Monday, December 7, 2009

Decompressing from a Christmas Art Sale or the Struggles of a Somewhat- Starving Artist

Frosty the Snowman and Me at Old Fashion Christmas

I think I'll need to get my cholesterol rechecked after Saturday's Old Fashion Christmas. I know I must have gained at least 10 pounds from simply smelling those funnel cakes all day. My art tent and display were right across from the food vendors, a mix of a deep- fried and deep, deep- fried food items; the endless funnel cake line definitely reminded me that conquering hunger is always a priority over buying art.
My ice-covered car shivered and sighed early Saturday morning when I was loading it up at 6:45 a.m. and heading for Castroville, the site of my art sale extravaganza. The outdoor thermometer read 24 degrees as I added another box of sale items to the back seat. I think I broke some kind of record by choosing the coldest day in South Texas for jumping into the outdoor arts festival market. Thank goodness I had already purchased a tent and heater from Academy! But, until I set it all up, I'd just have to suck it up and get on with it! I could barely see the car for all my exhaling frosty breath as I huffed and puffed in and out of the garage and to the car. Finally, I trekked on down Loop 1604 and then headed southwest on Highway 90 to Castroville. Whew! With a gallon of coffee to fortify me and my car heater on full blast, I could feel my foggy brain starting to defrost.
Seeing the once familiar sights on Hwy. 90 push by as I sped down the country road, I reminisced about my former life as an English teacher at Medina Valley Junior High. After teaching there for 17 years, I had some vivid memories of the ups and downs of a classroom teacher. However, most of those memories were happy ones so I was hoping to see some old friends and former students at Old Fashion Christmas and have myself a mini-reunion of sorts.
Although the day started quite early for me in San Antonio, the sale didn't start till 9 a.m. And, as the day progressed, I shed layer after layer of clothing. I believe it went up to 52 on Saturday. Being on the sunny side of the festival and up against all that food, I decided my booth location wasn't all that bad afterall. Another plus for me was that I was straight across from the town's church on Houston Square. I could look up and see colorful stained glass windows and the wreath-hung double doors and immediately feel uplifted with Christmas Spirit. More good things happened as the day went by. I did see old friends and former students. In fact, some of my former students actually bought my art. It felt like an Oprah-like "full-circle" moment for me!
My life's book has many chapters. Going from teaching to creating and selling art has one common element. I'm still trying to reach out and make a difference. I always thought that witnessing kids growing through learning was one beautiful and creative process. I'm hooked on things of beauty and creativity. I'm still striving for those indelible moments.
Old Fashion Christmas . . . Old Fashion Me! I imagined, as I packed up my car to head on home on Saturday, a Jimmy Stewart-like scene on Houston Square. Rushing around hugging folks from my Past that I will always love and care about, I reminded myself that "It's a Wonderful LIFE!"
Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a 2010 New Year that gives you wings!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Dance of the Northern Lights-- New Painting

The Dance of the Northern Lights
12x16 image
Pastel Painting by Cindy Morawski
December 2009
B-r-r-r-r-r!!! When I think of cold, I normally don't think of South Texas. But, believe it or not, we have a real Cold Front in our Alamo City, giving us near freezing temps and a forecast of snow this week. Let it Snow...Let it Snow...Let it Snow. The last real snow we've had when the city was immobilized because we had enough to make a snowman was back in '85. I remember that because I had two snowdays off from work! And, I did build a snowman in my front yard with the help of neighbors and friends.
When I think of COLD, I also think of the Northern Lights. That's why I chose that as a recent subject for painting. It had all my favorite elements: trees, sky, stars, and intense colors. Pastels lend themselves to great pigment values.
This landscape measures 12x16 unframed and is currently for sale. Please contact me if you're interested either in the original or a print. You're welcome to come by for a closer look in my home gallery at 8603 Waldon Heights, SA, TX 78254. Contact: 210-522-0706 or
Stay warm! ---Cindy