Four Days Late–in the Knick O’ Time

 

 

Gotta love irony—or maybe it’s serendipity.

A couple weeks ago, I created an original watercolor piece as part of “Home for the Holidays,”an online auction event presented by the group Art for Critters. To quote A4C, “Artists from around the world, with a desire to help animals in need, have committed to donating a portion of their art sales to help animal charities…Home for the Holidays is a special auction this holiday season to help raise awareness and funds for animals seeking a forever home or permanent refuge.”

I chose a horse charity to benefit from my auction—I love the beauty, spirit, and heart of horses. My experience in drawing them has been limited, but I long to try more often. What better time to practice than now, I asked myself? Since I was right smack dab in the middle of organizing Art for 1000 Wells, though, I didn’t have time to create a new work for home for the Holidays—so I happily took a work I already had in progress, and completed it for the event. I named it “Home for the Holidays,” imagining this fantasy heroine and her faithful companion were heading home after a long journey.

 

 

For me, art inspires words. As my work takes shape on the paper, a tale begins weaving through my mind. I see possibilities in nuances—by the time I’ve completed the artwork, there’s a very good chance I have a short story outline to go along with it. This piece was no exception. As I painted, a longer tale came to my mind—one which may very well end up as a novel in the next few months! But I filed it away in my thoughts and went to create my listing for the charity.

Time got in the way—Art for 1000 Wells was wrapping up, and a few days passed before I could give attention to getting the charity information for my fantasy work. In the meantime, since I really enjoyed this one, I used it as the background for my Twitter page. Every day—many times a day—I would glance in, see the work, and be inspired yet again by the story it had prompted.

Then, on December 4th, I received a message from Twitterer seamusspeaks—a writer himself (with an awesome Star Wars story on his blog,I might add). He had come up with the idea of TwittyTales—one story serial a month, one part per day, one Twitter post at a time. A chapter in 140 characters, as it were. Not as easy as it sounds, and it doesn’t sound easy!

But exciting? Awesome. I was totally up for that challenge—yet I had absolutely no idea what to write. As I thought through my mental filing cabinet of characters and scenarios, my eyes drifted up to my Twitter wallpaper.

And “Four Days Late” was born.

Marian stood in the empty camp and stared at the devastation. 4 days. She was 4 days late. How could one make up for 4 days lost?

A winter wind bit at her lips as she drew a gasp. Tents & supplies were scattered. No sign of life. She was afraid to start looking.

A messenger had been sent but was caught. He escaped after 4 days. Only then did Marian get the news: Her home camp was under attack.

Marian had grown up among the forest camps. Now she was lady in waiting to a baroness. But her blood was wild, & her spirit was free.

With no more aid than a knight, a horseman & the messenger, she had come to save her people from the enemy. But found home in ruins.

Movement behind her; a large form. A deep, quiet voice.“What next Milady?”
The knight. A nobleman, returned from war that very day.

He was a war hero & noble; Marian had a background lower than peasantry. Yet he quickly helped her. Eyes wet, she replied: “Search.”

The four combed the camp. Silent, cautious. Marian knew the enemy could hide. Raiders, thieves, they were. Covetous of home’s bounty.

Soundless minutes passed. Then a voice:“Everyone’s gone.” The wiry horseman, roughly clothed, eyes wary. “Fled? Captured?” he asked.

“Doomed,” whispered the messenger. A shell of a man, eyes blank. “The enemy took no prisoners.” The Knight stared. “They took you.”

 

Marian’s story continues every day on my Twitter posts. You can tell the story serial from the updates about what’s in my teacup by the story’s header, “TTa:” followed by the number of the installment. I have a couple weeks left…tune in daily, or catch my Twitter in my blog sidebar on the right, to find out what happens next…

And in the meantime, I have renamed my watercolor work “Marian.” It goes live on eBay tonight…and, to my thinking, would make a fabulous Christmas present for someone. (Hint, hint.) Especially since 20% of the sale price will help abused or abandoned horses find a caring, loving home.

Today I finally finalized the charity my work will benefit–Knick O’ Time Horse Rescue.Very ironic, I thought to myself—Marian’s story is “Four Days Late”…but for the “Knick O’ Time.”

 

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Art for 1000 Wells: Close the Chapter, Turn the Page

The evening comes to a close, and with it the 10-day auction event of Art for 1000 Wells. I’ve been so moved by the people who have participated!  Each of the artists and artisans had their own personal challenges, yet all came together to help raise funds for a worthy need.  The auction event, as it is, has “ended”—but many things go on.

~~~For instance, Art for 1000 Wells will press onward.  Several of the artists have expressed their intent to continue to donate a percentage from some of their art profits to Blood:Water Mission’s 1000 Wells project.  In this season of frantic holiday shopping, that is a true show of the Christmas spirit!  Even now, if you search TWBW (Thousand Wells Blood Water) on eBay.com, you will find an array of lovely artwork available for purchase.  You can still give the gift of original art to the ones you care about this Christmas, knowing that your gift will be giving twice. (And you’ll also find mousewords up there, as well!)

