I’ve just moved into a new apartment. Finally, the boxes are unpacked and most things have a home. Summer is here and I spend sunny afternoons on my balcony overlooking the river. There is enormous boat activity at the head of the Fox River and Lake Winnebago, and there are as many different water vessels as there are seagulls in the air. If I want to join a group in the courtyard, I can always go downstairs and watch the river from the gazebo. I live in a very nice place.

In my apartment, I have set up a very workable studio for myself. I only need to buy a couple more chairs to make it perfect. But it’s close. Right now, with the summer weather, I find I want to paint mostly in front of the big window. That way I can look outside and not feel closed in.

WORLD WATERCOLOR MONTHView of the Fox

July is winding down, and so is the second World Watercolor Month hosted by Charlie O’Shields. It is wonderful to meet with last year’s friends and to be encouraged by their beautiful paintings. Even the “just okay” encourage me. Art is like any other craft — one must practice regularly to improve their skill. Or even maintain their level of excellence. I’ve been slouching this last year — reasons don’t matter — the result is that I am very rusty. My paintings show it. I started out with the group for the first week and into the second week faithfully posting my watercolors. Then a few days of hit and miss. Now, I haven’t posted a painting in at least a week.

But, I’ll not shame myself. I’ll carry on where I am at. I’m going to pick up my paint brush and paint — every day — not to make a masterpiece, not to make a work for sale, but to hone my skills. I started doing this already, and I can see I am going to be going through lots of paper!Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 11.40.24 PM

WHO KNEW HE COULD PAINT?Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 11.19.00 PM

PORTRAITS OF COURAGE: A COMMANDER IN CHIEF’S TRIBUTE TO AMERICA’S WARRIORS

by George W. Bush

This is a wonderful book whatever your political leanings are. Published in February this year, this beautiful book has over 60 portraits of veterans, all painted by Former President Bush. Men and women he has come to know personally since 9/11. I plan to buy one for myself and one for a veteran.

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October Harvest

We Reap What We Sow

In this nuclear age of technology and days of light-speed advancements, it is somehow grounding to know the ancient wisdom of reaping what we sow still applies to our world. It certainly does to mine.

Fall Fruits ad Veggies
“Autumn Fruits and Veggies” Colored Pencil 16X8″

I invested a great amount of energy into planting during this past growing season. I wasn’t looking ahead but just merely enjoying the moments of tending my metaphorical gardens. There was a great flurry at times, especially in early May and July when I was so occupied with events and activities. The work was all I needed. Sharing my experiences on Facebook was added fun, you were so responsive.

Creativity flowed in and around my studio all summer. I embraced it and carried it with me wherever I went. No matter how far my journey, my watercolor kit came too. And every night I posted my “produce” to C Hintz Studio on Facebook. I soon began to notice a lovely byproduct outside of the physical artwork I was producing.

I began noticing you.

I’ve always been a solo artist. I work alone and tend to hibernate. When I launched my portfolio online and dove into social media last spring, I felt a bit in shock and overexposed. Naked even. Luckily, I had help from experienced artists who kept me focused or I’d have quit before I got started.

It took me some time, but I finally noticed you. You got my attention with your support and comments.  I began to look for “smiley faces,” they encouraged me and every “like” you sent energized me. When I forgot to respond to your comments, I would double my efforts, determined not to let you down. Somewhere along the way, I shed my cynical skin.

I was a Social Media Cynic

I used to think social media sites were vain – No more! Of course, it’s important to keep balance and moderation in life, but my internet connections have become important to me. Not because of business – this isn’t about money at all – it’s about developing relationships with people who love art. It’s about an online community. You don’t even have to love MY art. Spending time on my Facebook page, responding to you, posting new paintings, putting up albums and videos, planning events – that was time well spent. I’m pleased with this year’s harvest…so to speak.

My love is like an orange, orange… pumpkin?

I’ve also learned that when I neglect to tend you, weeds grow between the rows and separate us. There will be times I will still hibernate – it is part of my nature – especially in the fall. Consequently, the next time I want to make contact I expect I’ll have a “long row to hoe” before I reestablish myself with you – if I can at all. But I hope you know that I will be back, I haven’t given up. Art is my life. And there is no one I’d rather share it with than you. I appreciate you more than you know.

Wishing you autumn bliss

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PS: Many thanks to those of you who signed the Reverse Boot Camp Petition. We are now over 41,000 signatures strong. If you feel a call to pass the petition on to friends, there is still time to reach our goal before November 11, Veteran’s Day, when the campaign ends.