Prepared for another year.

September 5, 2011

My birthday.

Other than waking to the pops of local hunters in the distant. It is the first hint that fall temps are on their way to cooling the summer heat. The promise of a long weekend figuring out what to do next? Perhaps shopping Labor day sales. A relative quiet day spent baking for others.  I even had the joy of visiting my sister and helping with my new nephew.  It was a quite day for myself.

But even more so heart breaking to hear and relive the stress and fear associated with emergency evacuations and disasters.  Especially as hundreds are evac’d from there home in the wake of the large wild fires not so far from us. Many of whom are my new friends since relocating to our new home.

I have experienced being pushed from my home at wee hours and in a flurry to get to safety.  The first time was numbing and agonizing to literally drive out at 8miles p/hour slower then the impending hurricane Rita bearing down on our regions at the time.  The reality of knowing that all you may have left is packed into you car hoping to get to a love one’s refuge in time to wait it out is even more exhausting.  It was even more awful to sit and listen /watch the news and ticker to gleam any word of our community in all the events of the storm.   You should sleep, but you can’t possibly rest or sleep from all the anxiety of not knowing the fate of your home and community.  All 4 times, it was a similar numbing experience, 2005, 2006 (we stayed) 2008 -twice more.

We have been here for 3 years now, removed from the threat of coastal hurricanes.  And I find myself remembering the long hours prepping for EVAC orders and waiting for the all clear to return home to assess and rebuild.  I am realizing that we have yet to restock our emergency EVAC supplies.  (Yes, I had that for 4+ years). What do I pack?  I have a clear plastic tote filled with emergency numbers, policies, prescriptions, resume/transcripts (if available), a change of clothes, sweater, for each member of my family, pet tags and vaccinations, batteries, maps (local and national), dry rations.   I would actually leave it out during hurricane season.  Now I am reconsidering how I would change my supply box if I did not have a car to get out with.

The difference with wild fires is that they can move blindly and just as quickly as a storm. Pushing across open land as fast as the driving winds. But they leave little time to prepare let alone get out to safety.

My learned advice.  #1. Turn the TV off.  You don’t need the sensationalism.  Contact a friend or loved one, let them know you are safe.  Ask someone to help you stay on top of any breaking news, without bombarding you with all the sensationalism that will be attached to the disaster. Go to a museum or public space to help get your mind off the situation. Try to keep you phone line free for any necessary emergency contacts required.  And remember that all the official phone lines will be overwhelmed with calls to inquire about the status and others trying to do the same.

I know that one little blogger may not be the answer to a difficult situation, but take time to consider what you need before you need it.

Friend’s note’s after the fire:

Advice after the Fire by Trish Aikman

Shoshwrites: Rebuilding house and life after a fire.
Emergency Supply list Sites:

Checking them twice, measuring 3 times to be sure it’s all correct. recount, resort, pack up, deliver.

Yes, I have been hiding under my rock trying to prep, frame, count, finalize and deliver for the next few art shows I have lined up here. Call me lucky or insane, in a few weeks, I some how landed more than 1 show in 3 months.  Which is incredibly awesome but requires quite alot of planning, pre-planning and coordinating time lines. Add into that the daily life mix of house & home and you get a bit side tracked.  I have not had much time to actually pullout a fresh new painting.  But I have managed to sign and finalize many that were in painting limbo over the past 2 weeks.

Finding space to lay out and coordinate pieces to a working group of paintings is another unshared process.  My studio is all out disaster zone, how did it get so undone. And that’s just the part of the details here.

Sorting finsihed paitnings.

You see there are a lot of details that need tending after a painting is done.  Meaning it does not require any additional touch ups or corrections. It must be signed, varnished or sealed (if time allows), photographed, inventoried, cataloged in the database, and then sorted into subject bins for future show selections.  Then potentially framed as well depending on the target gallery or competition.  And of course we must not forget the all important contract agreements and time lines.  All of that takes loads of time and patience, let alone the presence of mid to set up a credible system. Well, mine works, but It could be soo much cooler if I had loads more time to learn program & scripts to create the tracking system I really want.

Once you get the go ahead for a show, you still have to finalize a clear record of what you are submitting, plus pricing and labels. All of the office details and paper work is a critical part to staying on top of it. Here I am a week later, And I am just a bit closer to the end of the tunnel I hope. All that requires a heap load of faith that at some point you might break even and actually cover the expenditures to put your work out there.   Apparently there is no “magic sales” formula to getting the art sold.  It all comes down to how much some one likes it.

Then there is the required packing, delivery and hanging of the art and any additional printing or publications required for it to run smoothly once it is all up.

Small show loaded.

So next time you are strolling through a gallery or art venue stop and consider the following:

  • How much does the cable guy or electrician bill you for when he comes out for an hour of service let alone for a full day or week?
  • How much do you spend on “limited entertainment”?  Movies, concerts, amusements parks for a day.
  • How much did you spend on your TV/electronics  or shoes budget?

It’s all in the perspective.

  • How much quality time really went into getting the art piece out for you to see, to take home and enjoy for a life time.  It does not require batteries, watering, or other maintenance.  Just hang it up and enjoy, Tadah!

So make plans to visit a few galleries this month and find something special too!