 ~~~What else will go on?  The work of Blood:Water Mission.  They will strive toward their goal of providing one thousand clean water projects to one thousand African communities.  And I know they will continue toward their ultimate goal: the defeat of AIDS in Africa.  Lofty purpose, but one step at a time can make a difference.  One dollar will provide one year of clean water for one African.  Clean water can mean the difference between life and death for anyone—and can enable health, education, and adulthood for a child.

~~~And another thing that will continue is the crisis in Africa.  The AIDS crisis is pandemic—that’s a buzzword, meaning it’s an epidemic of vast proportions.  Every positive contribution matters.  Put very simply, we can help improve a life somewhere in the world.  It doesn’t need to be a major undertaking.  Each person can help in simple, basic ways—like donating pocket change to Blood:Water Mission; doing gift shopping through Art for 1000 Wells; writing a blog about this cause; passing links on to friends and neighbors.  Basic actions, but they make a difference.  Buy a gift, make some noise—every little bit helps.

 ~~~And one more thing shall continue pressing on: me.  :):)  In my third decade, muddied past my knees with some pretty obnoxious challenges I’ve needed to slog through.  Wondering at times if I’ve slogged through all this to get anywhere.  Carrying a chest full of unanswered desires and unfulfilled dreams…

 …as yet.

 But I know how to slog.  And I’m gonna keep on keeping on.  Watch this space…

…some very interesting things are about to happen.

 And thank you for keeping me company along the way. :);) 

Thanks to all!

The Art Helping Mountain Gorillas auction came to a close last night! I’m grateful to everyone who participated! We had a great time, and were able to raise something to help this worthy cause. My fellow artists and I are eager to continue to support the rangers of the Congo in their work protecting the endangered mountain gorillas…so I may be creating more gorilla themed artwork soon.

It’s been an exciting and rewarding experience, and I’m happy to have been included!

Published in: on September 19, 2007 at 2:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Today is the Day! PART 5

'A Cup of Tea' by Sally

To complete our group of family artists participating in the Art Helping Mountain Gorillas charity auction, I am happy to introduce my aunt, Sally Pointer.

As she lives in Oregon, and I grew up in the Midwest, visits among our family were not as frequent as we’d like. However, Aunt Sally was always present through her loving communication. No matter which holiday was near, my siblings and I knew we could expect a package from Aunt Sally and Uncle Harry, filled with craft supplies and project ideas—stickers, decorations, confetti, you name it, the packages were stuffed with it. We would dive into the cache of treasures and commence with an afternoon of creativity. Soon our home would be draped with our construction-paper constructions. (Just ask my dad, who is very tall…and had to deal with decorations hung by very short individuals.)

Aunt Sally always decorated her packages with colorful, cheerful drawings—which I always cut out and saved. As a cartoon enthusiast, I was awed by her caricatures. Yet another mentor in my art life.

When I see her artwork today, I think of the mental picture I have from one of our visits: Aunt Sally, relaxing outdoors, with a sketchbook in her lap and a box of colored pencils in her hand. A depiction of a delicate, flowering branch was the product of that day’s work…and her recent art gives another glimpse into the surroundings that she has made lovely.

'Pansies and Forget-Me-Nots' by Sally

Today is the Day! PART 4

Next in line…is me.

The rangers’ unselfish devotion to the rare creatures they protect has struck a chord within my heart. Through this Art Helping Mountain Gorillas charity auction, my world view has been expanded. Suddenly I feel like I am a part of what’s happening on the other side of the globe. I have learned of people, relationships, and crises that I never before knew existed. The amazing part if it all is that I suddenly know that I can make a difference.

Every day, the news brings us heart-wrenching stories of hardships happening all over—from right down the block, to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I couldn’t help asking myself, how can I justify worrying about the problems on the other side of the planet, when there are plenty in my own neighborhood that require action?

Here’s the answer I’ve discovered: While it’s very true that I still may be able to help worthy causes locally, it’s also a fact that I am an individual with unique talents and abilities. And it’s possible that those abilities are needed to help improve a situation on the other side of the world.

Everyone is blessed with talents. Where might yours make a difference?

 

Published in: on September 18, 2007 at 6:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Today is the Day! PART 3

Time is getting away from me!  This auction is ending in a few minutes!

I come from an amazingly creative family. My aunt, Susan Porch, is no exception to this.

With her watercolor painting, “Sunflowers IV,” my aunt shows her creativity, artistry, and love of flowers. When I look at this painting, I’m reminded of her garden—lush and filled with beautiful flowering plants. It was a fairyland to a child’s eyes. The scent of the flowers in the Southern California air was nothing like the world I knew in the Midwest. It was enchanted.

During those childhood visits, I would gaze at the oil paintings my aunt had created, awed that they had her name on them. They looked exactly like the paintings I would see in a book. I often admired the stained glass window and tilework in her home—it was only years later that I discovered she had made them herself.

Aunt Susan is bringing the same enchantment to me these days, through her watercolor artwork. I love visiting her art room to see what she’s been working on. I still think they look exactly like paintings I would see in a book. And I look forward to discovering what she plans to create next.

Published in: on September 18, 2007 at 5:40 pm  Leave a Comment