Daddy's Christmas Angel

Monday, September 18, 2017

We Can't Control the Weather

Island Club 2016 ©Mary Montague Sikes
A few weeks ago, I thought I had everything figured out--book events and art happenings. We would drive down to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, enjoy the beach and favorite restaurants for a few days, then I would teach two three-day workshops at the Art Academy. It would be fun. I looked forward to expanding my wings with cold wax as well as exploring more mixed media with students. During our time at Hilton Head, I hoped to learn to play pickle ball on the beautiful Island Club tennis courts.

At the end of the week, we planned to get on the road for four hours, heading down to Valdosta, Georgia for a book signing and children's program for An Artful Animal Alphabet. I would get to know my new publisher and visit an Art Center. What could be more perfect?!

Well, as you know, Mother Nature in the form of Hurricane Irma had other plans. Our resort, Island Club, in Hilton Head was closed and the road entering the community, blocked. Although we hoped to get part of our week's vacation, we learned that the resort would remain closed for the rest of the week and some units for this week as well. In addition, the bookstore in Valdosta suffered some water damage, so that signing event was cancelled as well.
Hyatt Windward Point Key West ©Mary Montague Sikes

We are glad we chose Key West over Sedona for a vacation trip in May. Windward Point was beautiful then, and I suspect the lush palm trees and green grass are lush and green no more. And, too, I wonder about the fascinating pieces of sculpture that greet visitors as they land at the airport and later as they stroll the streets, drinks in hand. Could they have survived? I hope, but I doubt. Perhaps with damage.

We make plans. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. We can't control the weather.

Perhaps one day ...

Seward Johnson sculpture Key West ©Mary Montague Sikes

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Scheduling Events for My New Book - An Artful Animal Alphabet

An Artful Animal Alphabet is my first book directed mostly to children. Because of the artwork,  it is an adult book as well that might even be fun to display on a coffee table.

I have just begun to schedule events for my new hardcover book. The paintings in the book are ones I created for the April Blog Challenge several years ago. At the time, I had no plans for a book. Then I grew fascinated with the results and decided the mostly small paintings deserved to be seen by more people. Now, I realize that means scheduling events in art galleries as well as in book stores and other shops.

My first art gallery signing is scheduled for Petersburg's Friday for the Arts on September 8 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Ward Gallery for Contemporary Art. This is a beautiful site for any event, so I expect it to be very special for a book signing. I plan to exhibit a few of the little paintings in addition to having my books there. My paintings from the first gallery show I had at the Ward Center are also there, so this will be a very special combination for me.

Some of the paintings in An Artful Animal Alphabet are based on photographs taken by my daughter, Amy Sikes, during trips to Australia and Tazmania. Amy is a true animal-lover who finds most fur creatures special. I chose one of her photos as my reference material for the possum which is a bit of a different animal down under than the American opossum.

Later this month, I have a signing scheduled in Valdosta, Georgia. On November 4, I'll participate in the Book Festival at the James City branch of Williamsburg Regional Library. At all the locations, I plan to have some of my original paintings that inspired the book. I also have a little art project to do with children that will relate to my book.
My paintings at The Ward Center ©Mary Montague Sikes

These are fun books. If you have suggestions for book signing locations, I would love to hear about them.