Hangin’ on!

What a YEAR this has been! Everything suddenly got flipped upside down and we all had to hang on for dear life. Suddenly it’s September. This year for so many small businesses has been quite the challenge. As many others, I made the decision to close my brick and mortar studio and work at home. Everything went virtual, sales went online and curbside. It was no small feat. I had to make the logical and financially necessary decision to move out of my studio when I never had that intention. In ONE month, I pre-recorded 5 exhibits and studio tours while I had the space, packed up and set up shop at home. I spent 3 days hanging each show I had planned for the year, taking everything off the wall, hanging up the show, video tour, taking that one down, hanging the next. Then I spent 2 days filming openers and closers for each show. That meant a different outfit, a different background, a different theme. Now, I never shot video in my life, let alone sit in front of the camera. It was awkward as heck! People passing by my door didn’t know if I was coming or going. Neither did I. Once done, I hauled ass to get out of there. I had already dumped 5 months rent into a space I couldn’t use to it’s full potential. That was NUTS! So now the dust has settled, long term stuff is in storage with materials and paintings at the ready when I need them, my essential supplies are home and I’m getting through the bulk of unpacking and setting up workspace. I feel at peace for once. To be able to just wake up and get to work without that long drive is such a relief. Not to worry about the uncertainty of what lies in the future and whether I can still do business at a studio safely… whew! So, my wish for all of out out there, not only that you remain healthy and safe, is that you continue to support small business. I’m not alone as a small business adapting to working virtually. We may have left our brick and mortar locations but we are still very much alive and doing business! Step outside of that Big Box and seek out the small businesses that you love or explore the webernet for new ones that offer something unique. Small business has adapted and we are working in ways we never expected. Life has opened up a whole new world for us and we embrace the fact that now, we are available globally where before, our main focus was bring traffic through our door. Be well, all! *** You want to see the insanity of the exhibit mania? I give an artists insight here for my talk, “Farewell Brick and Mortar. HELLO Virtual Studio!

It was just a hobby! How did THIS happen?

Find the parts

I am an artist, a writer, a photographer and a gardener.
All of these elements are such a part of my life that it is only natural that they come through in my work. My love of nature and animals combined with my nostalgia for the fine craftsmanship of days gone by are my foundation. I provide cherished memories in my commissioned pet portraits and I strive to honor the fine craft of master designers and carvers in my paintings of vintage automobiles and carousel animals.

Onward and upward!

Here we are a year later from that surreal moment when we all realized that this “THING”, this beast is here to stay. If you have made it this far without completely losing your mind, congratulations. Well done. It’s been hard on all of us in so many ways. I hope that you have found positive energy and have been kind to yourself. I will be the first to admit that I struggle every day. I have isolated since Feb. of 2020. The only time I see other humans is when I make a grocery run which is more of an early morning surgical strike. In and out like a bunny! I look forward to a future where I will open up a new studio and will walk among humans again. For now, though, I look at the reality that it will be a while. I remain active with virtual events which have brought me further out into the world. I continue to branch out into new directions and seek out the silver lining. I am fortunate to have a home with room to wander outdoors, and enough space to work in. With my first vaccine taken care of I am making plans for two events which will be a hybrid of virtual and in person exhibits. I also hold onto hopes that I will see my family again. We are spread out across the east coast from Mass to FL. For now, though, I keep it safe and stay connected as much as I can. I am planning my annual “For the Love of Felines” exhibit for June and have an idea for a September show which seems so far away when one lives month to month! Stay tuned for dates and details. In the meantime, be well, be safe and keep it together! Love and prayers to you all.

10th Annual Open Your Eyes Studio Tour

August 24 & 25, 11 – 4
29 artists in Winsted and New Hartford will open their doors to the public for a rare look into the life of a working artist. It’s a great day trip to gather up some friends, enjoy beautiful Litchfield County and see some great art! I’m number 15 on the map. For more info, go to NWCT Arts Council.

Monday, Monday…..

Piecing it all together.

Mondays aren’t so bad. Especially when it’s a rainy day. The great beyond is not beckoning me to get outside and dig around in my garden beds. It’s the day I commit to office work, filtering through and editing photos, SO many photos, updating everything Air Borne on the webernet, cookin’ the books, promotion, whatever needs my attention. It’s a lot to handle but it must be done. It’s hard to keep the butterflies from clogging up my brain because it really does get all over the place after a few hours. When the overwhelm creeps in, I remind myself that it’s OK to take my time. I’m not a wiz at technowledgy so things like WordPress, searching for a picture I KNOW I saved somewhere in a file, vamping up my website as I begin to build a second one, yes, a second site, stuff like that has a bit of a learning curve. It’s ok. So for all of you out there that might feel a little bogged down with your Monday, it’s OK! Love yourself and cut your beautiful self some slack. I’m with you.

Behind the painting

How it all begins

Before the painting, there is an idea. “Wolf” was my first wildlife painting and became the springboard for a new series. I have not yet come up with a name but since “Wolf” is so straight forward, the paintings themselves will likely be very straightforward. Here is how “Whitetail Buck” begins. It all started with a hauntingly beautiful scene caught on one of my trail cams. From there, I start brainstorming on the landscape and reference. I already have the vision in my mind but it’s all in the details. It makes me silly happy to think about getting started!! Canvas is prepped and I already have a really cool frame to match it with.

Going wild for wildlife!

Whitetail Deer by Kiki Michalek. In the works.

As I carry on with my carousel paintings, it is also time to put my wildlife paintings back up on the easel. Both of these series are infinite in creation, with dozens of designs for paintings planned and numerous pieces already in the works. This painting of two Whitetail deer will be my subject for a March 17th painting Demo. It’s been waiting patiently in the sidelines for a few months. Time to breath some life back into it.

On a Horses Wings, I will fly

A step by step look into the creation of "A Horses Wings"
Journey through a painting. “A Horses Wings” is my latest carousel painting which represents the magic of Therapeutic Ridings and the freedom that horses give to a rider.