusia County. They have art shows there, but it is done by submission. I wanted to check out where they had the artwork displayed as at one point it was kept on easels in the deBary house, then for a while they displayed artists’ work in the barn.    

Now they keep it in the auditorium.    As I walked around the house I saw one rocker on the porch really moving. The wind was pretty brisk. But I preferred to think one of the deBary’s was on that porch rocking away. As I got ready to leave, I looked up and swear there was an image in the window looking out at me  

So I made my way on home again and tried working on a website and the photos I was putting on happened to come out really big, and gave up for a while. I still have not gone back to look and see what the problem is, it is much easier to blog. I think tonight I will list some pics on Etsy instead:      http://www.etsy.com/shop/incatdreams.
And now I will attempt at distraction #5,  so will try and fish though the wind is really whipping the water about and it almost seems worthless to try.
but anything seems easier than setting up a business! Why is this such a hard concept? Making money, what is wrong with a bit of capitalism. Maybe that spirit in the window was trying to scare me on home where I am supposed to be a slave to my keyboard and monitor.  But that spirit did not know the strength of the lake spirits that are calling for my presence. Yes, easily again I am leaving the screen and leaving the business of art behind – there’s alway hump day, and Thursday…

Went to my camera group tonight in Debary at the Gateway and we keep gaining members and knowledge, benefiting from those who are more experienced and will share their smarts. Also they give links for different support of the photography craft and for storage.
We talked about monthly photography competitions and using simple guidelines for knowing what to do about things like taking photos of “correct” horizons, sunsets and basic rules of dividing photos into thirds for good composition.  I can listen, but then “Abbe-brain” kicks in and it is all about making pictures that satisfy my own taste. Larry, a member, said he is finding it hard to stop when working on a photo, there are so many options it’s over stimulating. All I can say, Larry is right, how do you know when to stop? And I only know limited photo manipulation – I don’t even work with layers.  So let me take one wilting red passion flower photo that I took this afternoon and show you what I have done:

there are many more.

And then ‘one’ moves on to next subject:    

and soon life has drifted to the exosphere and time melts into the essence of  ossuary color and sits mesmerized and blank as the fingers jab the tool buttons, then quick fix, then un-do and re-do, black and white, polar, this filter, then another and another – then you wonder, what the hell is all this waste for? Would someone buy any of these?  Is  any one of the pictures a winner? And what is the definition of a winner? And how do you pick it?  Then the next dilemma, the thoughts about setting up a website and testing oneself to see if any of my “manipulations” could make me some extra cash, say enough to pay for some paper to print them on and some Symphony candy bars or even cat food — or is it all worth the time to even play with photos? That’s the stage you look at the clock and realize you were in the “Dada” zone and apterous for 3 hours and the house could have burned down around you and you would have never noticed until the cat with mule looking ears cleaning herself in the desk drawer next to you went up in flames but never burned as Emily Dickinson’s ghost keeps repeating, “much madness is divinest sense”  while John Lennon sings about “the holes being rather small, they had to count them all and now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall”,
and the computer was melting as you try to save the hard drive and keep all your photos in the ‘save-as’ file and then the computer freezes and you have not saved a thing and it is all in vain so you get up and look in the bathroom mirror and realize you are five years older than when you began, and and and, oh never mind, I think you get it, I actually think I get it,  I am over thinking again,  time to log off and try reading for a while. Guess I will join Ringo who is sound asleep on top of the electric blanket, he has not moved in 4 hours, I think the electricity has numbed him as he dreams of ungulates and daggers for nails and the taste of freshly caught bream, the young, tender ones.  That blanket is the catalyst for my best dreams,  it is a poetry book waiting to happen, “Tales From Beneath the Electric Blanket”.  Ringo has his own version,    
I am taking photos of him to use in the book, whenever I care to publish it, but that is another project,  one more thing to fixate on, to pause and think about doing… Jeeze, it’s Hell being an artist, or it’s just Hell being crazy…(but it’s fun)

Those are turtle eggs, freshly laid.  They came by the way of their mother turtle this morning around 8am.  I had gone out to take some photos of the crappy day. We had a good rain and it was so dark.  The cranes came in for breakfast,
and I had walked to the lake to take some photos of the ‘band of brothers’ who were frolicking in the water.   It was truly a day to be a duck!  It was drizzling a bit after a hard rain.  I started walking back toward the house when I saw a turtle making her way from the house to the lake. She was quite slow in fact, probably because she is a reptile and it was cold and she was tired from laying those eggs.

She ignored the cranes attempt to peck her, and could not even get the energy to run past me to get to the lake, usually the  turtles will crank on the speed when they see humans near them. I’m sure she was exhausted and cold.  I walked back to where she had come from and could see where she had buried the eggs, I gently extracted five eggs that were not buried too deep.  The raccoons would have easily gotten to them or the cold coming tonight would have killed them.  I have raised successfully a number of snake eggs, and did have luck with one clutch of  turtle eggs a couple summers ago.    They were the size of quarters, but it was always summer when we incubated the eggs so the heat naturally kept them warm enough to grow into full term turtles and snakes that broke open their shells and were ready for the world.  The turtles looked just like the ones we kept as kids in those little clear plastic turtle bowls we had in the 50’s before they scared us all with the “salmonella” stories.
The eggs I took I have placed within a small plastic fish tank that has a night light incorporated into the top of the tank. I also placed a thermometer inside and the temp is almost 80 degrees with a tiny 7 watt bulb — that’s perfect, so maybe on February 19th, there could be 5 little baby turtles hatching.  I must keep them moist without being too wet, and heated without getting hardboiled.  This should work perfectly:
Will keep you posted. They say you can’t “candle” them like duck eggs. We never did get one fertilized duck egg.
It was just a dreadful morning, I ran to Michaels and as I looked for a frame, it began pouring. I had to wait for it to settle down a bit before going back to the car.  As I drove from the parking lot in the pouring rain, I noticed two vultures up on a light post waiting out the burst of water.  They looked rather stunned.  Notice that it was so dark, the lights were on at 11am.
Even driving through the neighborhood looked blurred  —        Now comes the cold, and tonight, you can feel the temperature drop!  Ringo is inside on my bed, he hates the cold too.
My little brother is here and we took Adam and got all bloated eating Chinese at Lee’s Palace then topped it off with ice box cake, Judd’s favorite made of pure whipping cream and Nabisco chocolate wafers.
I finished framing and should be ready to drop off work on Sunday, will let you know if there is a reception and what the dates are for the Gateway Members Exhibit.

