Giving Tuesday is a national campaign to get people to think about philanthropy and use the end of the year to become conscious about giving thoughtfully.
In my efforts to participate for the first time, this year I have found a local organization that was ranked highly by CharityNavigator.com that is aligned with my own beliefs. Oasis: A Haven for Women and Children, is located in Paterson, NJ, one of the most densely populated US cities where their poverty rate is nearly double the national average.
Their mission "is dedicated to feeding and clothing needy women and children and to offering them educational resources and skills to obtain meaningful employment and to break the cycle of poverty. Oasis offers these services in a safe, compassionate and nurturing environment. We are committed to fostering healthy family relationships, and we seek to preserve the dignity of people and their cultures." You can learn more about their work and the people who they directly impact.
You can help me help Oasis through every purchase you make beginning on #GivingTuesday through December 30th. I will donate 10% of my profits to Oasis from lessons, artwork, and commissions booked.
I've posted an #UNselfie explaining why I'm giving on Instagram and Twitter. You can participate yourself by taking an #UNselfie, using #UNselfie and #GivingTuesday to post on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram about your own reasons for donating. If you've purchased something through me, include the work in your #UNselfie and #TraillWorks. Let's help to provide opportunities for a better future for these women and children.
Several years ago, a couple walked into my gallery in Newton, fell in love with one of my paintings (seen below) on site and purchased the work for their home in Morris County. I was out of town the weekend they stopped by and did not have the opportunity to meet them in person, until about a year later when they made another visit.
My head is swimming with thoughts: reactions to things I've read, ideas for paintings, stuff to do. I have a legal pad for my lists, a separate notebook for personal lists, a sketchbook for art ideas. My trouble is, my studio is on my 3rd floor, my kitchen (where I spend time when I'm not in my studio) is on the 1st floor. Then there are the times I'm away from the house running around getting kids.
I can't seem to get a system going for jotting down everything and keeping track. Something always gets lost. I don't know if this is an isolated problem of being an artist working at home, or it is compounded by the juggling of my time caring for kids and being creative.
I recently saw a blog post from the Carnegie Museum of Art, about artist, Lenka Clayton's attic studio. She happens to also be a mother and began the Artist's Residency in Motherhood in 2012 after having her first child. In the blog post, she shares a clever tool for keeping track of ideas: using a receipt spike. I think this is quite novel, but doesn't solve my problem of when I'm in another room, or out of the house and lightning strikes.
I do have an iPad and iPhone and occasionally use my reminders / note pad, but I find that the act of physically writing an idea down makes it more important and memorable. So, if you're an artist working from home, or an artist / mom, share your ideas about how you keep your thoughts organized.
I created a Pinterest board to start sharing our #CreativeIdeaManagement tools. Let's connect and discover what works for each other. Hopefully in the meantime I'll uncover my sketchbook!
Jennie Traill Schaeffer
Deemed the Kitchen God's Artist by NJ Savvy Living for my sainted appliances, I'm now known more for my vibrant, meditational paintings of chairs set surprisingly in landscapes. Since relocating to NC from NJ, mothering my two sons, and caring for our rescue pup, Cider, took the lead. Now, that my Durham home studio is renovated it's open again for virtual art coaching and the resumption of my personal art and commissions. The work I make is inspired by my joy of teaching, exploring nature, and traveling. On The Teaching Artist Blog, I share my approach to teaching and educate my readers about my creative process.
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Want to read more from the past? Click here to read archived blog posts from my previous blog on Blogger.