Still Arting

sunflower-bouquet-2

Sunflower Bouquet, acrylic, 16″ x 12″

This past week I participated in the Art is Ageless show at the Presbyterian Manor in Lawrence.  This art show is an annual event and anyone who is a senior citizen can enter, not just residents of the Manor.  There are a number of categories including needlework, such as quilts or embroidery.  The categories for paintings are either amateur or professional.  But all professional means is that you occasionally sell your work.  This year I won a second place ribbon for the above painting.  The person writing their newsletter interviewed me before this show because I had won a best of show ribbon last year.

As a senior citizen this was a good show for me to enter because it was near where I lived and only required me to deliver two paintings.  Best of all, although I could have entered by computer, I didn’t have to.  I could just hand in a form filled out by hand when I delivered my paintings.  They didn’t even charge an entry fee.  Of course there was no prize money either, which may be whey there are not very many entries, although I’m sure Lawrence must have many senior artists.

Often artists keep making art long after the age of 65.  In fact some take it up in retirement.  The Artist magazine also recognizes this with an annual contest for senior artists.  A problem for senior artists is not so much the making of art but showing it.  The time when I could lug many paintings to an outdoor show that might last a couple days, find help to put up a tent, and sit out there in all kinds of weather is past.  I now only do one outdoor show, Art in the Park in Lawrence, which does not involve long travel and only last a half a day.  Also, this show still allows people to enter by submitting photographs.

A major difficulty for senior citizen artists is entering art shows.  They almost all require computers not only for the form and to pay the fee but also to submit images of one’s art work.  Some seniors don’t even have computers.  Others, like me, have them but only use them for a few simple things.  I haven’t found the help categories on my computer very helpful.  Sometimes my husband can figure it out.  My son who knows the most about computers lives too far away.

If you are planning an art show in your community, also make it friendly to older artists.   Let people enter either by computer or by snail mail with photographs and a check.  If the show, either indoors or out, is the kind where each individual brings a number of paintings, maybe have a few younger people available to help those who are less able.  As we share what we are creating we may also encourage others to keep on keeping on.

A Happy Birthday

April 6, 2014

If you are reading this, you have noticed the new look the first page of my blog has now.  I’ve wanted to change the rather blah  first page for some time but didn’t know how to do it.  Now my “On the Road” painting is featured at the top along with the titles of the various pages where you can view my paintings, find out where I’m showing and learn a little bit about me.  All this happened because I am about to have a birthday.

When husband asked what I wanted for my birthday, I knew I didn’t need more stuff.  What I needed was help with technology I don’t seem able to cope with.  Fortunately, since he doesn’t like shopping and understands more about computers than I do, he was willing to give revising the first page of my blog a try.  And it didn’t take him long to be successful.

If there is an artist among the loved ones in your life, here are some ideas for gifts to celebrate their special occasions.  Producing art is expensive, so the most obvious gift is a gift certificate to their favorite art supply store.  If your artist is not already subscribing to an art magazine there are a number to choose from.  I subscribe to “The Artist,” a general how to magazine for painters.  “American Artist also falls into this category.  There are also specialized publications, such as “Watercolor Artist” or “Plein Air Magazine.”  For just looking at the representational art being done by really good artists, “Southwest Art” is great.  And this is a gift that can be shared by passing on copies to others with similar interests.  If you look in the back of the how to magazines, you’ll find ads for DVDs demonstrating the techniques of professional artists in a variety of fields. These could also be gift possibilities.

If your artist is technology challenged like me, help him or her set up a web site or blog.  This is a gift that can be used indefinitely.  Another way to be helpful to a plein air artist is to share your land or flower garden as a painting site.  If you liked the result and bought it, that could benefit both of you.  So happy gift giving and receiving.