Those are the pics, though I think they are only using two per person.  The next pics below are some I took this am.

And that’s it for tonight, stay warm, have a fun weekend….   

Yesterday grabbed Adam and went to see Pirate Radio which had a nice vibe, good actors, great music, simple and fun, no thinking involved.  Then up to the Gateway for set up.
100_6777re Had baby clothes, T-shirts, cups, cards, all kinds of things to sell besides framed art.  A cute dog named Lucky was running around trying to help too. He was adorable.  100_6767re 100_6769-1re (don’t ask what setting I had on that last Lucky pic.)
We headed home and Adam took wonderful photo as we passed over the 17/92 bridge

100_6807-1re
Diane Miller, head of the Photography club at Gateway who was in charge of getting everyone their placement and making things run smoothly, could not have been kinder or more accommodating.  There were potters, quilters, jewelry makers, fine artists, even an artists who painted on leather. The excitement was building.

This morning I was up at 6:15, at the Gateway by 7:30am. The weather could not have been more perfect for those having tables outdoors.  100_6835re They have a weekly farmers market each week. Outside they had very interesting booths.  A guy named Joe,  did woodcarving and had beautiful wooden mini houses.  100_6838re There was one man who made solar light holders.  100_6844re There was a quilter called Loving Stitches, a man selling things to benefit a border Collie Rescue, his dog Cali was a beaut!  100_6846re And very well behaved dog too.
Of course there were jewelry vendors,  and my good friend Judy Segall and her beau Rob came with the coolest assortment of Asian/African instruments of which Rob was giving  free demos making people smile.
http://www.judithsegall.com
100_6823re 100_6824re
Inside was an impressive group of artists.  The inside quilter, Paula had gorgeous quilts, and hand dyed scarves and as is a weird 6 degrees of separation,
100_6828re she knows my cousin,  Sue, who quilts under the name of Grannie Suzannie   http://www.granniesuzannie.com/
There was a man who made wooden bowls,   100_6797re And gorgeous abstract art by Nestor Charneco.  100_6788re Next to me was Bob who had hundreds upon hundreds of wildlife photos taken from his many African trips.  100_6799re
100_6795re The giraffe by the lady opposite me was very clever – do not have her name.
Also saw an architect named Don E. Grannon who was new to art, but really had interesting work.  Linda Bishop had well thought out paintings, as did the watercolor artist from St. Augustine beside her.  No more names, I’m sure The Gateway site will have much better in depth photos. Ed Cogle was on the job taking photos, his wife Nan was selling jewelry and both are always smiling.  100_6831re
http://www.gatewaycenterforthearts.org/
The volunteers for the Gateway were so kind, they came to give us breaks by sitting at our booths so we could walk around, stretch out legs, eat some of the wonderful cooking, the tomato Bisque was so thick and full of flavor.  Diane had also organized a room where children could come and pick out donated items from the artists to buy very cheaply.  (My duck photo was rejected, is this the point you give up on trying to sell art when you can’t even give it away to kids????)
The drawback was the attendance was light!  There was no advertisement and this needs to be addressed for future events!  But I thank Sandra Wilson and Diane for their efforts and visions, and a million thanks to the ever ready volunteers!  Plus a big shout out to the bright lights that flash when you look in the room and see your neighbors and friends shining faces!  Thank you wonderful supporters for being there for me! I appreciate it more than you know! Sonja, Dee, Becky, Sandra, you all rock!
By 4pm, I was on the road home with all but two items. Swapped a lot of stories with many people about their sandhill crane sightings.  When I arrived home, I was ready to get everything out of the truck and put it away.  Adam came back from work after 5 and we decided to go grab some Outback food – the timing was perfect! We got right in and I heard about his great time at the midnight showing of Repo at the Enzian, he got home after 3am and was at work 5 hours later. I found out her had plans to return to the Enzian tonight featuring Jewish filmakers with the latest Coen brothers movie.  That kid is a walking movie fest!
I would say that as of tonight, I am not feeling like doing these venues anymore, they are actually depressing.  The one plus is certainly meeting new artists and people. I will try making an Etsy site when I get back from Tampa and see where that goes. At this point, the economy is not lending itself to art for sure. Most of the artists I talked with had sold next to nothing. The ones selling art were the jewelry makers.  One tries to look around and see what sells, how other booths are set up, but this hauling of stuff is really not something I am enjoying. Now it’s time to work on internet sales I suppose and if that goes nowhere, then what the Hell, I give away all this crap and only take photos for blogs, I mean what’s the difference? I am doing that now and it makes me happy, the money would just add a bit more happiness if ya know where I’m comin’ from!

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